The young ones :A future no so uncertain

Escrito el 21 febrero 2010 por Mikel Aguirre en Unión Europea

One of the main point of our economic system is the chance for each generation of improve their living conditions in comparasion with their parents.

The “european dream” has been to achieve better education, knowledge of different languages, travel abroad and the chance to achieve better employments, salaries, hence standard of living.

There has not been a generation in the last century who have not profited of better living conditions that the former ones.  Nowadays that the 40 and 50something are worrying about their retirement funds and the health of the wealfare state we could find thousands of europerans in their 20s and 30s that are facing a low salary, huge unemployment and what seems like a dark future.

After the different etiquettes gave to generations: Y, X, … now it comes what is called ni-ni : no job no studies. The OECD says there is a 14% of the Spanish young ones between 16 and 24 that do not have a project or goal to reach.

When we see what happens with the economic situation of Greece we have to remember that in 2009 Greek police shooted a 15 year old boy in Athens triggered by week of riots of disappointed young ones.  What was the spark that lighted the flame? The complaints regarding the flexibility labour conditions that young workers have to face in Greece (and in many European countries).

Youth unemployment across the EU is significantly higher (17% for 25 and under) that in global population (7,6%).  The situation is different from one country to another: German companies tend to hire workers at an early age while Spanish ones prefere temporary contracts.

It is important to try to reach a positive approach for the future , thinking that within some years the unemployment figures will decrease, the kwowledge and training of the young generations make them more willing to face challenges and that european joung ones have to adapt their expectations to the reality.  The Brics young ones have been born in countries where the effort and hard work was something necessary and basic.  In other countries the youth was born in an era of abundance and the expectations perhaps were just too high.


Isabel Blazquez Solano 22 febrero 2010 - 23:28

I would like to start by adding some Spanish figures, which are greatly representative of the type of generation under discussion.

54% of Spaniards between 18-34 years old said to have no project for which they feel particularly interested or excited. Almost 600,000 young Spaniards neither work nor study, which represents 9% of the population aged between 18 and 30. And 40% of graduates are working on topics unrelated to what they have studied.

As we can see these are alarming data, and represent what we call the new generation neither-nor (ni-ni). Which represent the idea of the philosopher CS Lewis of the abolition of man.

The enormous social, economic and technical changes that have taken place during the last two decades, have led to the emergence of a different youth, unable to found/create a company, fruitless in providing any type of social capital, and only able to claim rights with extreme voracity. Besides holding a consumption level far higher than previous generations.

They are the result of poor education, characterized by the laisser faire, the lack of boundaries, the absence of an authority, the absence of parent’s will to educate their children. Parents are overprotecting and educating in a materialistic way, giving children all they want before they deserve it or even need it, making boys self-centered and indolent. Besides, they create people with a very low threshold of frustration, which is characterized the lack of ability to compromise and inability to work in teams. And therefore, will never be able to add any value to our society.

For a boy of this Generation “anything is O.K and nothing has consequences,” but how far can they go holding this mentality? More or less, until the moment they arrive in a company where there are regulations, penalties, and dismissals. From there, they are barred from the society we live in, for not knowing how to interact, forming pockets of exclusion and becoming social parasites.

They are not good at work, because they do not get involved, have no illusions, no dreams. If they do not care about managing their own lives and expectations, how would they be able to add anything to humanity?

One option would be to encourage this generation to build up themselves and grow, but thanks to the environment they live in: family, education, … they are not accustomed to making efforts, not even realize why should they do so. No one has taught them the value that their work could add to society. Cicero would say, that they are not virtuous, do not know how to develop positive habits, causing a permanent social disability (not know even how to exercise the right to vote).

We are living in economically difficult times, which harden the situation of this generation and the future of our county. It takes all the virtues, the greatest sacrifices and efforts to push our country towards a better economic situation, to push Spain towards a positive growth again. Precisely, these virtues and values are the ones that families have forgotten to instill their children with, turning them into the neither-nor (ni-ni) generation.

A sociologist of UNED wonders what will happen when parents who have children living at home, retire. In his view, the expected decline of the middle class, lack of skilled jobs, the rampant award scholarships, low birth rate and the gap in social spending in relation to Europe; are creating a flammable atmosphere that opens the possibility of bursts similar to those of Greece or France. “We attend the first massive process of social decline since the days of the French Revolution” he predicts.

Daniela Colpo 30 marzo 2010 - 12:56

The uncertain situation of the young generations is not just a problem of Spain but of lot of other countries in Europe. Young people tend to move abroad and try fortune in the BRIC countries to compensate with lack of social and employment stability and low salaries on the origin countries. This is definitely one of the big challenges of the European institutions for the next 10 years. Ageing problem is a fact, altogether with the irresponsible economic conduct of the past years which led to the recent financial crisis. Employment and social welfare are issues of common interest nowadays and are constantly present in the international debates. We can expect a common unified reaction of the institutions for the implementation of more regularized plans for the future, altogether with an increase of private funds and pension’s plans, that will certainly help to improve the situation and guarantee more stability.

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