Episode-1432- Why the Current Generation is “Lost” — 48 Comments

  1. A quote I had seen recently on reddit that was posted by a Millenial:

    “Being a young adult in this generation sort of feels like stumbling upon the desolate remnants of a really great party that was absolutely kicking it for 40 years… only now there’s no beer, and the pizza guy is waiting for you to pay him the 12.6 trillion you owe him.”

    • Someone should tell that poor kid the bill is actually 17.7 trillion and the delivery guy wants a tip too!

    • Actually it’s closer to 70 trillion now if you count Social Security and Medicare liabilities + interest. Toss in the global derivative trade bubble and you get half a quadrillion. How many zeroes is that? A lot.

    • Thanks Jack.
      Am a Big Brother to a kid that wants to go into the Navy Seals. Have mixed feelings on it but know he could do well with. Would mature him up and offer opportunities. Have watched him grow into a fine young man. He doesn’t have the entitlement mentality that many of his friends do at 17. Hope that I have given him a positive direction and been the role model he’s needed.

  2. This upcoming generation makes me angry often, but then I have to remember we did it to them. This is the most screwed generation ever. Some say the decline began with the WWII/Depression generation who wanted their children to have an easier life than they did, but the result was a generation who thought they were screwed and sought the same remedy for their children who likewise thought…… And here we are: We are children raising children.

  3. Awesome show today Jack. As a “millennial” I find that I agree with pretty much everything you said right there.

  4. What a great show! As a Millennial your message really resonated with me. My generation has been adrift, but I’m starting to see some signs of life. This show was a great boost for me personally, and I intend to share with others. Thanks for all you do Jack.

  5. I knew as soon as I saw the title I was going to love today’s show. As a millenial, my heart often wars between wanting to slap my generation, and wanting to weep for them. I escape many of the preconceived notions about millenials, but I think we get a bad rep. I turned 30 this year, and I still don’t feel like an adult, and I got married at 18. If that didn’t do it, what will?

    Anything I say would just largely be repeating you, so I will just say, awesome show. I love your efforts to guide my generation. It’s working.

  6. Inter-generational communication and links is defined and discussed very well in the book “The Fourth Turning”.

    “Millennial” – understand that you have a lot to teach the “Boomers”.

    “Boomers” – Understand that you dont know everything and can listen/learn…. dont get the “powdered butt syndrome”!

    Sorry Jack…. Had to use your powdered butt syndrome!

    • Haven’t listened yet, but as soon as I saw the title, I thought of the book “The Fourth Turning.” Hard to believe, but Generation Z is going to be in the same position as the so-called “Greatest Generation” in WWII. Our crisis is coming. It may not fully manifest itself until the 2020’s, but yes, Jack, I agree, we should be encouraging these kids now, and showing them the benefits of making a life for yourself outside the system.

  7. Yep, I was going to say, how many college graduates today could stand in front of an audience and articulate and defend a position in whatever they area of study.

  8. An another amazing show. I have been listening to Jack back when he drove the Jetta and played that other song and Jack has always been great. It has been so rewarding to listen to him mature on the air over the years (as many of us have also matured and gotten better over the years). However since his vacation to Sanibel Island he has kicked up another gear! Almost all the shows are insightful and thought provoking like today’s episode, I don’t know how Jack does it.

  9. Great show jack. I am part of the millennial generation who grew up in the UK and I just wanted to let you know this episode really inspired me. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a few years and have never posted a comment before but felt I had to today. Thank you, from Shropshire England.

  10. I’m a late Gen-X’er (born mid-70’s), and in many ways I feel it’s the responsibility of people my age to mentor the Millenials and enable the transition to a new kind of economy and new way of living. To a large extent their parents and teachers have failed to teach them what they need, and now that they’re grown (and in many cases see their parents & teachers have taught them poorly) they won’t look towards their parents and the ‘established elders’ so much for advice or mentoring.

    People my age may only be a decade or so older, but we generally grew up at a time where we were still allowed to be independent and play, learn, and explore without constant neverending supervision, coddling, and helicopter-parenting. We were exposed and adapted to the tools of the internet in our late formative years, yet still had the experience of learning how to do things ‘pre-internet’ (i.e. work to discover the answer instead of having it given to us). We’re old enough to have had some time to learn the ropes on the current economy and way of doing things, yet we’re still young enough to not be irrevocably tied to the status quo and still have the ability (and willingness) to adapt to big changes.

    The way I see it is the Millienials and the generation that comes after (which includes my two small children) are the ones who will build the new society and economy. But those my age need to be the ones to use our experience and (limited) resources to not only be mentors, but to help make the transition from the old to the new possible and when possible influence the shape of what’s to come (so as not to repeat prior generations’ mistakes). Some might say that Gen-X is caught between the old and the new and getting the worst of both worlds (destined to pay most of our lives into SS and entitlements but likely to see them mostly disappear when we get old), but I honestly think our timing in history gives us a unique perspective and opportunities.

    • @Nickbert, I agree Gen X, should actually strive to be the “Bridge Generation”. We need to tell the Millennials what many of their parents won’t the key is many Millennials have Gen X parents. There is a big gray blob of over lap there.

      May be my gray blob is a bit skewed though?

      My father was 19 when I was born, my mother 17, so that is young parents. I was 24 when I met my wife and became a step parent. At that point my son was 7 already, he is now 25. I guess there are very few people born in 72 with parents only 17-19 years older than they are and a 25 year old child an a 3 year old grand son. At least people like that that are not on Welfare etc.

      • Yeah there is certainly some overlap, but I think your suspicion that you are more the exception than the rule is probably right. Given the broadest definition of Gen-X is from 1961-1981 (as defined by Strauss and Howe) and that on average that generation started families later in life as compared to the prior generations (myself being a prime example), I’d say Gen-X as a percentage of parents to Millenials is likely the minority, and many of those Millenials are not yet adults.

        I like the term ‘Bridge’ generation. Hopefully if things don’t get totally screwed up, that’s how we’ll be known 30 years from now.

  11. To be honest, I don’t think its JUST this generation. All the generations are having their own moments. I just think that the youngest generation is always the one in the lime light because they’re always the “upcoming generation”.

    The baby boomers have ran everything into the ground and are looking around aimlessly at whose to blame for why they can no longer retire. They spent their entire lives thinking they were going to retire, and guess what, they’re not. When they look around now that they’re older and they’ve fucked the younger generations there will be nobody to help them.

    The Gen Xers are looking around and realizing the bag of goods they were sold was actually full of shit. There is nothing to this “work your whole life” scam, and they’ve already wasted the best years of their life for some shit show going nowhere that they won’t get a gold pen at the end. No, they’re not at “retirement” age but they sure as hell are trapped. (or so they think they are).

    The reality is this entire society is being shaken and shaken and shaken and all the bullshit that has been hidden under the carpet for 100 years is finally poking its way out.

      • I agree. I’ll tell you what though, the one thing about the babying mentality of the latest generation, while creating teacups and the least equipped to deal with this world, is likely to create an entire generation who HAS to figure it out on their own and are already doing things completely different than those before them. But maybe that is my optimistic and biased side of viewing things.

        The latest london real has a guy who immigrated from Russia (to canada) and at the age of 27 has a multi-million dollar revenue business selling hair extensions. He said (as we all know) you’re shaped by your failures. I think what has ended up happening is that the latest generation has had their failures put on hold until they’ve reached “real life” rather than getting out small incremental ones as a kid.

        We might end up seeing the most trial by fire generation in recent history as a result. If not this generation, than perhaps the next.

        • I don’t think you are overly optimistic. I expect great things from this group of young people.

          Part of the problem is we point to the IDIOTS and act as if they are a representation of the whole.

          We both know that Gens, X, Tweener, Boomer and WWII all have more than their fair share of morons. How would you like to be judged by the lowest common denominator of GenX? I know I don’t want that!

      • I meant to add to this that I’m now seeing my parents very VERY much “lost”. They take advice from me now, not the other way around. (I do ask them about certain things that I think they might know, mostly because its what they’re doing now).

        My dad was forced to learn all sorts of practical skills, and when it came time to pass them on to me, he didn’t. My dad said to me when I was like 22 and we were working on my car, “My dad taught me all these skills and I didn’t want them, but I guess its useful now.” Well no shit sherlock… hah.

        He couldn’t stand his hard ass dad, who wasn’t perfect, and made shitty decisions from time to time. What I realize all these years later even looking at my child hood, instead of bitching, lets take what we can learn from our parents, be thankful just for that, and the gaps and holes, we’ll figure out ourselves.

        • Mike, the “lost parents” comment really got me. Watched my father work himself like a corporate slave my entire life. Everything was work and save, then work some more. Ten years we did not speak as he was too “busy”. Reach out when his first grand child born, too “busy” working on that promotion to engineering director.

          It is as if they never realized that the corporate world will put even their best slaves out to pasture. Now with arthritis, back problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, general joint pains etc. he wants to start doing things with his family. Yay, for the golden years they promised eh? Yay, for the rewards society sold ya on only to reach your sixties and your kids and grandkids are like “dude, I don’t know you”. At least he can enjoy his fat savings account, wonder if he has tried snuggling those dollars. It is gonna hurt when they realize all that money saved up is already earmarked by the health care industry but they don’t know it quite yet. And it is amazing, at this point in life they “suddenly find Jesus”.

  12. Absolutely outstanding podcast, you might even consider adding this one to the “Shows for New Listeners” page.

    Jim H
    (old guy)

  13. Hey Jack. On the quitting an activity thing, my wife and I have told our son that if he commits to XYZ program he should complete that session/season. Your thoughts on this angle would be appreciated.

    • Years ago I would have agreed. Now I don’t. Your child is a child in the full meaning of the world a VERY short time.

      1-5 you get more out of it than they do
      16+ the world really catches up with them and they start to have to grow up very fast.

      That leaves 5-15, 10 years of real childhood.

      If a child wants to quit soccer, baseball, football, etc. We tell them bullshit like “the team is counting on you”. The bullshit is deep on so many levels!

      1. The kid that wants to quit sucks at the activity that is why they want to quit, the team won’t care, they are not counting on them.

      2. Who wins or looses a Pop Warner or Little League game doesn’t matter. You are telling them something is important when it is meaningless. I have medals, trophies, etc that were earned in a box in an attic collecting dust in a shanty in Pennsylvania. Was any of it important to me really?

      I could keep going but I think you get the point. What are you teaching a child by making them continue to do that which they hate. If it is three months, that represents 2.5% of that ten years! Why, to prove you are a strict or strong parent. Not needed kids give you plenty of times you have to be tough and strong and hold the line, why do it when it doesn’t matter?

      “If you quit T-Ball Timmy you will regret for the rest of your life.”

      Seriously? What a fing load of BS!

      I mean in the end it depends. Like I said, I would never say no, I would ask why, ask if something is wrong or if they just plain don’t enjoy it. By the way THEY WILL NEVER BE HONEST in that if they don’t think you will listen and make a fair decision rather than just saying “finish what you start”.

      Finishing what we start is how we got a trillion dollars in student debt for degrees our generation and theirs don’t use. Do you really want to teach “finish what you start” to the absence of critical thinking and individual context? I don’t!

      My response once I had a discussion and we decide together that yes, quitting makes sense here is.

      1. You are going to be a young man or woman and you are going to tell you teacher/coach/etc. face to face that you have chosen to do something you enjoy more. I will be there with you but you are going to do it. I promise you he/she is going to be polite and thank you for your honesty, if I am required to put my foot in his/her ass and require them to be as respectful of you as you are of them, I’ll do it. It’s my job and you trust me right?

      2. Okay well this activity was 1 hour two days a week and an hour on Saturday. (or what ever it is). You committed that time to your personal development. You can quit this activity but what do you want to do with that time. We need to find something so you make use of that time and enjoy it at the same time. It isn’t going to be playing video games or taking a nap.

      Now would you rather be that dad or the dad that just says, finish what you start?

      • Thanks Jack. I understand what you have said. And yes we try to have an honest discussion as to why he is feeling this way. I also make a point, per previous shows, to let him speak and explain himself, even to the point of stopping his mother and saying let him finish his though.
        Thanks again for your perspective.

  14. An absolute excellent podcast Jack, thank you! I’m almost 44 and have a son who’s almost 8 and I’ve already been instilling many of these (age appropriate) concepts into him. Although I already subscribe to these ideals myself, it always helps to hear them from someone else on occation…..helps to stay the course in this crazy wonderful world.

    So thanks again!

    Todd Fenwick

  15. This seems almost the opposite of “I’m worried about these kids today.” I remember back in the early 90s hearing talk about Gen X and people wondering if we would ever pull our heads out. This reminded me of my dad telling me stories about being a young man and my grandfather wondering when he and his friends were going to pull their heads out. When there’s not a clearly defined path for you, you’re going to struggle. When there is rapid change in the world you can’t see a clearly defined path. Sometimes when you’re bushwacking you back track a little here and there to see if you can find a better path. Your progress is slower for a while, but you keep moving forward.

  16. I think it’s best to do away with labeling generations. Its seems to be a phenomena only in the US. Everywhere else there are only three kinds of generations singles, married with no grand kids, and grand parents. It is that 3 generation spectrum that constitutes the family. Children know where they come from and where they are going thanks to their parents and grandparents having an active role in their lives.

    • I agree. I guess it just came from attempts to group large segments of the population based upon “common struggles”.

  17. On that line of thinking, let’s do away with that horrible word: Teen. It should be boys to men and girls to women with a few years between innocence and adult life to find the way into adulthood.

  18. Great podcast, Jack! I’m 28 and getting married in 9 days. We hope to start a family soon and I want to do my best to instill the independence and self-determination that I have into my kids. A big part of why I am so independent today is because my mother pounded it into my head growing up and she forced me to do a lot by myself because she was taking care of my two younger twin sisters and my older brother who was getting into trouble. Of course, my mom was always there when I needed her, but, if there was something I didn’t truly need her for or she didn’t know the answer, she made me figure it out myself. I don’t think she really understood how helpful that was for me. She just didn’t have time to take care of everyone and I was the most independent of the bunch so I just naturally did things myself. One of the biggest things she made me figure out for myself was my career and education….mostly because she didn’t know what to tell me. Now that I’m getting ready to be a parent, I feel like the best thing I can do for my kids is to let them figure out life on their own terms (with some guidance, of course). Life never goes the same for the next generation. You can give them all the advice in the world and advice is really important, but they have to go implement that advice and observe and interact with their own life and figure out what works for them as individuals.

  19. That fear of failure is so powerful, it can absolutely run your life. I’m 25 and, having never been allowed to truly “fail”, am struggling greatly with that right now. Though, I did have an interesting thought this morning: I think, since I was always praised for mediocrity and in some ways was never allowed to truly “succeed”, that I also have a fear of success. Talk about messed-up psychology!

    Anyway, great podcast and I hope to put some of this advice to use. The last few months have been enlightening for me due to some personal issues and I think now I’m headed in the right direction.

    • So let me do in 60 seconds what no one in your life ever apparently cared about you enough to do.

      Here you go,

      Tough shit, such is life, get the fuck over. Go out and fucking fail a few times and sooner or later you will actually succeed and you’ll conquer the fear of both at the same time. No one will do it for you, no one give a fuck about you as much as you, so love yourself enough to prove that you can do great things and then you will truly be able to help others. Loving yourself is not a crime or to be shamed as you have been taught!

      There are only two absolute emotions, love and hate, all others are simply derivatives of those two. Hence one either loves himself or hates himself, he who hates himself is of no use to anyone else.

      Man the fuck up, pick a few battles, draw your fucking sword and charge into them, get it done or fail, either way you win in the end. If your path is shitty find a new path and anyone that expects an apology because you did what was right for you, isn’t worth your time in doing so.

      The future is yours if you claim it, and it owns your sorry ass if you don’t. Grow up, grab life by the balls and make something of yourself. It isn’t easy, tough shit that is why it is meaningful. I believe that you can succeed but will not lie to you and say you have until you do. Now get the fuck on with it, plenty of people are more disadvantaged and screwed up then you are.

      Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink. Solutions require effort, that is why people pay for them. Leave your excuses behind and start creating solutions for both yourself and others.

      You are welcome! Now don’t you have something to be doing?

      • Jack. that’s awesome. being 26 and a college drop out to become an apprentice electrician 5 years ago saved me time, money, and has resulted in attaining a skill that no one can take from me. i’m a journeyman now and my college graduate friends at best make the same as me. they also have WAY MORE debt than i do.

        im saving the above statements to read whenever i feel overwhelmed and feel like the situation is too much. as always thank you for inspiring my generation. i hope you realize that you may have helped save thousands of us.

        so now i’ll be logging off and getting my tools ready for tomorrow. i have much to do and as always…. “tick tock” “tick tock” “tick tock”.

  20. Just a quick quote I like, to share…

    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”?
    — Michael Jordan

  21. Sent this episode off to my daughter…who was trained by the current college system and is basically socialist. She is a high school English teacher in Illinois (another tragedy) who is learning the gov’t run school system is doomed. She HATES her job. From time to time, glimmers of common sense do twinkle in her mind. I continue to send her your podcasts, Jack. Now and then she actually does listen. Awakening can be a very slow process.

    Love the rooster crowing in the background of the podcast. What a glorious sound.

  22. It’s funny that this episode came out just one day after my son, 19, went on a “Jack Rant” about this very subject.
    He’s very resistant to listening to TSP, but I would really like to get him to listen to this episode.
    Thanks to you, Jack. I understand much better now what Brody was trying to say. If I can get him to listen, I think it will help him understand his feelings much better and make better use of his frustration.
    Jack, you have a great gift for bringing clarity to complex subjects. Keep up the good work.

    • Cut a deal, surely there is something he would like you to consider/listen to/watch etc.

  23. Great show! I have told my boys and my Scouts that they have never succeeded at anything they didn’t fail at miserably first. They didn’t breath, swallow or walk with falling, choking wheezing, etc.. It has made a difference! They are more willing to at least try new things!

    Good stuff and keep up the good work.

  24. Excellent ‘cast; I will be encouraging my 15 y old daughter to listen to it. She is currently stressing out over subject choices for her final two years of high school here in Australia- I think this might put it into perspective a little for her.

  25. I am a 51 year old, so does that make me a Boomer or X’r. I don’t really identify with the Boomers. But this was a refreshing reset on the issue. I will look at this generation with a less critical eye now