Saturday, August 7, 2010


Byron forwards us an interesting article from Time magazine which discusses the attitudes of the demographic known as the "millenials." According to Time writer Nancy Gibbs:

Today's kids aren't taking up arms against their parents; they're too busy texting them. The members of the millennial generation, ages 18 to 29, are so close to their parents that college students typically check in about 10 times a week, and they are all Facebook friends. Kids and parents dress alike, listen to the same music and fight less than previous generations, and millennials assert that older people's moral values are generally superior to their own.

Yet even more young people perceive a gap. According to a recently released Pew Research Center report, 79% of millennials say there is a major difference in the point of view of younger and older people today. Young Americans are now more educated, more diverse, more optimistic and less likely to have a job than previous generations. But it is in their use of technology that millennials see the greatest difference, starting perhaps with the fact that 83% of them sleep with their cell phones. Change now comes so strong and fast that it pulls apart even those who wish to hang together--and the future belongs to the strong of thumb.

In some respects the millennials emerge as radically conventional. Asked about their life goals, 52% say being a good parent is most important to them, followed by having a successful marriage; 59% think that the trend of more single women having children is bad for society. While more tolerant than older generations, they are still more likely to disapprove of than support the trend of unmarried couples living together. While they're more politically progressive than their elders, you could argue that their strong support for gay marriage and interracial marriage reflects their desire to extend traditional institutions as widely as possible.

They are also unconventionally conventional. They are, for example, the least officially religious of any modern generation, and fully 1 in 4 has no religious affiliation at all. On the other hand, they are just as spiritual, just as likely to believe in miracles and hell and angels as earlier generations were. They pray about as much as their elders did when they were young--all of which suggests that they have not lost faith in God, only in the institutions that claim to speak for him.

I don't know what to make of all this or the other findings reported by Gibbs, but it's interesting that there's not much distance between the beliefs and values of the young and those of their elders. As I reflect upon that fact I have to say that I really don't know whether that's good or bad.


Michelle Antoinette

The price tag for Michelle and Sasha Obama's lavish bit of self-indulgence in Spain tops out at $375,000 according to an article in Daily Mail U.K. How much of that will be paid by you and me is unknown, but certainly the plane and secret service expenses will. Moreover, this is Michelle's eighth taxpayer subsidized vacation this summer.

I'm waiting for the left, which would be having a cow had Nancy Reagan or Laura Bush done something like this, to point out the tacky unseemliness of the First Lady's extravagance while so many in this country are hurting. It seems as if the Obamas, who love to spend other people's money on galas and vacations, are tone deaf to how tawdry this all looks to the American people (Go to the link for details and photos of the opulence to which Ms Obama has treated herself.).

As another example of their dissipation, we learn that Mr. Obama employed Marine One, his personal helicopter, to transport him six miles across town to give a speech on the economy the other day. And he has the chutzpah to lecture us about the need to conserve energy and buy electric cars?

Do liberals no longer identify with the common people? Do they no longer empathize with the unemployed family, the family on welfare? I wonder how much empathy Michelle was feeling gliding around Spain with her huge entourage. The Obamas pay lip service to their concern for hurting Americans, but when they conduct themselves like third world oligarchs luxuriating in the perquisites of power they make themselves look like common hypocrites.

It's bad enough that the Obamas are bent on transferring wealth from those who pay taxes to those who don't, but it's quite outrageous that they also seem bent on transferring wealth from those who work to earn it to those like themselves who think they're entitled to it.

As for the beleaguered Americans who must write the checks for the Obamas' voluptuous lifestyle while their homes are in foreclosure and their jobs are drying up - let them eat cake.