back to article Young people are lazy, think world owes them a living - prof

It's official. Proper actual science has confirmed that the young Westerners of Generation Y (people now in their 20s) are idle, workshy loafers by comparison to their elders. They are also think that the world owes them a handsome living, having higher expectations of salary and status than their predecessors. "With more and …

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  1. Eddie Edwards
    Coat

    How ironic

    There I was thinking it was the 40-year-olds who were demanding more money and shorter working hours.

    These whippersnappers taking on 12-hour days for a quarter of my salary are starting to be a worry.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Coat

      Huh?

      Look, all the survey shows is that the 'young whipper snappers' are smart enough to recognize that if they are going to pay you X for your work and force you to work 12 hour days, then they should get .75% of X because they know that its still at a discount to X.

      To them, getting their degree means that they paid their 'dues' unlike us older folks who went through the cycle....

      With the globalization of the workforce, the MBA mentality is that worker X == worker Y == worker Z.

      We know that this is not the case and that quality suffers, but try telling that to an MBA wonk who's really an idiot who could bluff his way through school.

      If you want to see the results, ask Toyota what caused their latest recall? Was it a software glitch? Wonder how that happened? ... ;-)

      But hey! What do I know? I'm just an old school programmer who understands the effects a culture has on producing coders and their thought processes. ;-)

      -G

      1. Quirkafleeg
        WTF?

        Re: Huh?

        Er… 0.75%?

  2. Random Noise

    Real problem

    "stop hassling the kids and start picking on Western society's real problem group instead"

    What you mean the work-shy politicians who want more money all the time for fuck all real work?

  3. Elmer Phud

    Old ways are best

    Aren't there records of this sort of thing being common throughout the ages?

    The Greeks moaned about it, the Roamans and no doubt there are cave pantings somewhere depicting lazy yoofs dragging a spear behind them with no real intention of trying to stab a mammoth but wanting to be first in the queue for the liver.

    Another ground-breaking investigation that says that young people are normal for young people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Real problem

      ...and there I was thinking the real problem group are the out of control capitalists doing things like leading our banks to the brink of extinction, financing America's constant military activities (57 years now and counting!) and giving wodges of dosh to dictators so they can tap into cheap labout markets.

      Admittedly, the politicians are just as bad!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well..

        If you put the two posts together you get something more specific: politicians who are capitalists, and sell out their country for corporate money.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        yeah

        Yeah becouse countries with Socialist policticans are so much better, wait wasn't France's youth unemployment around 25% darn... guess that's no good either.

    2. moonface

      Old ways are best ......but only if you are old

      Agree ageist nepotism has been going on for generations.

      I.e. All those various quotes.....the young are hearty liberals....the old are mad, if not conservative...etc.

      The young do not start with an equitable share of the world’s resources and want to change the system, to demand their share more quickly.

      Gradually, they become older and over time acquire a greater proportion of resource, they understandably support the system, as they wish to hold on to what they have.

      These reports are just the spurious outbursts, of the propaganda war.

      Simples...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Flame

        Broken Cycle

        "The only thing I hate more than hippies, neo-liberals fascists and anarchists are the hypocrite fat-cat suits they eventually all grow up to be."

        It used to be the case that generations moved on (mortally) with resources trickling down through the younger generations as a result. This has kinda come to a temporary halt with the Boomer generation; the most persistently lazy, hypocritical, self-absorbed generation still living.

        * The boomer generation got rich like no other generation off the back of economies based upon always cheap oil, and when oil stopped being cheap with the 70s oil crisis the boomers decided to ignore the problem leaving it for their kids and grand-kids to pay for when they are no longer paying tax and when oil has become anything but cheap, i.e., right now.

        * The boomers leaving GenX and GenY'rs in the UK with a WWII sized national debt and ever increasing taxes to service the debt, and the health and pension care cost for the long lived boomers.

        * Boomers insistence that nothing has every really topped the 60s/70s while denying all memory of those years except to add that they didn't inhale.

        * Most generations tend to leave the next generation better off, if only by a little, boomers look to want to take it all with them.

        * Why. No. Flying. Cars?!?!?!

        I could go on but I'd only start frothing in earnest.

    3. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      Be Thankful That...

      ...you don't get all the government you pay for.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    everyone sucks

    In Group A you have lazy work shy employees who want to do as little work as possible for as much reward as possible (i.e. everyone in the public sector)

    In Group B you have callous private sector employers reluctantly handing over the minimum legal amounts of money, time off and rewards to their employees, pocketing as much as possible for themselves and, if they can't find a loophole, paying the goobers in Group A through taxes.

    Then you've got the bastards in the financial sector who will happily skull ---- there own grandmother if it'll make them an extra million - which they will dutifully burn on tasteless extravagance.

  5. Chris Miller
    Boffin

    "not proper science"

    The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the 'social sciences' is: some do, some don't. - Ernest Rutherford (Baron Rutherford of Nelson) 1871-1937

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Boffin

      He also said...

      "All science is either physics or stamp collecting."

      As a physicist, I completely agree...

      1. andyA
        Alert

        almost, but not quite

        http://xkcd.com/435/

    2. Paul 4
      Happy

      You forgot...

      Group C... Workshy dole scroungers pissed on cheep cider.

      Now that's everyone insulted :)

  6. Rob Davis
    Thumb Up

    A balanced reg article

    Thanks for balancing the discussion with your final paragraphs in favour of the GenMe/GenY (My demographics mean I don't belong to this group (but close to it in some ways) BTW so my feedback is not self-serving).

    According to how you report their survey, they have a point about the increasing demands of this social group but they fail to explain why, dismissing these as unjustified.

    Your interpretation offers reasons why - which have gravity: increasing housing costs and longer hours to meet these. Before I got to the last paragraphs I was ready to say "too right", but was enlightened by your views when I finished the article.

    Refreshing to read your interpretation that avoids clique maintenance whereby a generation views others with disregard and less worth than themselves.

  7. Semaj
    Headmaster

    title

    It would be more accurate to say that people of my generation (who are apparently lazy) actually get stuff done without having to do overtime because they have better tools available and aren't too stupid to figure out how to use them (as pretty much everyone of "generation x" seem to be). This obviously makes the older crowd feel a little jealous.

    However - there are A LOT of work shy wasters of my age here in the UK. They don't get jobs though they just sponge off the rest of us. Please don't lump me in with them.

    Oh and narcissism is much better than pitiful modesty.

  8. andy 103
    Coat

    im lazy...

    ... i cant even finish writing this comm

    1. sabba
      Big Brother

      But you're all winners...

      ...no losers here anymore. It's your human right to do f***k all for more reward!!

      Welcome to the 21st Century.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Fellow GenMe here

      "Oh and narcissism is much better than pitiful modesty"

      Wait what? I wasn't aware people actually believed that.

    3. YetAnotherMatt
      Troll

      @Semaj

      Are you commenting on the 'digital immigrant' vs 'digital native' divide, or just accusing everybody older than you of being stupid?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Narcissism vs 'pitiful' modesty

      Narcissism:

      Big Brother.

      Gangster culture

      Eighties 'Loads o' money' mentality

      A male cosmetics industry – cosmetic being the operative word

      North Korea

      Zimbabwe

      Peter Andre

      Max Clifford

      'Pitiful' Modesty:

      the Dalai Lama

      Ghandi

      Nelson Mandela

      Martin Luther King

  9. Citizen Kaned

    times have changed....

    for the better in many respects. i bought my house 5 years before my mum and dad could afford to buy one (relatively lol) but on the flipside my fiance will most likely have to work most of her life, unlike my mother.

    personally i say 5 days on 2 days off can fuck right off! ive been on a 4 day week for the last year (when we had redundancies i said i would go to 4 days and freelance the friday). have i done any? nope. its been the best year of employment in my career. every friday off!

    if we could only sort out society so that we worked less days (i still work 8am to 5pm), maybe more people could jobshare, employment would rocket, and although we are a little bit less off we are much happier and can spend more time with family etc. some people love working (never met one myself) but unless i was megan foxes knickers i couldnt think of a job i would want to do for 40 hours a week! i also think they might want to get a better life if work is so good (generally escaping from kids and mrs from my experience)

    of course with tiny unemployment, tax would go down and so might crime.

    surely there has to be more to life that working most of your day?

  10. morphoyle

    French?

    To summarize - All of generation Y is French?

  11. lglethal Silver badge
    FAIL

    What a crock...

    Every generation is made up of a combination of people who either a) try to work as little as possible whilst trying to earn as much as possible; or b) those that are willing to work extra hours and extra hard for that little bit extra.

    I certainly fall into category A whilst my flatmate (same age as me) is defintely a catgeory B. From the older generation my Dad was a definite category B, whilst our next door neighbour (same age as my dad) was a definite catgeory A. All of us are professionals who are good at our job, but we have different focuses in life, thats just the way we are. My dad lived to work, i work to live. Neither is better or worse, just different.

    With the release of these sorts of results being heralded as some sort of scientific breakthrough, social sciences will fall that little further into the realms of ridicule...

  12. Russ Tarbox

    In our computerised age...

    ...I suspect we are achieving more, even with more days off and having our washing done for us by our employers.

  13. mikey1966
    Alert

    OMG!!! Logan's Run???

    Carousel here we come...

    from:

    Shivering in fetal position GenXer

  14. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    What...

    ... a complete and utter twenge.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Well, how about proper pay?

    Like, pay you can actually live of in a way that reflects your output? No? Sorry, but experiencing work/payoff imbalance "due to the economy" while I'm still being taxed to death and nickled and dimed at every corner completely messes with my attitude towards work, dunno why that is. Won't reflect it too much, since I'm too lazy.

  16. neverSteady

    What do you expect?

    This is how our education system works. Don't actually instill any kind of work ethic in the new generations, instead just make the exams easier and easier in an effort to improve grades across the board.

    Mind you, if I were a kid just out of school, I certainly wouldn't be bloody working if I could get away with it. You're supposed to have fun when you're a young adult, go travel, see the world, live from bins, not bow to the pressure of your older peers.

    Anyway, with the amount of money our ancestors have paid out to all these international mega-corporations, I think it's about time they started spreading the love (and cash) a bit more. :D

  17. Yaaaa

    to paraphrase Homer Simpson

    everyone is lazy, except me

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Could it

    Could it be any way related to the government's official policy of children only being praised for their schoolwork, and never criticised?

    Spare the rod and spoil the child, or something.

    Christ this makes me sound like a Daily Mail reader...now I know what anonymity button is for.

    Paris...because nobody understands the concept of money for nothing better.

  19. Jason 24
    WTF?

    An article not too long back..

    I seem to remember an article on here not too long back regarding uni leavers and how they are all expecting to waltz into a company and get the most amazing job going in there, due to the unis over selling what they offer. So part of the initial arguments in this article could well be related to that, young people are promised the world by colleges/unis and then expect it to be delivered?

    I think a larger part of this however is down to the fact that people are better off being on benefits than starting part time jobs. Looking around I can see hundreds of part time jobs, but I know people currently living on JSA and housing benefit and they get £45 or whatever a week in JSA. If they then start earning £100 per week on a part time job the extra £55 is taken straight off them toward the housing benefit and they get the same £45, despite working.

    Now tell me, who in their right mind would happily work for nothing extra?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To quote Bart Simpson

      "Working is for chumps." To which replied Homer, "Son, I'm proud of you. I was twice your age when I figured that out."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        To quote Ashlee Simpson...

        Oh sh*t, they've started without me.

    2. Adam Williamson 1
      FAIL

      No.

      "Could it be any way related to the government's official policy of children only being praised for their schoolwork, and never criticised?"

      Given that the study was done in the US, no, probably not.

      I suppose your teacher didn't cane you hard enough when you failed at reading comprehension?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting

    Frankly at 27 I doubt I could put myself into this. But basically for me I have skills I like to use them but I also want to be payed fairly(no that does NOT mean 1% above minimal wage). I'll work 8h/day for that not a problem. But it really depends on the work. If I need to handle Windows systems then I want a 20% higher premium because I value my sanity more. If it's Unix/Linux I'm happy with what I get.

    I'm lazy as hell but I'll do the work given to me in a timely manner. There is a difference between being lazy vs not wanting to work. I like working if the work is interesting. And I will work to the best of my ability. It's my own pride that causes this. Sadly most others in the same age group seem to be more interested in the pay check then in the work.

    I guess I'm lucky that I have a place to stay that doesn't cost me(as in my huge room at home). I pay my part of the costs and groceries. What good is for a young person to flee home as soon as they can if all they do then is spent 12h/day working for that paycheck that mostly goes to covering their rent or new home.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    This article's commentards

    When I saw the title of the article I expected the comments to be full of the usual parade of ageing IT warriors bitter at seeing the younger generation come in and shake things up a bit.

    I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that this hasn't been the case (so far), I always enjoy a bit of vitriol with my lunch. Standards are slipping....

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge
      WTF?

      Freaky!

      Apart from the living at home bit (I couldn't wait to leave uni) you seem like my absolute double.

      Lazy - Check

      Do required work - check

      Expect higher pay for Windows - check

      Like the work if interesting - check...

      I'm starting to wonder if I have some mental problem which has caused me to forget posting an ever-so-slightly inaccurate comment here... I recently told the DVLA I was 27, when I'm actually 28, due to forgetting how old I was.

      Ah well, if I'm loosing my marbles, at least I'm enjoying it :)

      1. KrimZon

        blah

        I started forgetting my age around my mid twenties too. I thought I was a year older because I'd been anticipating being that particular age for no real reason, and then I reached that age and had a nice birthday where I didn't feel any older.

        As for wages, my dad keeps saying that nobody wants to pay a proper wage any more, and he's in his sixties. (And I agree with that).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Yer Furgettin one thing

    Don't forget this spoiled generation, got a free ride from their parents for 20+ years on average. Perhaps we should require that this be paid back, like college loans, which of course would be many times more expensive than the modest pensions you are braying about.

  23. Nuke
    Coat

    Anecdotal evidence supports this.

    Anecdotal evidence supports this. But the report sounds only about the workplace and not at home. Laziness in the younger generation is even more noticable there.

    I am of the older generation and spend most of my waking hours working, including the hours outside employment. I am currently redecorating two rooms simultaneously (one involving re-plumbing), getting an overgrown one-acre garden under control, moving a large greenhouse and recovering the data from a failed disk drive. After that I'll be installing a hot water tank, repairing a roof, re-painting the house outside and extending a garage. As well as routine car and house maintenance, developing for a software project and running several web-sites. OK, those last are hobbies.

    Having grown up with me, my daughter is shocked by the laziness of her live-in boy-friend - he does no jobs at home at all. Other younger visitors are gob-smacked by the scale of the work I do at home.

    But a large proportion of men of my generation do similar, and did when younger too. In the 1970's most men under 25 spent their weekends "doing up" old cars and keeping them running. Now all the younger people that I know expect to buy new cars and not to open the bonnet.

    My niece works full time so considers herself entitled to do no work at home. Her husband works full time too and does all the cooking and housework, but nothing else. (Dual incomes is the reason for high house prices btw). Any repair job around the house is done by a white van man. Wondered why there are so many white vans driving around? - there were nowhere near so many 20 years ago. On Saturdays he is entirely involved with watching football (including travelling for aways), and on Sundays he recovers from Saturdays. She reads magazines, shops and chats to friends all weekend.

    YMMV, but historically, there *are* cultural changes between the generations.

    Asbestos Jacket.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Generational? Or just life-stage related?

    I'm not so sure whether it's more that people who're only just entering the workforce have less realistic expectations than those who have been working for decades and thus have experience both of what it's like, and a good picture of where they fit in to things.

    Did they compare Boomers/Xers now against youngsters now, or as they were in the '60s/'70s/'80s?

    Put it this way...

    When my dad entered work, on a shop floor with lots of young workers, it was perfectly normal to "make up" jobs to show the time and measures man; this meant they got... wait for it... paid more for less work. His contemporaries had a terrible attitude, resented their elders for earning more and holding higher-status positions, and all the things this study points out as Millennial-specific characteristics.

    Admittedly a sample size of one isn't particularly useful, but given "lazy youngsters" has been such a longstanding theme of history, it does suggest this is merely a state of mind that people go through as they start work - and that time/experience tends to modulate the less realistic of their expectations.

  25. mmm mmm

    l

    "Funnily enough, it seems that what they want is more pay for less work."

    Isn't that what everyone wants?

    1. pj3090

      Kids these days

      You goddam kids with your hair and your music! Get offa my lawn!

    2. pj3090

      You are wrong in one respect

      A sample size of one isn't just useful, it's decisive. As long as it's my sample. That's how things work on the internet.

    3. Adam Williamson 1
      WTF?

      Free ride?

      "Don't forget this spoiled generation, got a free ride from their parents for 20+ years on average. Perhaps we should require that this be paid back, like college loans, which of course would be many times more expensive than the modest pensions you are braying about."

      It's actually Gen X that got the free ride; your employers and the government committed to benefits for you which they have massively underfunded. Younger generations will take a hit on their benefits, pay and taxes for many years to fund the cost of your pensions.

      You also seem to be forgetting the part of your life where you have a rather good statistical chance of being severely disabled and requiring very expensive full-time care. Which your kids will probably have to pay for...

      (What is it with 'this generation', anyway? Are you suggesting previous generations didn't shelter, clothe and feed their children?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Golding Childcare Standard

        Prior to WW2 most families used island daycare centers (leading to the original phrase "spare the boulder and spoil the child"), but this was mainly for the boys, girls being mainly consigned to stables and learning bto rush hair and how to grow-up as a horse, which was a prized trait among the British upper-class in particular even now.

        The sad truth is that the generous welfare state (universal education, health care, cradle-to-grave social care, etc.) has favoured those born and raised closest to its inception, with the current generation finding that they are paying for their own 3rd level education (fees and living cost), paying for their own pensions rather than seeing even partial employer payments ("final salary" is now meaningless), private dental care, rationed health-care, private child care (since both parents often have to work).

        GenY isn't the me-generation, its the why-me-generation, the generation that arrived at the party of western civilization to find that it was 4am, the booze low, the bathroom full of sick, useless grumpy bodies decorating sofas and occupying all the beds, and a rumor that neighbors might turn vigilante after the police ignored the rumpus and chaos earlier in the party. Still at least the music got better.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't see the problem..

      If you have the money to do so, why not do that? Life is ultimately for living!

      Now, admittedly, I'm mid to late thirties and have recently tiled a floor, re-felted a roof as well as usual house and computing maintenance.

      Of course, the main reason I do this myself, aside from learning new skills, is to save money. I feel slightly better that now I know how to correctly cut and lay tiles, but I'd prefer it the time was spent on tasks I enjoy or I believe make a difference. If the cost after buying tiles and grout and budgeting for a proper tile cutter wasn't that difficult I'd have got a professional in and saved several evenings of hassle.

      Once I've paid the mortgage off, assuming I have plenty of spare cash, my priorities may shift.. 'He was really good at DIY' is not a great epithet - 'They went to lots of exciting places and created new things/helped other people' is.

  26. iMlite
    Pint

    What's New?

    But, this has been happening for years!

    I remember when I left uni I wanted an easy job with lots of spare time (much as my life had been the preceding 5 years), but with the money to enjoy my spare time. What I discovered was work is hell when compared to university life, the only redeeming factor was the financial gain. This gain became essential as I progressed in life. I always remember a couple of friends who, after graduating, went and lived in a squat doing odd jobs to extend their benefits. When they reached their mid 30’s they looked around and panicked – both retrained one becoming a social worker the other a nurse.

    These days, with more people going to uni, the mentality to enjoy life with limited work but maximum income is more of a social norm. The problem for them now is that, with a glut of this mentality and limited jobs, the potential employer can sift recruits to find those who have a traditional work ethic.

  27. zedenne
    Happy

    awesome

    "rustle the newspaper of condemnation at the kitchen table of national debate"

    love it.

  28. Chris Seiter

    From what I've seen,

    this is what happens when you let everyone win at soccer. No one in the new generation understands how to lose or how to fight for something, unless they believe they should have it because they just should. They'se so used to mommy calling up their teacher/coach/employer that they don't know how to actually deal with an environment that is based on outcome. You may have done your best but the company didn't get the contract. "It's over, you lose, good day, sir!" The whole generation may not be like that, but it skewed my view of the whole lot.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Article writen in the US so...

    ... I think them youngsters may have a point.

    My perception of having lived in the US and working with US counterparts all the time is that their work culture is messed up.

    In Europe you would legally have difficulty working the types of hours that is often expected in the US. There is almost a macho culture of working long hours for the sake of it - obviously still receiving a 40h paycheck. Then there is the 2 weeks of personal vacation.

    And of course, if you going to work that hard you must get a wacking salary.

    My problem is I found that for all their hours, I dont think they are as productive as they could be. If they actually used more grey matter and focused during their core hours, they would probably get a lot more done.

    I understand why someone starting out wouldnt want those type of hours and frankly I think its counter productive.

    Salary is a more difficult issue largely because of the salary inflation. The salaries were too high with software developers demanding $90k-$140k salaries. Its a global market now and if you ask for too much your place will be taken by a less greedy immigrant. I don't this situation but thats how things are....

    1. Lou Gosselin

      Standard of living

      We have to live and compete in whatever market we find ourselves in. It may be true that no one is "entitled" to jobs or a paycheck, but at the same time isn't it important to recognize a problem when the standard of living between generations is dropping per unit work. Even older workers are struggling through this period.

      There is no denying that costs have skyrocketed, everything from housing, food, medical, car, education, etc are alarmingly expensive (no 10c Mac-N-Cheese in my lifetime). At the same time income has been very flat for most of my career. My first FT job offered only 5 vacation days for the first two years. Unlike for previous generations, when the US actually manufactured stuff, this generation is watching jobs disappear overseas. And what about benefits? Most new workers will never see the "three legged stool". If soc sec is underfunded by the time I retire as expected, I'll be left with a pogostick.

      My point isn't merely to complain, but to state that it's understandable that younger workers are not content.

    2. Ned Leprosy

      Not just in the US

      > "In Europe you would legally have difficulty working the types of hours that is often expected in the US. There is almost a macho culture of working long hours for the sake of it - obviously still receiving a 40h paycheck. Then there is the 2 weeks of personal vacation."

      Well thank random deity for the 48-hour opt-out then, that handy little slip of paper often stapled to (as yet unsigned by the prospective employer) contracts or which the hapless employee is menacingly coerced into signing amidst mutterings of the never-to-be-seen-anyway bonus payments and the ever-looming redundancy programme. I've frequently witnessed people pressured into putting in dozens of extra hours every week for nothing more than the tomfoolery of presenteeism.

      The four or five weeks' holiday is nice, though... if you can actually get to take it. Even though some unused holiday can be theoretically carried over, some managers are adept at making their staff jump through such hoops to negotiate when they're allowed to take it that it may as well be as tight-fisted as their US cousins' fortnight off. Of course the time spent at work instead of on one's contracted holiday is about as productively spent as the not-so-voluntary unpaid overtime, i.e. not at all.

      I'm just bemused about how all this sort of foolishness came to be accepted as normal.

  30. Bassey

    Oldies

    It always amazes me how old people who, by definition, have been around a long time, accept no responsibility for the "terrible world" they are now convinced they live in. They've had 50+ years of voting, the ability to campaign, stand for election themselves, make purchasing decisions, have brought up families who often have kids themselves. But who's fault is it? It's the 14 year-old hoodies who don't even HAVE a vote yet.

    And don't get me started on the selfish old bastards who still live in their fabulous 1940s, 4-bed semi-ds but moan about how they can't look after them any more so WE should pay for people to come in and clean, cook and wipe their arses whilst they sit on £0.5M+ assets.

    People spend a lot of time moaning about this country. Whilst morally unthinkable, I've yet to come up with a rational idea as to why destroying everyone over the age of 75 would not make this country immeasurably better overnight. Sure, house prices would crash but, if the distribution of the free stock was handled sensibly, I fail to see why that would be a problem. Our health service would become the best in the world with free waiting lists etc. Social services payments cut to near zero - along with winter fuel and all the other bollocks. Shops would be free of moaning-groaning obstacles (why do ALL old people do their shopping 12-2pm on weekdays you thoughtless fuckers!?). I just can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work.

    They fought a war for "us" (I could argue against that one, too) and the country. How about they do us a REAL favour and pick a day to commit mass hari kari?

    1. Peter Kay
      Thumb Down

      I rather suspect you're trolling..

      If not, is all your housing and other facilities the bare minimum that you require, or as is more probable - is there a bit extra comfort zone to expand your comfort zone..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      In a different language

      In Malay, Hari Kari means Curry day,

      I think you mean Harakiri...

      I'm a 2x year old slacking off at work.

      1. Adam Williamson 1

        Hari Kari

        "In Malay, Hari Kari means Curry day..."

        ...and in American he's a famous baseball commentator. =)

    3. Elmer Phud
      Happy

      some young fruit is rather bitter

      Old people are getting older - ages ago 40 would be a good age but now with all the 'advances' in nutrition and medical science and stuff the expectancy is around double that. It's the price to pay for a developing race where managing longevity lags some way behind the increase in years.

      Voting only ever gets you a government that is affected by the previous one and eventually buggers things up so some other mob gets a turn.

      As for all those selfish fuckers who need thier arses wiped -- as the value of thier properties increased the HM.Gov beancounters found ways of assuming this would always be the case and councils began to withdraw services - after all, they could all pay now they were rich in bricks and mortar. Now those 4 bed semis are not worth so much but it's still assumed the people inside who now need support to just heat a room or two are still loaded.

      The older people have something that younger people may need in a few years -- the knowledge of how to use older tech to survive, how to do simple things like use hand tools and cook without micorwaves and ready-meals without having to resort to Delia on-line.

      As for the shops - if we stopped people having children in the first place there wouldn't be the 'just before school' rush that fills the supermarkets up with parents in an hurry who don't give a toss who gets in the way as the little darlings must be picked up in ten minues. Then there's also supermarkets stuffed full of grumpy 'just getting home form work and have to shop' crowd.

      I didn't fight in two world wars just for all this - I've never fought in a war.

      I'd be happier if all those rehearsing for 'grumpy old man' status just got it over and done with and did the decent thing by puttingm us out of thier misery.

      I mean, shit man, how long do you have left to moan so much, chill, it's a long strange trip.

    4. jnewco81
      Grenade

      I was with you

      Until about halfway down the post, sorry!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    think of the children

    I think what we can safely deduce from all this baiting is that is you look hard enough at any age, or social, or economic, grouping you'll find something that will p*ss you off.

    Young people don't change, only our expectations and perceptions of them. Unfortunately in recent years the constant 'hoodies/ exams getting easier/ lazy b'stards not leaving home till they are 30' themes perpetrated by the media (and re-spuffed by the likes of El Reg) really don't lend anything to the debate.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    more pay for less work?

    sounds like the numbers joining the Unions will go up. that'll please some people at least! ;-)

  33. Luther Blissett

    I love work, I can sit and watch it for hours

    Can't think why I'm here, I've already forgotten everything except the trick cycles, but I can't pass a good gobal moan by.

    // did I have a coat? what, last winter...?

  34. Adam Williamson 1
    Go

    iglethal

    "Every generation is made up of a combination of people who either a) try to work as little as possible whilst trying to earn as much as possible; or b) those that are willing to work extra hours and extra hard for that little bit extra."

    You appear to have forgotten about people who work as long as it takes to get the job done because they think the job has intrinsic value and actually quite like it.

    (Yes, we're out there, believe it or not...)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't that just Capitalism ?

    We are talking about a Capitalist economy right? The corporations try and make as much money as possible for doing as little as possible. Why can’t generation Y as employees do the same? It’s either capitalist or its not. If corporations don’t want to buy the generation Y product they don’t have to, isn’t that how capitalism works? Or is a nation only capitalist when it suits those who have already made it ?

    I am sure I have seen these justifications before defending an overpriced product or a corporation outsourcing etc. You can't have it both ways.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    My education in working hard...

    Going to be 30 this summer so I likely fall just outside of this group but here's what I've learned in my 15 or so years of employment:

    Job A - I work my ass off putting in 60-70 hour weeks, doing the work of multiple employees and at the end of the year I get a 3% raise, much the same as all my co-workers.

    Job B - Fed up with the lack of appropriate compensation for my efforts I decide to slack off. I do maybe 20 hours worth of work in a week? End result? At the end of the year I get 3%.

    The fact of the matter is there was a time when your supervisor controlled or at least had a say in your compensation. That for the most part has fallen by the wayside and HR departments simply lump you into a pool to give you your 3%. So given that we know effort has no bearing on compensation in corporate America why SHOULD I bust my ass?

    The system removed merit based motivations years ago and has become so homogenized across companies any idiot can see busting your ass doesn't guarantee a damn thing, except the company got 70 hours worth of effort out of you for the price of 40.

    Now I still have a job, but life is a lot less stressful because my priorities are in the right place. A lot of us watched dad give 30 years to a company only to be given a cheap gold watch, be forced into early retirement and have his pension dry up. Expecting a company to take care of you is foolish! So hell yes, I am here to take every penny I can get from my employer for as little effort as possible. How is that wrong? I would seriously like to hear someone's argument in favor of us handing hours and hours of our lives over to a company for nothing in return.

    Now this choice has had no effect on my career path either. There was a 20% bump in pay between job A and job B. And don't even get me started on the longevity penalty of staying at one company too long. The system is broken, don't blame a generation for not conforming to a broken system they were born into. I don't know what work is like for the Brits but I imagine like most of the world things have just gotten utterly stupid. My $0.02 on working in the states.

    AC for obvious reasons, *cough* "working from home" today ;D God bless VPNs

  37. Lee T
    FAIL

    This has been going on for, literally, millenia

    "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on

    the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless

    beyond words.

    When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of

    elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of

    restraint."

    --- Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.

    "The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of

    today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for

    parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as

    if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is

    foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest

    and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress."

    --- extract from a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274

  38. ninja squirrel

    George Orwell said

    'Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it. '

    and that was a couple of generations ago... and I still think he was a very clever chap!

    1. ravenviz
      Thumb Up

      upvote

      how are 12 million upvotes to this post, just listen!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      You are right and see the problem clearly

      From the 1960s to the 1980s, the U.S.economy transitioned from a competitive corporate economy, with mutual loyalty between company and employee, to a conglomerate dominated economy with no loyalty deserved from either side. You could site exceptions in auto-making etc which transitioned earlier, but the bulk of major businesses were not consolidated into conglomerates until that time..

      Single product-line or service corporations continued to produce good jobs, but those were wiped out at a faster pace by conglomerate takeovers, mergers and acquisitions with goods and services (and their human producers) as well as R&D taking a back seat in those organizations to profit only.

      It was the near-complete collapse of anti-trust development and enforcement to deal with the conglomerates - that destroyed jobs in the name of efficiency (but, in making profit, not products or services), that bought corporations with high-rates of return, milked that return without investing in R&D, them dumped them when their returns-on-investment had shriveled, and that bought-out actual and potential competitors not to improve them, but take them off the market. Conglomerates are really financial institutions - buying and selling corporations and companies - masquerading under the image and law of just another corporation and, in a completely unregulated environment, avoiding the controls normally applied to financial institutions (normally, until the last decade when even those regulations were abandoned). Their goal is to eliminate competition and, in doing so, they also eliminate the only feasible automatic safeguard against inefficiency in production and monopolistic or oligopolistic exploitation. They and their milieu are far too complicated for effective external regulation by law - even if their bought-and-paid-for "representatives" had a mind to try. Stripped of their veneer, there is no economic or social justification for their existence. Doubters my trace the decline of the U.S. social well being and economic status with their progress.

      As such, conglomerates with other overtly financial institutions, now own American media, Wall Street, the politicians of both parties and even the SOTUS and administration. Their propaganda is all that you see and hear. Listen carefully to the pundits and bomb-throwers of both political sides and you will hear a deafening silence on the divide that I just described, which is conspicuous by its absence - not because it's untrue, but because they are not allowed to go there.

      To explain it (and yes, I do have a degree in econ and 40+ years of observation) is not to make your plight any easier, but to understand the beast and how it got this way is the first step in attacking the cancer with effective weapons instead of tilting at windmills. IOW, don't be anti-corporate, or anti-business, be anti-conglomerate, anti-monopoly and anti-oligopoly. Most other problems derive from this central one.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      What Peter said...

      I can't speak to the politics and economy of Hesiod's time, but Peter pointed out, that in 1274, "The world is passing through troublous times..." and indeed it was as it struggled to throw off the chains of feudalism while not knowing what the future might bring. Therein may lie the answer to youth's agitation.

      We, also,are passing through "troublous" times and it is quite logical for youth to realize, albeit not be able to clearly articulate that realization, that the older generation's leaders are in some way responsible for not anticipating that trouble and ameliorating it. It's hard to disagree with that general observation. It's insufficient to point to their life-expectancy and abundance, relative to times past, as a soporific when one cannot point to the future with any optimism. Similarly, platitudes, about always having muddled through before, pale in review of the 20th century horrors and the inescapable problems brought by continued population growth and demands for equality, and the kids know it.

      So, from a pragmatic standpoint, it is advantageous for youth to throw off the culture of their parents for they don't know, any better than their parents, what challenges are ahead and they'd best roll with the tide or be crushed by it - as their parent's generation is currently being crushed. We, who think we are wiser for having survived this long, might complain that they are throwing out the baby with the bath water but, then again, given our track record of choosing leaders and the actions of those leaders, who are we to lecture them?

  39. cosmogoblin
    Coat

    Shocking scandal!

    Young people, if given the choice, would take "more pay" over "less pay"!

    What's more, they'd prefer "less work" to "more work"!

    As opposed to everybody over 40, who are presumably clamouring for longer hours, lower pay, and fewer holidays.....

  40. Colin Barfoot
    Happy

    typical youth

    They're so much better than the older generations, yada, yada, yada...

    Well, I'm pretty sure that I know a lot more about sitting, staring aimlessly into space than any of them: stamina improves with age don't you know? Not only that, but should anyone selfishly interrupt my quality time, rather than have a hissy-fit, I can offer up gnostic aphorisms found only through years of practice.

  41. Blubster
    Happy

    "Young people are lazy, think world owes them a living"

    Well derr!

    Tell us something we don't know. The idle bastards have been sucking on my tax-paying teat for far too long - time to get them out of bed and onto the streets to do a bit of sweeping up, cleaning graffiti etc, :0)

  42. Bucky 2
    Pint

    More narcissistic than...what now?

    I think the most profound narcissism of a generation I've ever witnessed was in a documentary of Woodstock, where the assembled masses believed they could alter the weather by force of will.

    That's a level of self-importance that the lazy-ass slackers of today can only aspire to.

  43. gaz 8
    Grenade

    yada...

    seeing as most 'young' people are now far more 'literate' at least in 'tech' terms than their 'capital' (fleeting) controlling 'elders' who gives a... as harry hill would say... FIGHT!

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Spare the rod, spoil the child

    I am absolutely SICKENED that nearly 80 people have so far commented about this and NOT ONE of you lilly-livered, yoghurt-knitting left-wing goatee-sprouting lentil-eating flower-wearing long-haired pinko liberal hippies has called for the return of national service. Sickened.

    Someone wake up and tell these oiks to go get a hair cut and get a real job.

    My first wage packet contained £72, and by god I was grateful for it. I didn't get where I am today by not starting off grateful for £72, let me tell you. I shall be forwarding this link to the Editor of the Daily Mail to get the story some mainstream coverage.

    And just where the hell is the icon of a damn noose on this infernal comment form?

  45. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    AFAIK things did get better in the US 1930-1970

    So while people may have worked hard their was an *expectation* that I would work less hours than my parent and (generally) have a better standard of living.

    It is my *impression* that since then while salaries have risen (how could they have not with inflation) so have employer expectations of hours to earn them (so actual hourly rate has effectively gone down). Bringing a return to the working hours of previous generations.

    Mind you a *lot* of this does come under the heading of "It's the end of civilization as we know it! Run for the hills! This generation is a bunch of illiterate slackers! it was all so much better in my generation."

    In perspective. Average life expectancy for Victorian England town dwellers 43, Average life expectancy for Victorian England country dwellers 53. Infant mortality rates 50%+

    The good old days weren't.

    Icon for one of the compaies that have done 8so* much to encourage a long working hours culture.

  46. Another Anonymous Coward 1

    I'm 22

    If I ever end up as blinkered and whiny as 50% of the comments on this article, please shoot me.

    Anyway, gotta go, off to work... need to pay tax to pay for the horrifically over-bloated boomer debt and unfunded public sector pensions that will not exist by the time I retire at 75.

  47. accountant
    FAIL

    The study is flawed

    (no shit!)

    For the study to be meaningful, the comparative data needs to follow the same subjects in at least three different decades of their lives over the three generations. That means it would need to be a rolling study over ~150 years with a consistent (and neutral) succession plan by the social science team studying it.

    How to determine the cut-off points between the generations also needs empirical support, otherwise it's just random.

    The study does not do this. Instead, it has taken, shall we say, 'generally accepted generations' and measured data from 1976. It ends up proving something which is already commonly accepted, that younger people are generally more idealistic (and therefore unrealistic) than their elders.

    Sure, it helps to have such conclusion formalised in such study, but to use that evidence to describe a randomly defined generation is simply irrational.

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