No standard definition for Generation Y exists, but analysts generally classify anyone born from the 1980s to 2000 as members. Demographers also call them the Millennial Generation.
Their plight seems as much created by members' pre-recession personal finance habits as by the misfortune of coming of age as the recession took hold in December 2007:
•About 37% of 18- to 29-year-olds have been underemployed or out of work during the recession, the highest share among the age group in more than three decades, according to a Pew Research Center study released in February.
•This generation is the least likely of any to be covered by health insurance. Just 61% say they were covered by some form of a health plan, the Pew study said.
•Only 58% pay monthly bills on time, a National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) 2010 survey said.
•60% of workers 20 to 29 years old cashed out their 401(k) retirement plans — typically a big financial no-no because such a move squanders retirement assets and forces the recipient to pay a tax penalty — when they changed or lost jobs, an October study by Hewitt Associates said.
•Nearly 70% of Gen Y members are not building up a cash cushion, and 43% are amassing too much credit card debt, says a November MetLife poll.
On average, Gen Yers each have more than three credit cards, and 20% carry a balance of more than $10,000, according to Fidelity Investments.
•Millennials are graduating from college with an average of $23,200 in student debt, according to the most recent data from the Project on Student Debt. That is a 24% increase from 2004.
Let me get this straight. You live and presumably work(ed) in SF. You come back here, from time to time, to visit the "folks," likely in the suburbs... Linden, Fenton perhaps.... You are a print journalist desperate to get anything you write to stick. You figure with all of the fires and negative attention, it's about time you "went back into the field."
You now make this dramatic and gigantic announcement about this "mission" and have the audacity to beg for money to finance this adventure of yours?
Fine, to each his own, but remember this:
Flint is not a walk-thru zoo for the contemplation of the enlightened. To raise money for this endeavor is arrogant and selfish. There is real suffering here, not career anxiety. There is real pain here, not just jealousy of people who can land paying gigs. There is real misery here, not the kind that comes from fretting over your Latte at Caffe Trieste.
Do us a favor and stay out there in SF. Flint doesn't need you. Your latte does.