My wife arrived at our apartment building at the same time as a young man delivering groceries from a local supermarket. She held the door for him. He thanked her and smiled sourly, almost apologizing for his state in life. “Not much for a college degree, is it?” he said.
No indeed. But how typical was he? We hear so much about the parlous job situation for college grads these days. The papers are full of anecdotes of well-educated young Americans emerging with a degree, a lifetime of debt, and no job at all. Nor any place to live for their childhood bedrooms in their parents’ homes. Nor any real idea how to access the adulthood for which their four years on campus was supposed to prepare them.
But how bad is it really? Things clearly are tougher now than they were for their parents’ generation. But is this bad luck for a few, or an affliction that could burden an entire generation?