Isn’t 32 a little old for an allowance? -

Isn’t 32 a little old for an allowance?

It’s not so much that ‘The Grown-Up’ has died but that he’s born later and later—if at all


Isn’t 32 a little old for an allowance?

In creaky melodramas of the old school, there came a moment when the plucky heroine would announce her intention to go ahead with some ill-advised courtship, and her father would threaten to cut her off without a cent.

Easier said than done. In Italy, a court has ordered, upon pain of having his assets seized, Giancarlo Casagrande of Bergamo to pay his daughter an allowance of 350 euros—approximately $525—every month. Signor Casagrande is 60. His daughter Marina is 32. She was supposed to have graduated with a degree in philosophy eight years ago but, though her classes ended way back at the beginning of the century, she’s still working on her thesis. So Signor Casagrande is obliged to pay up, either in perpetuity or until the completion of Marina’s thesis, whichever comes sooner. Her thesis is about the Holy Grail. Which it’s hard to see why Marina would have any use for, given that she’s already found a source of miraculous life-transforming powers in Papa’s chequebook.

Marina is what they call in Italy a “bambocciona,” which translates, roughly, as “big baby”—the term for the ever-growing number of young adults still living at home. Not their home—with a spouse and young kids and putting out the garbage and repainting the stairs and so forth—but at their parents’ home, in the same bedroom they’ve slept in since they were in diapers.

There was, as usual, a momentary spasm of ineffectual outrage over the judge’s decision against Signor Casagrande, whose very name is mocked by this demographic trend: the casa would seem much grande if only Junior would move out. But in Italy they rarely do. Renato Brunetta, the Minister of Public Administration and Innovation, announced his support for a law requiring children to skedaddle out of their parents’ pad when they turned 18. That would certainly be an Innovation but might well put strains on Public Administration: right now, seven out of 10 adults aged 18-39 live with their folks. Indeed, Signor Brunetta blushed to admit that he himself had lived at home until he was 30. “My mother made my bed up until I left and I am ashamed of that,” he confessed. Italy increasingly resembles the old Benny Hill sketch in which he and his dolly bird are bikers who can’t find affordable housing.

“Why don’t you move back in with your parents?” suggests the BBC interviewer.

“We would do,” says Benny, “but they’ve moved back in with theirs.”

Indeed. Sixtysomething Italians ordered to pay “child support” to thirtysomething kids should move back in with their nonagenarian parents and sue for a monthly allowance backdated to the early ’70s.

Italy’s bamboccioni have their equivalents around the developed world. In Japan, they’re called parasaito shinguru—or “parasite singles,” after the horror film Parasite Eve, in which alien spawn grow in human bellies feeding off the host until they’re ready to burst through. In Germany, they’re Nesthockers with no plans to move out of “Hotel Mama.” In Britain, they’re KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings). In Canada, we have the phenomenon but without any disparaging term: by 2006, 43.5 per cent of adults aged 20-29 lived with their parents. Between 1981 and 2006, the percentage of men in their late twenties living at home doubled, and the percentage of women near tripled. By 2006, 31 per cent of Canadian men aged 25-29 were still sleeping in their childhood bedroom each night.

In 2007, Diana West wrote a book called The Death of the Grown-Up. Complacent types might assume she was speaking metaphorically. But in much of the Western world the condition is very literal—and increasingly, as we see in Italy, de jure. It’s not so much that “The Grown-Up” has died but that he’s born later and later, if at all. A couple of years back, I attended a conference in Queensland in which an Australian demographer explained the differences between life then and life now. In the old days, there were, broadly, two phases of life: you were a child until, say, 13. Then you were a working adult. Then you died. Now there are four phases: you’re a child until, say, 12, 11, 9—or whenever enlightened jurisdictions think you’re entitled to go on the pill without parental notification. Then you’re an “adolescent,” a term of art now stretching well into middle age and of which a 32-year-old taking eight years to complete a thesis on the Holy Grail would appear to be a near parodic example. Then you work, after a fashion. Then you quit at 65, 60, 55, 52, whatever you can get away with, and enjoy a three-decade retirement at public expense. Functioning adulthood is that ever-shrinking space between adolescence and retirement.

No society can make this math add up. The economics of demographics used to be relatively simple: in a traditional agricultural society, by the time you got too worn and stooped for clearing and plowing, you hoped to have enough able-bodied 13-year-olds to do it for you. Today, most developed nations have managed to defer adulthood and thus to disincentive parenthood—quite dramatically so, if the judgment against Signor Casagrande holds. It’s no coincidence that the countries most prone to bamboccioni and parasite singles are the world’s oldest and fastest aging, with the lowest fertility rate: Japan, Germany and Italy are already in net population decline. Remember the ’80s? Japan was buying up every American icon from Rockefeller Center to Columbia Pictures and TV viewers were bombarded with commercials warning that they’d soon be speaking Japanese down at the shopping mall. So what happened? Well, the yellow peril got wrinkly—and thus a lot less perilous. Over half of Japanese women are still unmarried by the time they’re 30. Japanese maternity wards are going out of business. Japanese toy makers such as Tomy, recognizing that children’s toys is a deadsville market in a land without children, are diversifying into talking dolls with 1,200 preprogrammed phrases that can serve as companions for the elderly: they’re the grandchildren you’ll never have.

In Italy, the problem of the bamboccioni is often attributed to a lack of “affordable housing,” which certainly has something to do with the postponement of adulthood. Acre for acre, America is the cheapest developed country in which to buy a four-bedroom home on a nice-sized lot with plenty of space for plenty of kids. If you’re wondering why Canada’s fertility rate qualifies it for honorary membership of the European Union and why 75 per cent of the Dominion’s population growth comes from immigrants, look at how we live: yes, in part because of climate but largely because of Trudeaupian social engineering and immigration trends, Canada’s population is more concentrated than America’s. As Americans have decamped to suburbs, exurbs and beyond, Canada has become more urbanized. If you were seriously interested in tackling the country’s structural deformations, you’d want to provide some way of encouraging still fecund young couples to move from their cramped accommodations in Toronto and Vancouver to the dying hinterland.

But it’s hard to look at the Western world’s young middle-aged and think it’s purely a phenomenon of the property market. Marina Casagrande is an especially sublime embodiment of Western demography. Free citizens of advanced democracies are increasingly the world’s wrinkliest teenagers—a development Hilaire Belloc predicted quite explicitly in his book The Servile State way back in 1912, before teenagers had even been invented. If you’re a 30-year-old Japanese gal or 38-year-old Italian guy, why move out of the house? You’ve got all the benefits of adulthood (shagging, boozing, your own TV) with none of the responsibilities (cooking, laundry, property tax bills). We’ve created a world in which a 37-year-old Italian male can stroll into a singles bar, tell the chicks he lives at his mum and dad’s place in the same bedroom he’s slept in since he was in grade school—and he can still walk out with a hot-looking babe. This guy would have been a laughingstock at any other point in human history.

And every progressive politician says we need more of it. Barack Obama wants everybody to go to college. Why?
Well, why not? Most would-be employers already regard a U.S. high-school diploma as utterly worthless, so why not do the same to a bachelor’s degree?

It isn’t very difficult. In most Western countries, there aren’t enough working people engaged in genuine wealth creation to pay for a society organized on the human right to endlessly deferred adulthood—and, as Signor Casagrande discovered, eventually someone has to. But, more to the point, a society in which it becomes the norm for 40-year-olds to climb the stairs every night to their childhood bedroom, the same one that once had the teddy-bear wallpaper and the Thomas the Tank Engine coverlet, will not merely be a land that fails to produce the innovators necessary to create such wealth, it will be a world that does not make men, or women, in any meaningful sense of those terms. There used to be an English expression, “kippers and curtains.” In Europe today, it’s KIPPERS—and curtains.


Isn’t 32 a little old for an allowance?

  1. Good show as always, but a coupla minor points I'd like to make: (1) having canoed a lot of Mackenzie RIver miles, and bicycled a lot of Prairie Province miles too, and loved every one of the latter, except maybe the 40 with the killer headwinds from Moose Jaw to Regina, I really wonder how much paid employment is out there – Canada has pretty much got to be an urban society; and (2) Pres. Obama wants everyone to get a college degree because everyone with a college degree believes he is a petty aristocrat, precisely the sort of person who loves and needs to be patronized by Pres. Obama.

    And point (2.5): I try not to be #1 with comments here, but that's how it's worked out. Wasn't there someone else who, always and angrily, claimed this distinction? I'd gladly let HIM break the ice.

    • Where do you live John? Employment rates in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are just fine. There are lots of jobs here – granted they are not all the 'elite' jobs that Obama seems to want. But here is a clue – most university educated people really don't know what to do when their toilet overflows and they need a plumber. Knowledge jobs are wonderful, but someone still needs to build your house.

  2. There used to be in society a coming of age ritual whereby boys and girls went through some ordeal and ceremony celebrating their transition from childhood to adulthood. That mostly doesn't exist anymore thus we have extended childhood for many that never get to achieve real adulthood.

    • During my youth, the ritual providing the transition from childhood to adulthood for able-bodied American males was compulsory military service.

  3. there are no jobs for the young
    with what job can a high school graduate afford a home and a wife and children?

    • He can't, and he wasn't intended to. He works his way up to a point where he's got a position where he CAN afford a family.

      And there are jobs for the young, just a lot fewer since the progressives started insisting on minimum wage.

    • A high school graduate who learns a skill can make a good living – plumber, carpenter, cabinet maker. Apparently the average age of bricklayers is in the fifties and we have to import them from Italy!

      There are too many young people in university and Welfare rolls who don't belong there and who should have been directed toward the above kinds of jobs through co-ops and apprenticeships in high school. Instead, the big "progressive" left wing idea that everyone can and should be a university grad has dumbed down those institutions and devalued a general BA. It's no longer even a guarantee that someone can write properly.

      Leftists patronizingly yet stupidly think they can remake even human nature including intelligence to achieve their Holy Grail of equality. Equality under the law is not enough for them because Nature's differential distribution of gifts is "unfair" in the marxist world view and they must keep engineering society until there is equality of outcome.

      Not understanding Bell curves, they actually believe that nearly all kids can get a B average (which should be the minimum for university studies). The only way they can achieve that is to dumb down the curriculum as they've done to take false credit for educational improvements.

    • Completely disagree. There are plenty of jobs that, combined, would provide a pretty solid income for a high school graduate. But you have to be prepared to work, which is counter to the mind and will of many secondary graduates, many of whom expect that they're going to start with a $35,000 salary on Day 1.

      Of course, as Minaka points out, a two-year trade at a local community college would position said secondary student to make at least $35,000 per year and move upward from there. Again, though, it takes determination and a work ethic. From there come the privileges of home ownership, car ownership and the capability to support a wife and children.

  4. czekmark: Back in the day Jewish kids had either a Bat Mitzah or Bar Mitzah. We Catholic kids had a Confirmation. As for the Protestant kids I'm not certain. Perhaps Boarding School ?

    • First hangover.

    • LOL – I am Protestant and went to boarding school – and I do believe it was a great training for life. So predictable – you are spot on target.

  5. Today I am a man
    Tommorow I return to the 7th grade

  6. Great article, and spot-on in point. One aspect Mark overlooked is that many of the parents of these perpetual adolescents have never really grown up themselves. They have been 'helicoptering' over their children since giving birth to them, desperately trying to shelter them from the real world – in part to protect them, but also from an childish need for validation from them.
    Of the myriad of troubles this portends, perhaps the most terrifying is the open doors our lack of men and women will provide those who wish to harm and enslave us. If infidels are tempting targets, then grown infidel infants must be irresistible.

    • I recently took in two boomerangs (kids returning to live at home). They are saving to get enough money for a down payment. With what happened to real estate prices in Saskatchewan in the last 3 years, it is now hard for them to buy a house without a very significant down payment.

      Interestingly, they have both grown up quite a lot. We see them cooking meals, making beds and cleaning up after themselves. They still try to rely on Mom and Dad to do everything for them – but we resist.

      • Cooking meals, making beads and cleaning up after themselves: shouldn't they have learned those skills when they lived with you the first time? Although I find it admirable that you took your kids back so they could save for a home; I wonder if it would have been preferable (for you and your kids) if you helped them out with the down payment and allowed them to have a house of your own.

        My parents did that for us when my sister and I were 27 and 24 respectively, so that we would invest in house ownership instead of becoming renters. We ended making housing choices that fit with our limited income and struggled, but in the end we bought a house in an affordable market that will be paid off years before retirement. If we would have waited, we wouldn't have been able to afford the house we have now.

        Granted it is expensive to buy a house in this market but there are other options: share home ownership with a family members or friends, buy an affordable condo, live outside of the city. Delaying adult decision making, like home ownership, may seem like a good idea in the short run, but is it really preparing your kids for adulthood?

  7. This article doesn't make any sense for a number of reasons.
    First, people in agrarian societies (or “back in the day” when we only had childhood and adulthood) are for more likely to live inter-generationally in the same home. Urbanization is not what causes people to live with their parents. It was urbanization that led us to believe in the single nuclear family model; the idea that ‘adults' should move out and form their own home is a relatively modern and very western concept. That model is historically specific, and certainly does not have its roots in agriculture.

    • CAA – you and Mark are both right. Yes, people used to live intergenerationally – and still do in many societies. However, every able-bodied person was expected to carry their own weight or get out (preferably married). The concept of an intergenerational household where able-bodied young adults are supported by their elderly parents is quite a new one.

  8. Secondly, your solution to people living with their parents is to move to the country: but what kind of jobs are there to do in the country? Are you proposing we all go back to farming because someone in Italy sewed their parents for child support?
    Also, childbirth has historically been the leading cause of death for women, "back in the good old days", and even today in many countries. The fact that people have fewer children today means that more children live past 5 years, are better cared for and end up being more stable, better parents themselves. Having hordes of children is in no way a solution to the problem you have identified.
    The problem you have identified is more likely the result of an individualist, litigious culture developed in the West that is based in a firm belief in our rights but none of our responsibilities. One of those responsibilities we ignore is to care for the elderly, and to care for the environment. Your proposal that we should spread out more and decentralize our society will only make us more car and fuel dependant and only exacerbate climate change and environmental degradation.
    Overall, this is one of the most ill informed and near sighted articles I have ever read.

    • While I agree with you urbanization is not directly the cause of people living with their parents – I don't think this was the point Steyn was trying to make. (and he did not say the solution was to move to the country, rather he compared Canada's urban trend with the suburban trend in the US) The thing is, your argument rests on an erroneous assumption – that having fewer kids means they will be better cared for – which is certainly not true in NA and western europe (and those are the regions being discussed) and is generally only put forward by people who equate having loads of toys and clothes with being well cared for. Similarily, senoirs in nursing homes sometimes have the "best" care (ie: the most expensive care), but I wouldn't wish that life on anyone.
      The point is – adults need to grow up at a reasonable age and take part in the chain of life and death that is the traditional family. Being in the workforce is not the same as being mature.

    • Trying to picture what "sewing one's parents for child support" entails. Maybe whipping up an adult papoose outfit so they can carry their Baby Huey offspring around on their backs?

    • you live at home I am betting

    • Man, you really didn't get, did you. What Steyn is referring to is the fact that people in "developed" societies are not stepping up to their obligations and assuming adulthood with all the burdens and responsibilities this entails. And this is not only a problem for themselves but also for society, as no society is really capable of sustaining for long such lazy living and the fact that people fail to reproduce in numbers enough to sustain society itself. So go on on man, leave your mama's lap and find some fruitful hard work, get married and have some kids. You'll do yourself and your country a lot of good. And if you don't find a job, why don't you think of actually creating some…

  9. I didn't get my first house until I was 35 – but somehow it has become expected that at 25 you should have your own 3,000 square foot house and new car and take a grand vacation every year – that route led to the mortgage/credit meltdown of a year or two ago.

    Here is the route that most of use took when we finished our education – got an entry level job, shared an apartment with one or two other people, drove a beat up old car if we had a car and took vacations in our backyard or at a nearby lake. Knowing that that was what we would be living for a number of years, we still couldn't wait to get our of our parents house and start our own lives.

    I have friends who adult children are still at house (one has given up their master bedroom for their 28 year old son !!!???) and it is the parents that use all of the excuses – apartment rents are too high (but apparently the daughter can afford $800/month for car payments); I would worry about my darling child being in an unsafe part of town; my son doesn't make enough money to move out (but apparently has enough money to buy every new video game that comes out).

  10. What the hell gives ANY government the right to force a parent to give even one cent to a legally adult child if they choose not to? Surely this could never happen in the US?……could it????

    • It's happened plenty of times to divorced fathers, usually in the same context of a child who wants to be an eternal student working on second and third degrees. A father in an intact marriage who may not have agreed to pay for that adult child's educational decisions is often as a divorced parent ordered by a judge to do so.

      It's only a matter of time until kids from intact families take their parents to court where some judges who see themselves in loco parentis as pushers of the nanny state will award them eternal allowance one way or another.

      The nanny state never practises tough love.

  11. Hear! Hear!

    • I agree with your "petty aristrocrat" comment. I always chuckle when I hear them refer to their grossly underpaid babysitters as nannies.

  12. Yes! I agree with the article that some people need to grow up, but Steyn is dead wrong about people living at home being the norm. If anything this trend represents a reversion to historical trends.

  13. It's a result of a few things in the past like flower power, activism, gaia, pot, copious media entertainment, adulation of ever expanding sports world, video gaming, toys for all ages, abundant wealth, doting parents, life long self actualization on someone else's dime, the tenderization of 'feelings', massive increases in egotism, narcissism, selfishness, misplaced altruistic egoism (look that one up) …. on and on …. Here's is another take ..

    "Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage." Disraeli

    • insight by a wise man – Disraeli.

    • That's exactly right. Use it (liberty, in adult ways) or lose it.

    • YEs, and its happening before our eyes. Unfortunately, we're now in the "dependence to bondage" phase

    • Amazing quote by Disraeli. I've never seen this quote before, but Disraeli saw it coming 140 years ago.

    • Dammit, guys, how old are you? When will you stop ranting about how times were oh so tough and the men were braver and more industrious? If you're 70, you grew up in the freaking roaring 50es, when, yes, if you could hold a tool, you'll be hired, and because everyone was expanding, you could grow with the company, not within the company, in particular if there were no people with more experience.

      Work ethic? Detroit cars is the best evidence of the work ethic, in particular – how much worse they got once the now-50-to-70 cohort got hired and how much better they got once they start getting fired.

  14. But mostly the creeping (and creepy) nanny state moving ever deeper into the lives of it's citizens.

  15. Mike T. Now That is funny. Oy Vey

  16. If the current trend of more adult children moving in/living with their parents represents a reversion to historical trends, I would argue that may be a superficial interpretation.

    If one is living with one's parents, who is taking care of who? From what I have seen in Canada, when the adult children live with their parents, they are being cared for by their parents, and not the other way around. Correct me if I am wrong, but I was always under the impression that historically when the adult children are living with their parents, they are caring for their parents.

    It is possible that my own observations do not reflect the norm, and my impressions on historical trends may be incorrect. My views are subject to pending data.

    • I agree with Calculus's comments. One of the reasons the statistics may be getting hire for Canadian adults living at home is immigration. My parents are immigrants from India and in our culture adult children do not move away from their parents house until they are married (and even then the oldest son may still live at home). If my job was in the same city as my parents house it would be insulting to them if I did not live with them. However in this arrangement my parents would not be paying for my life nor would they be cooking and cleaning for me. I would be expected to contribute to the household. Yes some Indian parents do not take money from their children for household expenses and some parents (especially mothers) do still cook and clean for their adult children, but the expectation is when our parents our older we are their retirement plan. So I don't think there is necessarily something wrong with living with your parents when you are older, it all depends on the context.

      • Too right.

      • Agreed.

    • That's because if it's the adult children and parents live together and the children take care of the adults, it's not called "children living with parents". It's called "grandparents moved in". Happens rather often.

  17. Here in Texas where property is absurdly cheap, this phenomenon is mainly seen within the upper middle class kids whose parents are sure their kids will be knifed and raped if they live in a neighborhood with houses that are less than 3000 sq ft or worse an apartment complex.

    The loss is theirs: living in the ghetto as a 23yo were some of my best times.

  18. I must disagree with you, CAA. I think this is a very insightful article and an important issue affecting today's younger population. It is true that many young people today remain at home with their parents or return after a brief stint away. Unfortunately, we tend to look at the young individual as at fault for not finding a job to support themselves rather than recognize more dominant factors such as the economy and technology. For example, at one time it was common to see young people on the tills at supermarkets and big box stores, today one person oversees four or more units where shoppers now have to check out and bag their own purchases.

    Our young people are encouraged to get a post secondary education but there are many who do not find jobs in their fields after they graduate and thus must settle for low paying positions in whatever field they can find. And, with so many looking for jobs, competition is tough. In addition, there are many who are not capable of meeting the demands of higher education and for them job prospects are extremely narrow.

    Most important, Mark's comment regarding postponing parenthood is critical in identifying how this shift in prolonged "youthhood" is negatively affecting the rights, choices, and lifestyles of young people today.

    • Sometimes it is the individuals fault. The "young people" that graduated with me and still live at home wanted their first job to provide them with the lifestyle their parents provided them with. It was unfathomable for them to live within a budget that didn't include monthly shopping trips, constantly eating out, a car, nice vacations etc if that is what living at home meant. It isn't that they couldn't support themselves, it was more that being independant wasn't worth a step down in their standard of living. Why not stay at home if it meant having your mom cook for you and then spending your income on a luxury items instead of things like rent and bills. One of my former classmates spent most of the money he saved living at home on a Mercedes – surely that money could have gone to a year's worth of rent in a small apartment. I realize that this isn't alway the case but I interpretted the article as referring to the adult children living at home to take advantage of the situation rather than out of necessity, like say a women that hasn't completed her thesis in 7 years.

  19. @CAA

    Exactly where in the article does Steyn imply, or even hint that we should all move to the country?

    Also, while it is certainly true that back in the day many women died during childbirth, great strides have been made since then in reducing infant mortality and making childbirth as safe as possible for the mother. Of course, I no longer reside in Canada, so maybe that awesome “free healthcare” everyone would blather on ad nauseum about isn’t as great as it is made out to be.

    • "If you were seriously interested in tackling the country's structural deformations, you'd want to provide some way of encouraging still fecund young couples to move from their cramped accommodations in Toronto and Vancouver to the dying hinterland."

      You're welcome.

  20. I don't see Muslims behaving like this, eh Mark Steyn? Comment?

    • Actually, in Muslim and other non-western societies too, young married couples very often live in the husband's parents' home for quite an extended period of time.

    • They marry off their kids… but often it's the son & daugter in law living in Jr's old bedroom.

    • Uh, ya you do actually. My neighbours are a good example. The parents "gave" the son their house so he and his wife and three kids could live in it. If you observe Muslim families, intergenerational families live in cramped quarters, so its not a new phenomenon to them either.

  21. I have an idea. If you want to figure out why kids are still living at home when they are middle aged, ask yourself why YOU moved out when you were still a teen. Your answer, pooled with those of other commenters here might give an indication of what has changed in canada. Here is my contribution: I moved out because I felt that it was what a man did. To stay home into my twenties would have meant that I was not yet a man. Couple that with the fact that i would never have brought a girl into my room with my parents upstairrs and you have my own answer. By the way, I also felt that if my folks could overcome the obstacles they faced and support thamselves, i would be ashamed to fail in my own easy life. We didnt slather on the 'things are so hard these days " BS back then.

    • Very astute observation.

      Following society's new mores, to show they're not old fogeys but "cool" many parents allow, even welcome their kids' sex partners in their homes starting in their teens and make them breakfast. Whereas in their own much shabbier home, the slacker teens or 20 somethings have to rustle up breakfast for their overnight guest.

      • Why are you referring to teens or 20 somethings who have moved out of their parents' homes and into their own as "slackers"? Isn't that what you want them to do, and wouldn't it imply that they've gone out and gotten jobs to support themselves, also like what you say you want them to do?
        Do you mean what you've been saying throughout this comment thread, or are you really just in it to crap on people who are younger than you?

    • Ditto (but a tad late): "Right on John".
      But in some European societies, according to at least couple of guys I knew 40 years ago, a girl WOULD bring a guy back to her room in her parents' apt or house.
      However, perhaps it was (LOL) one of those primitive agrarian societies where they needed new sper… umm, "blood" to refresh the population….

      Ol' sludgefighter –

  22. Some good points, except that as usual the US is given weird sentimental exclusion rights from the argument. France's fertility rate is now rising – and no, it's not immigrants, it's 95 per cent indigenous – while white America's is well below replacement. It's not suburbanites having children here, it's Mexican immigrants. Who, by and large, have no four bedroom houses out in the burbs. And Americans, I would say, have far and away the most adolescent culture in the western world, in all departments. Mark doesn't really know anything about Europe, so it's best to take some of that with a pinch of salt, and his American exceptionalism is pure ideology with little these days to back it up – but his overview is still correct. The west is infantile and spoiled, and no western society is as economically bankrupt and dysfunctional as the US. Italy and Germany have at least controlled their debt relative to the current crisis, created entirely by Americans gorging like kids at the trough of cheap credit.

    • I think I remember that France has lots of supports & incentives for families. Everyone gets a 1 month paid vacation every summer plus the other holidays.. Most companies have daycare inside the same building ( government subsidized so that the working parent can have lunch with their child) for a cost of less than $5 U.S. a day. Unemployment is also really, really good there and maternity leave is probably a lot longer than the 6 weeks we get in the US.

    • "And Americans, I would say, have far and away the most adolescent culture in the western world, in all departments".

      Since the talk here is of young people standing on their own two feet, the consensus appears to be that it is dependence that keeps one juvenile. In that sense, Europe and all the other Welfare states have the most childish populations, dependent on cradle to grave handouts and admonitions from the Nanny State. At one point, Europe had rules and regulations on how crooked cucumbers for sale could be, making themselves a laughing stock.

      On the one hand they depend on the USA to clean up their huge messes, (WWII and now Kosovo in their own back yard) while shirking their own defense to buy candy in the form of entitlement programs. On the other hand, they then childishly bite the hand that defends them, criticizing Americans for their less luxurious Welfare hammock.

      The USA may well be the only grown up in the world room today, but if Obama and the Dems have their way, it will join the rolls of terminally stunted socialist backwaters. Then where will we all be? Everyone can't bolt for the washroom when the defense bill comes due.

  23. Right on, John.

  24. I don't really want to put it into simplistic terms, but I'll try, since this is basically the situation I'm in.

    With the economy as uncertain as it is, and the fact I really don't even understand how it works, I've resorted to saving as my main goal. Problem is, I can never possibly save enough (or at the very least, it will take a long, long time) to obtain my true goal, which would be my own home bought outright.

    Perhaps the mortgage crisis has scared us straight. I'd prefer to remain debt free and I have no investments. The money I have is the money I have. It may not be risky, but at the same time, at least I know I have something if I need it.

  25. [Continued]…
    It will be costlier to move out, guaranteed. So the problem becomes should I move out just because I want to be independent, or should I stay home and save? "Buying" my independence by renting seems impossible to justify. And mortgaging, as I said above, is risky, highlighted by the mortgage crisis in the US which I would not want to get caught in the middle of in the future if there is another one.

    That's just the way I see it. No need to deride, but go ahead if you absolutely feel the need to.

    • Ryan,

      Not a derision — just a question: Where in the list of all your considerations (justifications/rationalizations) does having the cojones to stand on your own 2 feet and take responsibility for your own life, like a man, come into play?

      • I agree and I definitely do want to. But the reality of the situation currently is that I can't afford to. If I rent, I'm then just making it take even longer before I can afford a home that I own, or possibly putting myself into a situation where I can't save enough to ever own.

        Maybe it's a justification, but I don't see any real need to forego the security I currently have and to utilize it for as long as necessary (or able to) in order to get my finances as strong as possible before the leap. I do question when exactly I will be ready, but I know my peers are in the exact same situation and I don't take it personally that I can't afford to move out with the finances I'd like to have first.

        • I don't mean this to sound unkind, but when you say ""Buying" my independence by renting seems impossible to justify"", I have to ask how impossible to justify? You are an adult living as a dependant on your parents because you want to buy your own house outright when you move out. Have you considered that you won't ever grow up until you live on your own and take responsibility for your own life? Tough shit if that means you have to wait longer to have your own house – I didn't become a homeowner until my mid '30s but I sure as heck lived on my own long before then. Grow the hell up and move out.

  26. First of all, it is harder for younger people today..I'm 28. Mr. Steyn, tuition was $500 for University when you were younger. Today, one semester is 4 times that pice. Student debt in Canada stands at 13 billion dollars. Student loans and lower admissions standards have made University so accessible that your degree is a dime a dozen.
    Also, to apply for a job today, you can't live with a $45 typewriter. You need a computer, internet connection, etc. And with 14% sales tax, this is costly. Also, environmental regulations and levies and transit taxes on fuel and insurance make it epensive to own a car.
    Plus, artificially low interest rates in the 1990s drove up urban housing prices. I can buy a house in Vancouver…if I have a half million lying around. I'd rather move to Texas or Oklahoma or Tennessee and buy a house for half as much.
    The minimum wage laws meant there were less jobs in highschool so we could save for University, and entry level jobs dissapeared…as did the family run movie theatre who now had to pay their staff more.
    I have to pay income tax at this age, for a healthcare system I don't use.
    That's why I have to live at home for now.

    • Only 31% of men in your age group live at home, I wonder how the majority (69%) manage to pay their way?

      I moved out at 17, got a degree, bought a house, my parents didn't pay for any of it. It's a good thing I was allowed to borrow $50,000 in student loans.

      I'm a year older than you, just a regular guy. Your excuses don't work, most people work around the same problems.

      • Not everybody's life experience is the same. What an ignorant statement.

        Consider this analogous statement: "Only 15% of young people don't have a job. I wonder how the majority manage to have a job?"

        Guess what? It's harder for the unemployed to buy a house.

        And how in heck were you approved 50 grand in loans with no collateral?

        • "It's harder for the unemployed to buy a house."

          If one does not have a pay, how he/she is suppose to pay anyway? Taxpayers` money, perhaps?

      • Something doesn't sound right. How did you get a $50,000 student loan without some form of collateral?
        At 17 you were still considered a minor and no bank would look at you for a mortgage without a co signer, let alone a loan. In less than ten years you got a degree, paid off your $50,000 school loan AND bought a house? Did you work while going to school, and even then how could you afford rent, food and the necessities of life when most part time jobs pay minimum wage and rents for apartments and suites are usually above the $1000 per month.? Just what sort of courses did you take? Most yearly tuition fees & books are about $4500 yearly. At that rate you borrowed for ten years, so how did you manage to get a mortgage with a part time job even if you saved your part time earnings. You still had the rent and necessities of life. The reason why I am sceptical is that I had four kids, three of whom are now home owners and married after finishing college. The never borowed for a loan but worked to pay for it with summer jobs and they saved by living at home. You make it sound so easy, but are you still paying those loans? At least my kids don't have that problem.

    • I'll give that it's harder for young people in large cities. Property values have risen more than salaries and competition for jobs is worse. Your parents' generation was pretty well guaranteed a job on graduation from university, even with a C average. That's no longer the case.
      Still, your "savings" are actually taking money from your parents, as your upkeep isn't free.

      Learn about inflation and periodic devaluation of money to understand that saving for a house until you can pay the whole shot is probably not the wisest course.

    • lot of excuses and not enough hard work it sounds like. I'm two years younger than you, started working summer jobs at 16 and i actually saved half of my earnings to help pay for my education. once i started attending a university i worked on weekends and worked hard all summer, no winter vacations down south. i did a diploma program at university in two years and finished debt free. Now I'm 26 and am working in the skilled trades. I earn a honest living. Married for 3.5 years with two kids and own my house. Yes, life is expensive but with proper priorities, a work ethic and not blowing money on luxuries we're doing alright.
      I realize that many mid 20s men dont want to work in a trade, they want to get a degree and jump into a job with 4 weeks paid vacation unlimited benefits and earning what only the same as those with years of job experience.
      Be humble and work hard.

    • I don't think anyone is blaming individuals. When we're talking about 30%, I think there are some deeper issues, some of which you may have identified.

      I like your point "I have to pay income tax at this age, for a healthcare system I don't use. "

      Same can be said for a lot of taxes paid by young people (eg canada pensions). They are redistributed to the older generations.

      • Health system works this way: two healthly workers pay their contributions to afford one retired person. If this rate shrinks, the system collapses. That`s why Canada is allowing immigrants to come in. Did you get it now or are you about to blame "the capitalist system"?

    • There are too many "students" doing non-degrees at non-universities qualifying them for non-jobs — usually working for the government. That's the problem. And please, don't give me any garbage about how doing some crappy liberal arts degree helps raise "professional" standards.

      You only have to look at so-called journalism to understand how fatuous that is.

      • Every job offer I see from the government, either provincial and federal, are full of requirements, demanding Canadian experience, professional experience, diploma, etc, etc, etc.
        Where are these "non-jobs, usually to work for the government"? I would happilly send my CV…

    • Yes when I went to university tuition was only $500 and minimum wage as $2.75 – my takehome pay from working summers between university was less than $200/two weeks – total summe wage was less than $2,000. I worked two jobs each summer and a job throughout school. Didn't take a spring break, or go skiing any weekend, rode my bike or took the bus if I needed to get somewhere. Was not eligible for a student loan until my last year of university because I was deemed to be a dependent on my parents (who had three children in university at the same time). When I graduated from university the interest on my student loan was NOT tax deductible, graduated into a recession when interested rates were 14%. The only job I could get after graduation was part time – yet I didn't live at home. Your point is what?????

      • amen sister!

      • So you could pay for tuition after working little over two weeks? And still have money saved over the summer?! Man! Those must have been the days! Many students during the school year in Canada and graduate with loads of debt as well. I think one of the important points is that A. tuition and the cost of going to university is considerably higher, even with inflation, than it was before. (and this excludes spring breaks). and B. the cost of housing is a lot more in the cities where one goes to university. (this is especially acute as where the cheap housing is often requires one to have a car in order to get to class, another expense).

    • "Les" jobs…you're in University? Maybe if you were working part time and paying your own way, you would think it important enough to learn English for starters.

      • People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. University isn't capitalized unless it is part of a proper name.

    • I am 28 and I think your laundry list of excuses is what is giving people our age a bad name. I like most people replying to you worked any job I could find since I was 16 and saved for my education. I paid my own way and got a degree that I know would result in a job instead of just one that I might like. I worked hard in university and got good grades, I used the university computers to search for jobs and write my resume and I took advantage of career counciling services to work on my interview skills. All of these things resulted in my getting a good job, which helped me pay off my student loans. I own my own condo in downtown Toronto now (it may not be large but I understand that at my age I can't afford everything my parents had). The Toronto real estate market isn't that much easier to get into than Vancouver. I rode the subway until recently because I couldn't afford a car. So save the woe is me speech. People your age have made it work, it just takes the desire to do so and the understanding that might have to give up some of the things your parents provide like a large house and a car.

    • Bilge, Jason.
      My late father-in-law was born in 1914. He got to graduate high school right in time for the Great Depression. The one you might have sen on the History Channel, yep the one with 40%+ unemployment and no EI or any other safety net.
      He struggles through that one just in time for a real full-time job. He started work in Sept. 1939 and lucky guy, he got posted to an overseas job in Europe. Minor problem: the Wehrmacht were shooting real bullets not internet flames.
      Hi got home late in 1945 to find the chickensh*ts who stayed home had taken the decent jobs and could now boss him around as an entry-level peon. He was 31 years old.
      Grow up kid.

    • Jason, that's absolute bs. seriously, would you like a little cheese with your whine?

      i worked at least 2 part-time jobs while attending university full-time. i paid my own way, never used student loans.
      i couldn't afford a home computer or laptop, and used computer labs on campus.
      i biked, walked, or took public transit to get around town.
      i currently own an almost 20 yr old vehicle, it runs just fine. it doesn't look too bad either…
      and with respect to your purchasing property – the phrase "unrealistic expectations" comes to mind…

      take 2 minimum wage jobs. that's what i did. in fact, for a time, i had 3. and yes, a fast food joint was one of them. i'm not too proud to work.

      you do not have to live at home. you choose to live at home.

      grow up.

  27. I don't know if Germany fits this pattern, but one thing both Italy and Japan have in common is a deeply patriarchal society where women feel they are losing much more personal freedom/self-fulfillment when they marry vs staying single. Hence an aversion to marriage. Oh, how selfish of them, right?

    • If the Italian men behave the same way as their leader, no wonder the women do not want to get married.

    • I live in Italy with my 32 year old boyfriend. Guess where he lived before we moved in together? Guess where he sleeps when I'm out of town?

      Derek, I think that you are on to something. Along those lines, I once heard the idea that the mothers coddle and effectively infantilize their children (and husbands) as a way of asserting the power that they don't have in society outside the home.

      Did you know it takes a minimum of 3 years to get divorced in Italy?

  28. Sounds like a lot of lame excuses, Jason.
    University tuition may be higher today but that's largely due to inflation. Anyway if you think you can't afford it do something else until you can.
    A $500,000 house in Vancouver? Such expensive taste. At this instant there are more than 500 properties listed in Vancouver at under $200,000. And Vancouver has the most expensive property values in Canada. Why not try a less expensive location.
    No, you don't "have to" live at home. You choose to and, sadly, your parents allow if not encourage you to do so.

    • University tuition is not due to inflation genius. Its because of government policies, student loans, etc. We have no free market to choose from.

      • Of course we don`t have free market: the socialist model supported by students does not allow the market to interfer with the education, remember?

      • Why is Canadian tuition lower than in US then and higher than in Europe? Because we're less socialist than US and more socialist than Europe, if I get your point right?

  29. First off Mark's obessession with what happens in Italy or other countries he considers feckless members of that big Euro-weenie club they call the EU is a bit strange. Of course it's all screwed up over there – everyone knows that. They don't even have nukes!

    Then there is a bit of comic relief when Mark asserts "Acre for acre, America is the cheapest developed country in which to buy a four-bedroom home on a nice-sized lot…" – of course this only applies if you want to live in Cornhole, Kansas. Also, the recent… ahem, price corrrection in the US real estate market helps of course, but that is intended to be more of a temporay thing. Canada can't get it right either of course; there they actually want to live in cities with airports, freeways, shopping malls and the like. Even the "still fecund" couples that Mark wants to plant out in the countryside – remember: cheap housing! – and he will throw in a shovel, a plow and a gun per couple for free…

    • The EU doesn't have nukes ???? Well probably just another 30 something who never had to read a history book……Doesn't anyone read the newspapers… remember Green Peace all upset with France testing nukes … oh wait… that was longer than 30 minutes ago cant expect anyone to remember that…. and all those British thingies…. wow i actually thot they were nuke subs… guess they are just cardboard cutouts…..

      • You could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant Italy doesn't have nukes…

    • as opposed to cornhole toronto?

    • Actually, as others have noted, two European countries (the UK and France) have had nukes since the 1950s.

      But what the EUro-trash corruptt nannywelfare-state addled, islamo-dhimmied mess lacks in nukes, it makes up in pukes.

      There is huge surplus of braindead leftists thrroughout Europe.

  30. Ciao tutti!
    I am from Italy, and let me tell you a bit of something
    (This is for the German down below there)
    Italy is my home nation, so I know her well, and she has her issues. Financial stability in Italy is a little scary, considering that when you move out of the house, where do you go? Your job pays you okay, but is it enough to live in the city where your job is? Italy is slightly disorganized at the moment, so for financial reasons, many Italians, especially in the south, stay home.

    Now, does this reflect Italian culture? Yes and no. Italy is NOT totally patriarchal. Italy has a profound love for Mothers, as well as nonnas. Goes back to the Catholic dogma's strength of Mother Mary in Italia.

    Quite frankly, Italy's glories are subsequently her problems. High life expectancy? Mom and Dad retire early and stay home, and no one gets the house. That was common back in the day, to keep the family home, however, where I'm from, the industrial North, it's very much like Old Century America, in which you leave and get a job.

    But who wants to leave mamma and papa' when you could stat before getting married. I see little shame in that!
    I live at University, so I have an apartment, but who knows how finances will look for me in the future. My family might have to house me a while before I get on my feet. It's a big "Colpa di sistema" because the Elderly live a good long time on pensions, and Italy doesn't have enough young to support that.

    Perhaps I see it as a deal. You take care of me, I work while living here to keep your pension going.
    But that is Italia. And many of them are big babies,

    But don't stereotype. Italy is economically strong, and very western, though unique.
    I love Mark Steyn, and think he's a credit to Conservatives everywhere.

    -Giosuè Cambria

    • Italians love to complain about how poor they are, but it is a weird cultural thing, not a reality, since living in debt is nearly unheard of, as opposed to how kids in the U.S.A. do it.

      I think it has more to do with avoiding paying taxes than much else.

  31. I wonder if the reason so many young men in the western world fail to grow up is because society gives them disincentives to grow up. for instance, look at how fatherhood is derided in our culture; any young man would be foolish to get married in this society and have kids if he sees the way in which fathers are pilloried by the legal system and by the popular culture. Beyond that, we stack the deck against our young men: their educational and psychological needs are dismissed as unimportant even when they are children (instead, we deride little boys for being "too aggressive"); they are constantly told by society from the time they are knee-high that they are stupid and indolent; and they must operate in an employment culture that treats them as sexual predators and within which they can expect to be passed over for promotions because of their gender. Frankly, by demonizing and diminishing men, we have created a culture that de-motivates them, too. Hence, they never grow up; it's literally too painful to grow up.

    • Western society overshot when correcting for patriarchy and has now been feminized to the point that masculine qualities are abhorred (lively boys Ritalinized) and men denigrated when they act like men instead of the prescribed metrosexuals.

      There's little sign of the pendulum swinging back to the center and we are in danger in a world where a very primitive patriarchal system is ascendant (Islam). Progressives' functionally unarmed (military underfunded or made impotent by red tape) societies are like those little toy "Smart" cars – not so smart in a world of SUV's which would squash them flat in a collision, only tolerable in a world where everyone else drives a toy car too.

  32. @Fred:
    "France's fertility rate is now rising – and no, it's not immigrants, it's 95 per cent indigenous"

    As they say at Wikipedia, … citation needed.

    Good point though that in the US, it's the poorer immigrants who are reproducing, rather than the wealthier indigenous population. But then again, isn't that kind of Steyn's point, too: that the next generation won't come from the complacent, affluent elite?

    "Americans, I would say, have far and away the most adolescent culture in the western world, in all departments."

    Uh, if you say so…

    "no western society is as economically bankrupt and dysfunctional as the US. Italy and Germany have at least controlled their debt relative to the current crisis"

    Actually, Italy, Germany and the US all have about debt to GDP ratio: 300% (source: McKinsey Global Institute). That doesn't include pensions liabilities, though. Italy and Germany have much more lavish pension commitments on top of a shrinking tax base, so in fact Italy's and Germany's situation is much worse than the US's. Not that the US is in great shape. It isn't. Still, it's nice to get the facts straight.

    • Meant to type:

      Italy, Germany and the US all have about THE SAME debt to GDP ratio: 300%

    • France has the highest fertility rate in the EU. And, as Fred said, it's indigenous. Mark Steyn could not be reached for comment.

      Actually, Italy, Germany and the US all have about debt to GDP ratio: 300% (source: McKinsey Global Institute).

      Based on OECD data, wikipedia lists these countries' debt to GDP ratios as 104%, 63%, and 61% respectively.

      Still, it's nice to get the facts straight

      Ain't that the truth?

      • No one was disputing how high France's fertility rate is (although "highest fertility rate in the EU" isn't saying much), the question was only whether it was really "95% indigenous". Neither Fred nor you provided any source, so I assume you don't have one. And even if you do, what exactly does "indigenous" mean? There are plenty of technically indigenous births to parents who are culturally un-French.

        The McKinsey figures are for all debt, public and private. The OECD figures you quoted are only for public (i.e., government) debt. I was being kind to Fred and using the all-debt figures because they undercut his argument less than public-only figures do. But have it your way, Italy and Germany are in far worse shape than the US, and that still doesn't include the real liability: pensions.

        Guess you're new at this. Don't worry, you'll get better.

        • I'm too lazy to find a good link, but last I heard the Muslim birthrate in France was 4.0 and falling, while the overall birthrate was 1.9 and rising. The Muslim population of France is only about 6%, however, so the two birthrates are converging.

          There are a lot of "Muslims" in France who are culturally quite French, by the way, i.e. quite secular.

          Nice of you to be kind to Fred. I am not too kind to point out the current account deficit problem; scroll down, waaaaay down, to 181 if you're looking for the home of the brave. Germany is #2, after China.

          • I don't have time to teach maths literacy just now, so suffice it to say that your current account deficit rankings ignore the size of the underlying economy, which makes those figures meaningless in this discussion. You were closer to the mark with public debt figures, as already discussed.

            "Too lazy to find a good link", so everyone should just take your word for it? Okaaaay…

  33. Great Article!!! 100% agree. I have beeb noticing this for years among my sons friends. I know of many who are still in their 30 and 40's still at home ,and this was still back when the econom,y was good and easy to find a job. Most of these other comments basically make one excuse, 'But It's Hard"
    Big Babys, god Help Us!

  34. if older , otherwise healthy kids at home are being a problem, kick them out. somehow they are meeting their parent's needs for companionship or else doing house maintenance or whatever. Unless it's abuse of parents by the children (ask for help) or the child is meeting some unmet need, kick 'em out. Nicely of course. Get some help if you can't do it alone.

    • Like that cheese commercial…stop serving them cheese! (or whatever else on a silver platter).

  35. This is a huge problem all over the world, and there are a ton of statistics showing the impact it has both financially and emotionally on parents.

  36. No offense to the young people of Canada, but…

    By 2006, 31 per cent of Canadian men aged 25-29 were still sleeping in their childhood bedroom each night.

    That statistic is absolutely shocking.

    • Possibly because, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the average price of real estate has tripled since 1960.

      • I know, that's equally shocking.

  37. The author can certainly lay no claim to being a keen observer (or even casual) of Obama.

    Obama wants "partisanship to leave Congress"??? His first answer after Inauguration to Republicans who expressed an alternate view to his own was "I won". Since then he has encouraged Congress to hide behind closed doors, locking Republicans out to birth the 2000 page Health Care Reform monstrosity in flagrant contradiction to his empty promises of transparency and having debate broadcast on CSpan. His first and recent bipartisan initiative is an attempt to direct public anger at his policies toward Republicans as well, i.e. share the fallout, not actual decision making.

    "At least he's not trying to snow anyone"??? There's a veritable blizzard of verbiage coming from this inexperienced, unqualified and underachieving reader of a teleprompter who has made more speeches trying to sell his flawed goods than previous presidents made in four. As a Senator, he voted "present" on most issues. As President, his response to any problem is another empty speech. He's way over his pay grade.

  38. Another aspect of young people living at home with their parents is that it suits our capitalist culture. Although this cohort is not spending on rent, mortgage, insurance, groceries, etc., they are consumers of products specifically targeted to their age group, such as movies, clothing, sports equipment, computers and computer games.

    Indeed, marketing strategies are designed to sell young people sources of identity that are missing from their own lives. Without the material means to form adult identities, young people are caught in this extended identity-based consumerism. As young people are forced to delay their entrance into adulthood as regards total economic independence from their parents, they become second-class citizens rather than accepted into mainstream society as they would have in past societies, and as such are much more vulnerable to being exploited and manipulated by the market system.

    • We get it, it's not the fault of the poor little 30 year old dears. What is needed is a giant new government bureaucracy to make decisions for them and supervise them. That should help alot.

      • No, you did not get it, Tom. I am not calling for government intervention. The points I've made in this discussion are meant to broaden our perspectives of the issues facing young people today. My point is that many young individuals are experiencing cronic unemployment throughout their twenties and some into their thirties, and while some blame the young people for their "slacker" attitude, such as your comment indicates, I am suggesting that there are significant external factors contributing to their situation, i.e. the economy and a capitalist market that benefits from their predicament.

        • Employment is not a problem if you and other "big babies" study the right thing. I'm 28. I live by myself in an apartment and paid my $ 30K student loan within 2 years of graduation. How? I studied accounting and trying to finish my CGA designation right now. By Sept, I'm trying to be in a MBA program.

          The problem is, high school students nowadays want to study what they like. Hey, I hate accounting and business (not dislike … hate), but when the time came (in high school) to choose what to study … I looked at the employment stats for several different careers. I would've loved to study filmmaking, but with that diploma, I would've been sitting in my parent's living room, watching cartoons, and eating cheetos.

          What's the employment rate of philosophy, english, archaeology, and anthropology majors? My brother is studying philosophy … what's the point of studying that. Yeah, sure, it opens up the mind, but you can't take that to the bank. My parents are so worried about him, esp. since we are Pakistani immigrants and we have to study something where the demand is high and supply is low.

          • You're absolutely right. Philosophy majors have no hope of employment except as philosophy teachers, which means they have to get a PhD. English majors might find work as media writers, journalists, scriptwriters, etc. Archaeology and Anthropoloy majors might get work in their fields (unlikely), or perhaps working for government bodies who hire contractors to dig areas that are being redeveloped. But Philosophy majors don't have a hope in hell outside academia.

          • Marushka, what you say (despite what your Eastern European parents tell you) is BS.

            English majors and Philosophy majors work in sales. They can make a lot more than you do.

            Business majors, with the right connections, can make a great corporate career (but the key word: with the right connections to start up).

            Science majors are stuck in RnD.

          • Not true. I have a philosophy degree as well as certificates in Business & Project Mgmt. I've working in banking for the last 10 years. I'm tired of hearing the philosophy majors constantly getting "dumped on" for their choice in study.

  39. On two fronts:

    First, the break down of the family. Odds are that these adults are living with their Mother and a "step" Father. These "step" Fathers are not likely raising these children with the direction and discipline that their paternal Father would.

    Second, the break down of manhood. Men have been so emasculated that they no longer have the balls to raise their children with the direction and discipline needed without suffering the wrath from Mother.

    • I gather you don't believe in divorce and are not a feminist. Sorry you lost your balls.

  40. According to Fred: "And Americans, I would say, have far and away the most adolescent culture in the western world, in all departments".

    Since the talk here is of young people standing on their own two feet, the consensus appears to be that it is dependence that keeps one juvenile. In that sense, Europe and all the other Welfare states have the most childish populations, dependent on cradle to grave handouts and admonitions from the Nanny State. At one point, Europe had rules and regulations on how crooked cucumbers for sale could be, making themselves a laughing stock.

    On the one hand they depend on the USA to clean up their huge messes, (WWII and now Kosovo in their own back yard) while shirking their own defense to buy candy in the form of entitlement programs. On the other hand, they then childishly bite the hand that defends them, criticizing Americans for their less luxurious Welfare hammock.

    The USA may well be the only grown up in the world room today expecting its citizens to think and fend for themselves at least part of their adult lives, but if Obama and the Dems have their way, it will join the rolls of terminally stunted socialist backwaters. Then where will we all be? Everyone can't bolt for the washroom when the defense bill comes due.

    • Well said. Thank you.

  41. This is a confused and simplistic article that ignores numerous complex factors. Yes it's not good that men and women in their thirties are still living at home and schmoozing off their parents. Steyn doesn't address the whys of it though. Does he really think most men want to live at home forever, their mom doing their laundry and telling girls they meet they live with mum?

    In western cities property, even tiny one bedroom apartments are exorbitantly expensive to buy and rent, I am a single thirty-nine year old man living in a broom closet, no I'm not living with mom and dad, but I live like a poor student and I have a uni degree, so what. Not all of us have high-income jobs. In fact many people don't have jobs at all, in case Steyn forgot there is widespread unemployment, we are going through the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

    Why don't people move out of the cities to the country where the property is less expensive and affordable? Other commentators have already pointed out why, there are no jobs in rural Canada and rural Europe, UK and rural Australia etc.

    • I actually disagree that it's much better in the country. Yes, rent may be cheap, houses may be affordable, but arable land and milk/egg quotas are outrageously priced, especially considering local wages.

  42. I can see both sides of the coin. I am 50 and grew up dirt poor, worked paper route, fast food, assembly lines, borrowed money for college graduated and moved out because with a degree it allowed job that could pay the rent. I had to work 10 years just to save for a down payment on a house, but I did it on my own, not living at home. It ticks me off to no end that now young people can buy a house with zero down after I had to scrimp and save. In those days the low end jobs did not pay enough to afford one to live on their own, and having a college degree was only slightly better, but having to sock away money on top of that for a down payment didn’t afford many luxuries. So I have no sympathy now for the kids but I can see their point. Kids today live in countries that are being invaded by the 3rd world workers who work for one forth the wage and don’t mind living in slums or crime, and unsanitary conditions, which any normal young adult would not put up with if they were raised by good parents that had any ethics. Myself I now have a daughter in the situation that could fit Stynes description of the daughter waiting to court a dead beat and the parent threatening to cut her off. I have sympathy though, I can see that its harder nowadays, for example state budgets have cut university classes, so my daughter can’t finish school any time soon, and she doesn’t speak spanish so she can’t work fast food, or assembly lines like I did, and although she may be able to get a loan to buy a mansion she does not deserve to live in, my hope is she would not saddle herself with such payments, thus forcing her in to slavery that is until she gets her bail out from Obama but by then the country will be so ruined and our kids will be in so much debt, and a slave to the government run economy that we could only dream of they days where there was money to be sponged off of parents.

  43. Why is there no pblic outcry over the court ruling that a parent must pay an adult child an allowance?
    Look at the title of this story – why would a 32 year old have a family and job when the sociaty says support this child even though he has been a man since the legal age of 18.

  44. Throughout almost all of history most people lived their entire lives on their father's & grandafther's & great grandfather's farm.

    The basic reason "youngsters" aren't moving out is because there isn't the housing. The only reason we don't have plentiful and cheap housing is because the state prevents building and in those occasions building is allowed it insists on using building methods which were adequate before Henry Ford introduced mass production. House prices have risen fourfold compared to the RPI since Ford's time which means 75% of the cost of all housing is government bureacracy.

    • Baloney. Only the oldest son and maybe the spinster sister did that. The others got their own farms.

  45. Maybe its time the adults start booting the bambino's out. Of course they probably are trying to pass as youth as well.
    As Ezra Levant says's. To reverse a perverse trend you first have De-normalization of this inverted way to view as abnormal Which it is.
    Make it a point of shameful hilarity, if not a slur on manhood to stay at home.
    Pretty grim but good article summing this problem up. I just wish Mr Steyn didn't keep getting it right.
    Where heading for a World of strife none of us want to see. Whats worse, it was our own stupidity or greed.
    Helped along by mad politicians driven by social doctrines that are no more than a blue print for suicide. Breed young man, breed.

  46. I agree with Steyn, but I will say a few things in my generation's (I'm 34) defense.

    It is nearly impossible to raise a family on one income in most parts of Canada these days, especially so when the one income is earned by someone with only a high school diploma. Yes, there are expections to the rule, but I would be willing to bet that the average income of Candians under 30 with just a diploma is under $25,000, and probably closer to $22,000. Unless you live in an area where you can grow a big garden for a lot of your food, and don't have to commute any great distance to work, its hard to maintain a reasonable quality of life as a single with that kind of money, let alone a family of 3 or 4.

    • Why would anyone have a family of 3 or 4 when they can't afford them? Why would they expect to be able to survive on one income in today's economy?

      My mother went back to work in 1956 so that my father didn't have to continue working two full-time jobs to support a family of 3 children. This was deemed a more desirable solution than having two male boarders in our 3-bedroom home. We children, who had already been helping out with household chores like doing dishes and vacuuming, were now required to do everything that mother originally did, including shopping, cooking, laundry, ironing, cleaning bathrooms, mowing lawns, shovelling now, etc. I cooked for a family of 5 at age 11. All of these things taught me valuable life skills.

      This was also in an era when birth control didn't seem to be an option. It's now the norm. If you can't afford a family, don't have one. Or at least get the kids working for the family unit at a very young age. The exercise benefits of housework are many and a lot cheaper than going to the gym.

    • There are options for people with only a high school diploma. Upgrade. Go to a trades school, become an apprentice, earn excellent wages as a tradesperson. If you're really good/have an entreprenuerial bent, start your own business. Then have children and buy a house.

  47. You make a better salary by going to trade school or university, but then again you are delaying "adulthood" by doing so. Unless you are living at home, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a Canadian student to pay their own way through university without racking up a considerable amount of debt (unless you are smart enough to get one of the few comprehensive scholarships available).

    I've had this argument with my father a few times, who always wondered why I "didn't have more stuff' or a family like he did when was his age. Well Dad, you went from high school drectly to a one-year tech program, which I'm betting didn't cost a whole lot. By the time you were 23, in 1972, you were making $900/mo ($10,800). That doesn't seem like a lot, but consider the brand new 1972 Plymouth Barracuda for $3200, or less than 30% of your salary. In 1972, you could buy a new house in any mid-sized city for about $25,000, or about 230% of that salary.

    • "Unless you are living at home, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a Canadian student to pay their own way through university without racking up a considerable amount of debt (unless you are smart enough to get one of the few comprehensive scholarships available)."
      That statement alone is absurd. I'm a nineteen year old canadian student who's about to finish his second year (of four) and I'm barely skimming a thousand dollars in debt. My way out is quite simple: I worked in Fort McMurray both summers before school, and the only reason I'm crossing the line this year is because I decided to quit my part time job second semester to focus on my studies more. What's more is that next summer I will be eligible to work in the oil sands in Fort McMurray, where pay starts at 50$/h. Project three months of working twelve hour days (I believe it's the most I could work, if not just over 2 months and a half in a summer), and ask yourself how I could manage debt.

    • ??? I know a young man who is apprenticing as an electrician and has a house and three kids. HIs wife works between maternity leaves. They manage their money and dont waste it on frivolities.

  48. Now look at today. An equivalent car to the Barracuda would be a Camaro, which will set you back at least $30,000. A new house 3-bedroom house anywhere will cost you a minimum of $225,000. And what is the best salary that a 23-year old tech school graduate could hope to make? About $30,000, if they are lucky. So now instead of being able to buy a brand new muscle car for less than 4 months salary, you have to work a year. Instead of a house being 2.3 times your salary, its 7.5 times.

    Yet, some people think that there's something wrong with someone if they don't own a house, drive a new car, and have two or three kids by the time they're 30.

    • Nobody is thinking that there's something wrong with a guy if he is not married, have kids, own a house and car when he' s 30.

      Your first problem is of course a high school diploma. The value of a high school diploma equals zero. Kids today have to make choices; have fun or be a nerd and get that bachelor's (at a minimum). Even after earning that bachelor's (with honours), I keep studying and will have an accounting designation in couple of months (company-paid).

      Study more because the competition is tough. Having a bechelor's and a designation is still not enough for me, because I can see my job going to that East Indian, who has a Master's and a designation, in India. That's why, I am trying to get in a MBA program.


    • Even earning a good income, I still save by not becoming a bar-hopping lover. I don't drink or smoke. I think twice before buying any non-essential item. Plus, everything today's kids grew up with, they can't have that right off the bat, after graduation. It takes time to own a home and car. Study more, save carefully, and buy a home when the time is right. Try to live in a city where public transportation is good, because in the end, a car is bad for your pocket and environment. I walk to work and take transit wherever I need to go, and rent a car if I really have to.

      This all helps in keeping me healthy (no alcohol or smoke), and environment.

      And don't think that I must be that wimpy, hippy guy, who is hated by the girls. I was married, too (and she didn't work).

  49. Dear Mr. Steyn, keep in mind that the 60 somethings are the very people that have mortgaged their children's future for generous social benefits to themselves. It is only fair for them now to support their children into adulthood, given the fact that those young adults can not afford both the cost of living and the cost of paying for their parent's social programs.

  50. Sorry old farts these are tougher times than you baby boomers had it. My parents said back in the 60's you could walk out with a high school education and get a job that paid well enough to buy the car and house. Good luck trying that now. Post secondary education WAS cheaper (inflation my eye) and therefore those who got it were out of debt much sooner. Rent is insane in most cities now and that's where the jobs are. Tough to get an entry level job when they want experience, employers are stingy and don't want to train anyone anymore. So I am one that boomeranged in and out of the house (few years here, few years there) until my education was behind me and I got my first stable decent paying job at 25-then I was gone like a flash. What is worrisome is little Johnny having no desire to move out. Having to move back home after living on your own is a nightmare. It's up to the parents to make sure life isn't too cozy -nagging helps!

    • Congrats. I don't think Steyn is talking about your kind. You still left. Education is indeed expensive. I was like you, too.

      I boomranged, too. Lived 3 years with parents after graduating, and in that while, I paid off my $ 30K student loan. I was still not mooching off (completely), since I paid for the family car (since, I am the only one in my family who has a driver's license), and picked up its expense, completely (gas, maintenance etc.) I moved out when I was 25. I still contribute by paying for my parents' and siblings' cell phones, cable and internet expense (that's $ 2400 per year).

    • Yeah sure, but we also didnt expect our first house to have 4 bathrooms and granite countertops! I agree that employers are not what they once were as regards being willing to train and pay a decent wage.

  51. The rich believe in one admirable thing:

    preaching self-reliance and highly moral responsibility to those with less money.

    Well done.

    • Baloney. It is the wealthy who coddle their adult children and keep them infantilized into their thirties.

  52. Cripes…..I moved out of the house when I was 16. Went to school during the day, had two different(crappy) jobs during the evenings.

    Are you saying I could have stayed at home and sponged????

    As for the parasitic kids…..I bet they vote NDP or Liberal.

    • Yeah good for you James here's a hero biscuit! Who the hell leaves home at 16-unless you lied about your age in WW1? Were you born trying to prove something? Congratulations!

      • Back in the 70s it was common and expected to be out and supporting yourself at the age of 18 unless you came from a wealthy family who sent you off to university. My husband was kicked out at 16, supported himself ..I left home after highschool,worked, rented a room and bought a ten speed for transportation. We paid for our own wedding too.

  53. I am a 28 year old woman, and I find it hard to sympathize with all the "kids" who can gripe about how "hard" it is to justify remaining at home with mom and dad. I went to work immediately after high school and I now own a car (completely paid off) and a home, with an affordable mortgage, in the city and close to work. I am also pursuing part time education to improve my job prospects. With a little good sense and some compromise, it can be done!

    • Better count yourself as one of the few lucky ones who sailed through the bottle neck. Because, without a doubt, there are people out there more qualified than you in their field but without a job. Its not their fault they don't have money to live on their own.

      • Not one of the lucky ones, but rather one of the dedicated to working/making her own way on her own. Bet she's not a narcissistic show shopper!

  54. The stats for countries like Canada depends on a huge factor that is not known to western culture. Almost all Asian families have adult children living with them. It is strongly against cultural norm and a huge selfish slap in the faces of your parents if you move out as soon as you legally can. Because when you are an adult you start taking more and more care of your parents as they grow old, pay more and more of the bills until one day the parents technically become the children and you become the care taking parent figure to them. There is no OLD AGE HOME in Asian societies. Even having your own wife and kids don't matter if you are the oldest son of your parents. You are going to live with them or they are going to live with you. But in the grossly generalized statistical figures you end up looking like a bum living above your parents garage.

    • Perhaps Asians are assimilating but there are definitely Old Age Homes for people of Asian cultural backgrounds in Canada's largest cities. There are also Asian parents who were sponsored by children who renege and the parents become the taxpayers' burden.

      • I meant herding old people into old age homes are not a part of any or most Asian societies. It is an invention of the western world.

      • And no, sponsored parents don't go to live in homes. They live with their children who sponsored them. They bring them to live with them and be cared for properly in old age, not to send them to live in old folks homes.

          yes, they all live with their children at home.
          (btw, I have nothing against ethnic senior care homes, but I do have something against blatent over generalizations)

          • Nope. no over generalization. I see your link. And that centre for Geriatric Care is in Canada. I was saying these don't exist in Asian countries. And where they do exist in Asian countries it is only the last resort for seniors who have no close family that they could live with.

            Also it is true some Asian people adopt to the ways of the western culture and start treating their parents like people do here. So those people send their old parents to live at homes (but be sure they get frowned upon from all their relatives!). But thats a very tiny percentage. Majority of the Asian seniors living at old homes in Canada just don't have an adult child living nearby or the child can't afford to keep them because of lack of room, money or if there is a frequent need of professional nursing care. So there are a whole lot of factors at work here.

            I am Asian so I would know how it works. I live with my parents and always will one way or other, because I am the oldest son. I do pay for half of the bills but since the house is in my parents name and all the services we subscribe to are also under my father's name, you wouldn't realise that I pay more than my share just by looking at things. This is where someone like me end up looking like a bum living with your parents. And that is why the stats are probably way off in Canadian big cities where a lot of Asian people live.

            Comprende? :)

        • I'm sorry, but the families importing their senior citizens parents are not covering all their expenses. They are making Canadian taxpayers help "care properly" for their elderly parents who have made not one penny of contributions to the health care and pensions they consume. This is a factor in the long line ups for medical care for people who HAVE paid into the system all their lives. They are not getting what they paid for because many people are getting what they haven't paid for.

          Say a couple brings over both sets of parents. Those two in their entire lifetimes will not pay through their taxes and sponsorship the amount that the four (plus themselves) consume. This is why immigration shows no net economic benefit to Canada. The expenses equal or exceed the income.

          • Well. That is why the immigration process involves a medical exam. Canada doesn't deliberately bring sick people into the country. They get sick after getting here. I know it doesn't seem fair that a life long tax payer gets the same priority as a new comer, but it is also the purpose of the taxing system, to share wealth. And Canada believes in everyone having equal access to health care. It is not a perfect system but who is to decide who suffers and who gets treated faster and better? That kind of system is for oppressive societies.

            Its kind of silly to say immigration show no net economic benefit to Canada. Without people coming in from outside, Canada just doesn't have enough population and enough wealth to continue as a developed nation. And certainly can't utilize the country's resources on an optimum level. More than half the work force in major cities are immigrants. Imagine the boost to the amount of taxes being gathered! Moreover, very few immigrants succeed in bringing old parents over. Its not that easy to sponsor people, Canada has a very limited quota for sponsored immigrants. It is much easier in the USA.

            You could say all the immigrant tax payers are probably paying enough for health care for all the immigrants. After all, don't forget that unless you are a native north American, you are also an immigrant, you probably got here before civilized societies decided to treat everyone equally when they need help,

            In my view, everyone in the world should have an equal chance to live in north America as a "Canadian" or "American" does, because they are also immigrants. If someone can work and contribute, they can come if there is space.

  55. I'm 26, I moved out at 18 and boomeranged home at 23. I have worked consistently one full time and one or two part time jobs that entire time (60 hours/week). I have always brought home what would be considered a decent wage (30k/yr) that entire time. But I live in Vancouver, and you cannot live on that amount of money as a bachelor, let alone with a familly and still hope to save anything if you don't want to be renting crummy basement sweets the rest of your life. Let me break that down for you, You lose approx 20% to income tax (7000) and have 23000 left which is a budget of $1916.66/month. Rent in Vancouver for a small 1 bedroom (600 square feet) basement sweet is $1000 if your lucky (unless you live in the notorious east end which you wouldn't) leaving you $916.66/month. Pay heating and hydro (electricity) and your out another $100. $816.66 left.

  56. rental insurance is $30.00 so you just dropped below $800. Assuming you have a car out right and aren't paying a loan your insurance is still $170 if you have a perfect record and gas is $60 if you drive conservatively. $230 gone. You have $556.00 left over. And before everyone clamours that a car is a luxury we should give up, Vancouver transit does not run past midnight except on only the most major of routes where rent would of course be higher, so if you work in something like the restaurant industry you will be paying for cabs. Plus it takes longer if you are trying to get from job A to job B and then to School. But for argument sake cost effective public transit will go as follows; monthly pass $136.00, and some how only taking 4 cab rides to an outlying suburb $80.00. You save $14.00 congrats. Moving along you have to save for tuition if you want to complete your education and earn a little more money in the future so you aren't depentdant on anyone else; so put $200 a side for that $336 left. You still need clothes and food. and your tapped out.

  57. As to the suggestion that I should go live in a cheaper out lying area, around Vancouver the nearest community that has a drop off in rental costs is Langley to the south a 2 hour drive, with no public transit linking it to the city. Try doing 2 jobs and class as well as 4 hours of commuting and tell me that makes sense. After Langley the options are 3.5 hours to Chilliwack or 4 hours to Pemberton. Or is it being suggested I move to a different province and hope to find work in the Auto, farming, mining or fishing industries and skip the education all together?

    • Craig, do you really think that moving anywhere outside the lower mainland means working in the " Auto, farming, mining or fishing industries and skip the education all together?" WTF man! I live in New Brunswick, which is probably not your dream destination, but I have a good job in the tech sector (yes, those jobs do exist outside Vancouver), and a large heritage house about a 30 minute commute from work. Housing prices are approximately 1/5 what they are in Vancouver. The people are nice too.

    • Langley is NOT a 2 hour drive! 45 minutes at best!

  58. My wife and I can hardly wait for our youngest to move out so we can start having uninhibited, screaming sex again. When we were young, we were always afraid of our parents walking in on us. Now, we are afraid of our kids walking in on us…

    Seriously, if the current trends go on for another decade or so, our whole economic system will collapse under the weight of unsustainable entitlements, and we will all be on our own. Before that time comes we want to have established ourselves on a more-or-less self-sufficient farm out in the hinterlands, with lots of guest bedrooms for our kids and their families to move back in with us. I'd be more than happy to let them support us in our old age.

  59. I left home at 18 to get a university education. When I'd acheived my BA , my parents said: "You're free, you have your education … piss off!"

    If parents don't insist their 'children' move out at a specific time, it will never happen. My parents gave me a time: education finished, get out.

    I can't imagine being more ashamed than being a 24-38 year old person, male or female, who lives at home, unless s/he is paying rent or mortgage payment on an in-law suite in the basement, and not sucking off mommy & daddy for anything like food and definitely not using/expecting mommy-maid-service.

    Shame on you! You deserved to be ridiculued on national TV. Soemthing like Jerry Springer.

    If you can't find a job, go on welfare, get 2 others on same, rent a space together. If you're living with Mom & Dad without seriously supporting your parents, you're a parasite.

    As Moms & Dads should say: "Piss off. Get outta my house. Get your own life."

    • Um, being a parasite on strangers through Welfare is even worse than being subsidized by the parents who may at least bear some responsibility for their offspring being gormless.

      • Welfare doesn't support slackers for long … they are forced to attend work training and/or work finding classes. And then forced to take whatever job comes along. Welfare might be a good transition for the uber-spoiled from immaturity to responsibility. And the humiliation of going on welfare should be a great incentive.

        If aging parents are willing to keep junior at home because they have enough room to do so and want 'to help out' (particularly with getting higher education), junior should at least be trading off his/her labour around the house to make life easier and less expensive for mom or dad. But the expectation of having to give junior an allowance makes my blood boil. Junior can get a part-time job to pay for additional expenses.

        The Italian situation of the never-to-be-completed thesis is unlikely in Canada … I suspect most universities here have an ultimate deadline for thesis submission if a degree is to be awarded.

  60. Actually there's a Canadian improv group that strongly dislikes being called "Millenials." They have a whole Youtube Channel for this subject.

  61. As Noel Coward sang "What's going to happen to the children when there aren't any more grown-ups?"

  62. Argyle's point above about our consumerist culture contributing to the "inability" of young adults to move out on their own is valid.

    It's true that if young adults living at home were actually saving their salaries instead of spending on consumer goods, they would soon have a sizable down payment on a starter home. Those payments for a big screen TV, expensive clothes and five dollar mochachinos add up.
    The problem is that too many young people from the middle class and up have grown up with unrealistic expectations that they will segue into lives as luxurious as the one their parents provided. Most young adults are very vague on childhoods when their parents may have been saving and struggling in a small apartment.

    Parents need to prepare their kids by encouraging them to get part time jobs early and save, as well as simply warning them that they may take a marked drop in their living standard to live independently but can improve it with hard work and thrift over years.

    There is no doubt that when past generations had piddly starting salaries they did not buy themselves designer purses or other luxury goods. Now every office girl is kitted out like Paris Hilton.

    • I don't disagree with you but (at least in the US) 70% of the economy is consumption. If the kids started saving say 25% of their income and the adults followed, the economy would shrink 15%. This would result in mass layoffs and would not be good for the US or Canada.

      As for getting a job starting at 14, good luck with that. Its illegal in many states and frowned upon in many others. Here in this part of Southern California the traditional employers (malls, restaurants and the like) have a general "no hire under 18 policy" as the are unwilling to suck the extra costs of teen employees or to deal with time and hour limits.

  63. Isn't 32 a little old for an allowance?


    But not quite as old as a 49 year old, well into middle-aged man being called "young."

    That would be Barack Hussein Obama.

  64. According to CAA, Italian adults live with their parents because of global warming. Well, seems like the liberals found a unified theory of society – it's no longer "surplus value" theory of Karl MArx – now it's the Great Global Warming.

  65. The main reason why people in Italy and the rest of Europe live @ home longer is to save money, so that when they marry or finaly have enough will be able to buy and actually own their own home. Also, while living @ home after you start working one helps the family financialy. The 32 year Italian woman is more of the exception than the rule. Also, in Europe just because you live @ home does not mean you are treated like a child, on the contrary there is more pressure on you to do well in school, work, in all aspects of you ;ife realy, because you become an extension of your family…what you do reflects on them as well.

  66. I take it Steyn is running down the royal Family again?

  67. Well, who's fault is it? NDP parents? I tell you what. My kids aren't still living at home. They had paper routes as soon as the bag didn't drag on the ground. They got educations that they mostly paid for themselves and they are doing fine. Stop feeding them cheese!

  68. News flash…stop making comparisons that put down the younger generation of today's society. It is fruitless to pass judgement. They, in truth, are not solely responsible for the state of the situation today. Because the complexity of the changes since the sixties is so extreme, Mark Steyn's article can easily be invalidated. No matter what generation we speak about there is good and bad to be found within each cohort. I am a senior with four successful children who are in their thirties. However, I am not so naive to expect that all others not in such circumstances have done something wrong. The world has so changed that to try to explain it in an article such as this is really quite ridiculous.

  69. Family values and family responsibity vs government social entitlements

  70. I guess that is why we expect more and more from government. "Why should we be expected to all of a sudden, when Mama & Papa die, to look after ourselves," they say. Not only as parents, but government as well, we might well learn from some bird species, who at the appropriate time, nudge their offspring out of the nest, so they learn to fly.

  71. It is always easy to run down people with less money.

    In any case, kids staying longer with parents only seems crazy from an unthinking atomised Western perspective. As a Canadian well acquainted with several thirty to forty year olds who are still living with parents, I am impressed by the good company and fun they bring to the parents, rather than seeing them perfunctorily once a year at Christmas.

    If Steyn dislikes his kids' company that is not the world's fault.

  72. It is always easy for third-rate minds to run down poorer people.

    Kids staying longer with parents only seems crazy from an atomised social viewpoint. As a Canadian well acquanited with quite a few thirty to forty year olds still with their parents, I am impressed by the companionship and fun they bring to their parents. It is way better than seeing them perfunctorily for an hour at Christmas.

    Steyn disliking his kids' comapny is not the world's problem.

  73. It is always easy for the third-rate to mock those with less money.

    As a Canadian, I know several guys between thirty and forty who live with their parents.

    Far from being childish or irresponsible, they impress me by the sheer care, companionship and fun they bring to their parents' lives.

    It's vastly better than the common custom of spending a couple of bored hours with parents at Christmas, the "Hi Mom, Bye Mom" crowd.
    Whatmakes Steyn assume kids who like to be with their parents are unnatural?

  74. In the end, though, one can't blame Steyn.

    He is a journo. Has to do a piece a day. For that he needs a story line. Has to pick one and stick to it. Has plumped for the "Kids-these-days-are-no-good" and "The-poor-have-it-coming-to-them" viewpoint.

    It pays the bills.

    We don't need to assume even HE actually swallows all he writers.

  75. Indeed.

    Every day, I have to suffer through a fellow coworker burn up the phone lines, call up university registrars, ask all sorts of questions, figure out the best place where her dear 22 year old daughter can get in, discuss what courses are what, etc.

    Everytime I hear this, I feel sorry for both of them. Sorry for the poor misguided mother, who thinks she is actually helping by doing all the basic legwork that a 22 year old should know how to do. And sorry for the poor misguided 22 year old daughter, who, with a mother like that, will never grow up. Helicopter parents are still around at 25, sometimes 30, so why not 35? 40? Is it any less ridiculous? Once you pass 30, whatever, sky is the limit! She'll live at home till she's 40, of that I'm sure.

    • What's the great tragedy if she is there at home at 40? At least her mother will have a companion.

    • You have no idea. These are the same parents that call up the professors to discuss their childrens' grades (and get upset when they are told about privacy laws). Its unbelievable.

      • I have no information about this, but I'm curious as to why you think that this is a new phenomenon? Other than perhaps your own experience, are you absolutely certain that parents in the past did not take this type of hands on approach to their children's education?

  76. On second thoughts, we CAN assume Steyn swallows all he writes – in the sense of the money it brings him.

  77. Steyn DOES swallow all he writes – the income from it, that is.

  78. If people are willing to sacrifice independence to government for personal comfort, why would they object to doing the same with their parents?

    Aristotle called it "the slave mentality".

  79. What makes Danpat Ram assume that adult kids who don't live with Mommy and Daddy are the "Hi Mom, Bye Mom" crowd? I'm also a Canadian, but who says you can't be a responsible, self-reliant adult as well as someone whose good to their parents?

  80. How about granting the allowance, but charging her rent? That should balance out things a bit.

  81. Sorry for being unclear, I am functionally independent. My parents both live in Toronto, I'm currently residing in Ottawa, and paying for all of my expenses myself – not past commitment or supplement was afforded by my parents.

  82. Nature takes care of criitters that refuse to become self reliant…they Die…! In the animal kingdom you learn the tricks to survival from the Adults…then your on your own….Real men and women don't leach off their parents …they become independent and strong….Wimps will end up were they deserve…in half way houses for Morons and slackers !

  83. Are you an adult living with your parents? Are your adult children living with you? We'd love to hear your story. Send us an email to