We've got answers! Well, *an* answer, at least , to the "What the heck was in these documents anyway?" question - Macleans.ca

We’ve got answers! Well, *an* answer, at least , to the “What the heck was in these documents anyway?” question


… unfortunately for those of us who have to hit the sack early in order to be up at the crack of dawn for three hours of syndication interviews on CBC radio, it just leaves us with more questions:

From Canadian Press:

The resignation announcement came a scant two hours before Julie Couillard was broadcast on French-language television network TVA telling viewers her former lover left documents at her house.

She refused to say what they were. She said they were left over at her place last month, and that she returned them to the Foreign Affairs department several days ago on the advice of her lawyer.

A source told The Canadian Press that the package included a mix of classified material and other briefing notes publicly available through the Access to Information Act.

The package, he said, was preparation material for Mr. Bernier’s trip to the NATO summit in Bucharest – where Canada announced the extension of its military mission in Afghanistan until 2011.

Here’s what I don’t get, though. By “last month”, I’m assuming she meant April, but the NATO summit was held at the beginning of April – April 2-4, to be exact. Why would Bernier have been toting around briefing books for a summit that had already come and gone? And when the story broke in the Quebec press in early May, didn’t he claim that the relationship had been over for several weeks?


We’ve got answers! Well, *an* answer, at least , to the “What the heck was in these documents anyway?” question

  1. When the story broke he claimed the relationship had been over for several weeks, but when she was spoken to she didn’t seem to know it was over.

  2. This would be a perfect time for Dion to bring down the government and call a spring election.

    The ironic thing is, it would force PM Harper away from the ‘world leader photo op tour’ that he was going on to collect, at taxpayers expense I may add, photos to use in the next election.

  3. ‘A source told The Canadian Press that the package included a mix of classified material and other briefing notes publicly available through the Access to Information Act’

    Available in a heavily redacted form maybe, but not publicly available in the ‘don’t worry about it, nothing really top-secret’ way the ‘source’ wants people to think.

  4. Kady

    What has our Public Safety Minister Day been doing while classified information was being left with a person with ties to organized crime?

  5. Motor : has hit the nail right on the head! The real question here is not all the usual anti-harperites having a little time in the sun but what is going to happen the next confidence motion if the oppostion parties including the Liberal Party, though they haven’t acted like one in a long time do not bring the gov’t down I think I will get a hernia from laughing too hard.

  6. Oh bother. Saw the byline in my RSS reader and assumed this’d be about boomers.

    How disappointing.

    • I had the exact same thought. I was thinking this was going to be about boomers when I saw ‘most entitled generation ever’ headline.

      • lol…..yes!

        • This article is exactly why I canceled my subscription to Macleans Magazine.

  7. Frankly, I don’t think that generation y is entitled at all. The line that captures it all is “in 2006, 44 per cent of Canadian adults ages 20 to 29 were living with mom and dad”.

    My experience tells me that most of those people would prefer to have their own place, but cannot pay for education, or they cannot afford the rents with low salaries. Owning a home is more expensive than it ever has been. So I think that there is no evidence that generation Y feels entitled.

    I agree with the other commenters, the most entitled generation is the boomers, who had high-paying jobs waiting for them despite their education. Boomer auto-workers make 50 grand a year with a high school education. This is not the story today. Today’s students enroll themselves in coop programs so that they might get a foot in the door of a company, they make a big effort to prepare themselves for the job market.

    While I don’t think today’s young people are hard done by, I also have seen absolutely no evidence that they’ve had it easy in the job market.

    • So,I’m a ‘tail end’ baby boomer (b. late 50’s) who couldn’t get a “dream job’ when i graduated in early 1980’s. Had to take a low end tellers position at a small credit union like so many others – there was NO work back then – fully trained engineers (ya North American ones) were driving cabs to pay their bills b/c no one was hiring anyone….we all survived it and made a life for ourselves ……life doesn’t end b/c of an economic downturn…its just really nasty for a bit. Not a good idea to bring generational arguments into things. We all have our talents and abilities regardless of age which any truly successful company will need to make use of. if you go after a protected or tenured position it may not be available – but would you really want to just be in that same place 20 years from now with the next generation biting at your ankles for your job? Its really hard to get a start in life now as it was back then. Some of us give up and fall by the wayside and others through hard work, determination or just plain good luck become successful. best advice to all generations – find what you love to do and pursue it.

    • you have an interesting point… but i’m not sure that your statistic, that 44% of canadians 20-29 live at home, is because they can’t afford to leave. i think it could be the attitude of entitlement, actually. i think that a lot of them are just happy to mooch off their parents for as long as possible.

      cool thoughts though :)

      • I’m not too sure. The total cost of an apartment, utilities & all, is $1,200-$1,500 a month in a lot of cities, & vacancy rates are nil in a lot of places. Groceries can easily go over $400 a month for one person. A typical student loan payment after graduation is $500-$800 a month. A car will cost a few hundred a month to own & operate. Typical starting salaries out of university will be $2,000-$2,500 take home.

        I’m yet to be convinced this whole generation whatever paradigm applies to anyone outside the top quartile. Only a certain percentage of society of any generation can afford this feeling of entitlement.

        I’m getting an image of a senior editor at a national magazine going to gas stations & filling up an expensive car, getting luxury foods at a supermarket, going to fancy restaurants & coffee shops, renovating her house in the suburbs with stuff from Home Depot, everywhere buying stuff from “netgen” kids working for a minimum wage that gives them the choice of buying groceries or paying rent. Then she whines about how these kid’s sense of entitlement is making her life difficult.

        It’s called living in a bubble. Lifestyles of the rich & reality-challenged.

        • When I finished community college (university wasn’t available to everyone like it is now) & got a low-paying, entry level job, I shared an apartment with 2 others so I could pay my student loan and buy groceries – this may help the entitled generation make ends meet.

          As for spending $400 a month on food, are you kidding? Where do you shop? Or does mom still buy the groceries?

          And years later, I still take the bus, subway & streetcar. Does entitlement thinking include having a car you can’t afford, your very own apartment and whining about how boomers have it all? Like all groups of people, we are made of individuals and not all boomers are ‘rich & reality-challenged”.

          AND, what university grad starts working full-time for $25 to $30 K a year?

        • If you’re paying $400 a month for groceries, you need to stop shopping exclusively at convenience stores and Whole Foods. There’s this great place called No Frills…

          And I don’t know anyone who’s paying $500-$800 a month in student loans. The minimum payment is $99/month and there’s a lot of debt relief available if you’re tight on money. It’s important to pay down debt but crippling yourself with payments that huge (if you’re living on your own and have the crazy expenses you’re describing) is not a great idea.

          As for nil vacancy rates – whah? I live in Toronto, which is a pricey market, but I’ve never opened the paper or craigslist and seen no apartments for rent.

          Sounds like you’d rather complain and make excuses than take a reality check and look at why you’re struggling financially. Which is typical of the Millenials. If it isn’t easy, why bother, right?

  8. Well,let’s pay them with balloons and confetti.How appropriate,at the start of the next Depression (every two generations!),when deflation dries up liquidity in payroll accounts.How about free volunteer work, you spoiled Starbucksers?Stay with Mom and Dad so that your parents can keep their residence off the deflating real estate market.This may keep a lot seniors out of assisted living facilities,too.Oatmeal is better for your intestines than steak.Carry on ,Millenials.You got it made.–Remember ,society did not make promises.Your parents did. I am over 65.I am not leaving my job for you.

    • Bitter much?

      Good lord, settle down Nanders. Just because your generation’s shoddy worldviews and poor handle on the economy cost you your retirement… I mean, that’s no reason to be upset.

      Nevermind that your children invented the worst energy crisis in… well, ever. And nevermind that CEOs from your generation were so spoiled that they created horrible financial disasters like Enron and Tyco and GlobalCrossing… And nevermind that all you old geezers created this depression with shoddy business deals and outrageous lending practices.

      Go warm up some milk and stop worrying – we’re not asking you to leave your job. When the economy comes back around, we won’t have much use for ageist jerks. Why don’t you actually try talking to your nieces or nephews, people who actually could teach you a thing or two about who’s spoiled?

      • Yeah, you should jump right on Facebook and start a virtual protest about it, that will set things right.

        • You totally understand facebook don’t you.

          • Yeah actually, seems like s/he does!

      • Nick,

        Been there, done that, seen it happen several times over. Its happening again. No big surprise.

        Back in the “good old days” when the young rabble were saying “don’t trust anyone over 30”, I thought: “Just wait, you too will become part of the over 30 gang or better, you won’t.” Well, some of them did make it to over 30, over 50, and now over 60. Justice happens – eventually.

        Its your turn next. Surprise! Reality is real. What you want or expect is an irrelevant piffle.

        • Yet more lame excuses from baby-boomers eschewing guilt for their failed policies. Thanks for ruining our futures.

          • That’s candy! Awww, way to ruin our future, man!

            Been there, seen that. Get a new(er) schtick.

            “Eschewing guilt” you posit. How about showing a little bit of that personal responsibility you’re all on about these days?

            And way to smear an entire generation (some small part of which begat you I am supposing) for the failures of a few and their willing ‘victims’ and resultant offspring.


      • First of all, the babyboomers worldview was not shoddy, secondly they were way less selfish than you are. Certainly more solidary. Even Generation X is less rude, less demanding and certainly less individualistic than Generation Y.

        Babyboomers have always worked hard (all the ones I know), generation X still works harder and both have never felt they had to have everything handed on a silver platter. But of course, that would be the Generation X’s fault who spoiled their children way too much for there own good and the result is dismal… I know I’m a parent and so I’m making big changes cause I don’t want my kids to be young adults with attitude who when you ask them something they look as if you just ruined their life… Oh yeah, I’d like all gen Y to know that the sidewalk Does Not belong to them and when there’s three of them walking in the same row blocking my way (don’t people understand they should always walk on the right side to avoid confusion!) forcing me in the street, I think ” oh yes, the spoiled, indifferent generation!). It’s scary, they are the future, but then again, babyboomers said that about generation x.

  9. “I had the exact same thought. I was thinking this was going to be about boomers when I saw ‘most entitled generation ever’ headline.”

    Actually I am surprised the author didn’t bring up a parallel example of coddled boomers experiencing the malaise of the 70’s – the flower children became Republicans and “sold out”.

    Take political choices as an example of this – in 1972, 18-24 year olds (born 1948-1954) were 26.6 points more likely to vote for McGovern than the American populace writ large according to the CBS exit polls.

    In 1988, 30-44 year olds (born 1944-1958, so roughly the same group, and definitely boomers) were on average .8 points more likely to vote for Bush than Dukakis.

    Faced with the apparent failure of liberal Keynesian economics in the 1970’s, the baby boomers opened up to Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and selfish individualism – a turn to the (libertarian) right.

    Of course, this hasn’t always been the story – in the 1930’s one had a generation (the generation that fought in WWII) that reacted to a major economic crisis with collectivism and a turn to the (socialist) left.

    Why the different reaction? Well, despite their seeming similarities, there are some critical differences.

    1. The boomers were raised in the golden age of growth, while the greatest generation (and generation Y) were reared in a generation of a boom-bust economy. Yes, the last 15 years have been pretty good, but contain at least 2 recessions, and were preceded by a recession. You can’t compare that to the steady economic growth of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

    2. The boomers faced bad economic times and a sometimes precarious international situation, but never a truly unifying existential crisis. Vietnam was not a total war, nor was the 70’s a new Great Depression – more of a slow malaise. By contrast the Greatest generation saw a clear depression and clear international conflict (WWII), which helped to unify. Who can say what the next economic crisis will be more like – certainly it is unlikely that an existential war will occur, given trends in military technology (great power armies are getting smaller and more high tech, not bigger).

    I actually see some aspects of the greatest generation in the millennials, that are likely to play a big role. For one thing, their do-good captain planet philosophy is similar to that of the millennials. Whereas the boomers were all about unbridled individualism, gen y is clearly not. The fact that they seek self-affirmation from a group in the article above suggests that is the case. Technology may assist in that as well – cell phones have already aided social protests around the world (not to mention the Obama and Ron Paul presidential campaigns – mostly backed by Gen Y’ers).

    I think Gen Y largely grew up more socially alienated than any generation before it. They don’t have the sense of community offered by religion, they grew up in gated communities or ghettos (large gap between rich and poor), their parents moved around more than any generation before them, rising crime meant hanging around with the neighbourhood kids was harder than before and as much as technology puts them in constant contact with more people, it probably reduces the quality of that contact. That is, I think, the opening for employers – they need to foster cooperation and social integration for Gen Y’ers, and give them a sense of belonging to a team. Gen Y may LOOK like it is all about unbridled individualism and selfishness, but look at how they go about it collectively (and how easily folks like the sellers of Che Guevera t-shirts co-opt them) – Gen Y is just looking to fit in.

    (for the record I am demographically part of Gen Y, but am probably closer to generation X in my values, and in many aspects of my life experiences)

    • Thank you for a better, more informed read than the article itself.

    • That was about 10x better then the article above.

      Thanks for spending the time to write that.

    • Well done, Hoser.

  10. Jeepers!! You’ve got to be kidding me!
    Where-oh-where was the fact checking??!!

    Sure – I am not quite of this ‘generation’ – as I am riding 30 and soon to be a year older, am absolutely flabbergasted by the lack of depth in this article. Sure I want respect at my job and I exhibit all the important qualities ie: I bend over backwards and into a pretzel, willing to come early and stay late thing and I get no credit! Instead, the pampered princes and princesses who ‘know’ the right people garner all the glory and trust me when I say that they don’t work very hard at all, although they are quite good at ‘creating the right mood’ to fool their bosses *sigh*

    Here’s some ol’ school morals for you, why think about me, when one can think about and even help others?? Without ‘enforced’ volunteer hours….

    I didn’t have mommy and daddy give me what I wanted/needed, in fact oftentimes I had to give to them! (Which for the most part, I don’t regret). I’ve scrimped and saved and helped younger siblings have a dream at making something of themselves, if they do – is another story…

    These kids are lazy and spoiled and just because mommy and daddy are entitled – so too are they! (All they need are the right connections and oftentimes are lacking the skill set and more importantly the dedication to do the job right!) Now, with this economic ‘spiral’ approaching… Where do you think these kids are going to go? Right back to mommy and daddy, who will help them ‘schmooze’ their way into another job and once again ruining the life of someone who worked hard and often ‘missed out on the social hour at the club’.

    Phah and fiddlesticks, bad job!

    • It’s hard to put up with that in any job, so why do you, Tash? I don’t mean to be overly simplistic, but… if you’re not happy in your job, if you don’t get any credit, if the Barbies and Kens of the world are passing you by without having to do any of the work, why do you stay?

      It’s a great time to start your own business. Have you ever considered that maybe you’re showing your younger siblings the wrong example by scrimping and saving so that they can live “better” while you’re dying a slow death in a job that makes you feel like a pretzel?

      Why should they want to make something of themselves when they’ll end up like a pretzel?

      Sure, the money is rewarding, right? And I’m sure there’s something decent or good or you wouldn’t have stayed so long…

      Is it really entitlement or just biding their time until they can strike for a better job?

      -Nick Armstrong

      • Nick, I don’t know what universe you live in but poor schmoos slog it out at crappy jobs and watch fools with connections get promoted because there is nowhere else to go. Change jobs, ha, meet the new boss same as the old boss. And as for starting your own business, been there, done that for over 20 years, and was left with nothing at the end of it. Being self employed means working 80 hour weeks, sometimes for less than minimum wage, sometimes less per hour than your employees in some cases. You will also likely become an unpaid tax collector and tax admistrator for revenue Canada. You will have no paid vactions, no benifits and no pension. You will however get to interact with civil sevice drones who have all these things, have nothing to do all day, and think you have nothing to do but fill out forms and go through audits, fill out HST reports, etc, etc,etc. There is little appretiation of small business in this country and you are expected to be a cash cow for every level of government. To anyone reading this, if someone tells you to start your own business, run for your life.

      • Well gee thanks Nick – why does one put up with anything?? RESPONSIBILITY!!! You know student debt, a need for a place to leave… sometimes food…
        And sue me if I think that staying in a crappy job (with a few fringe perks, perks that I have created for myself) because I have a dream job that I’m working towards and quitting to sit on my laurels and hope this job will land in my lap won’t happen….

        Just like the point I was trying to make – YOU GOTTA WORK and pretty damn hard, to get what you want and if that fails, at least you might get what you need.

        • And sometimes a need to go back to school and learn how to spell/grammar check ie ‘LEAVE’ should really be live….

          Ack!! ;0

  11. well at first I was against the recession

    then I heard there would be cake!

  12. This article makes me feel like the only responsible person under 25 on the planet. Then again, I’ll probably go out on Saturday and demolish anybody’s pretension of ‘responsibility’ possibly emanating from me… And that inebriation will be paid for with cash, not credit, mind you.

  13. I love sweeping generalizations, so here are two more: Generation X realized it wouldn’t get the same opportunities as the babyboomers and lost hope. Generation Y seems pretty happy with having fewer opportunities, and will probably do more with the opportunities it does have. I wouldn’t confuse that with entitlement.

  14. “Right back to mommy and daddy, who will help them ’schmooze’ their way into another job and once again ruining the life of someone who worked hard and often ‘missed out on the social hour at the club’.”

    Behold the new bourgeoisie…

  15. This article is an insult to my generation.

    Readers might not notice this fact, but the young ladies in the picture are lining up for work with American Apparel – that is their branded font on the “now hiring” sign. (helvetica I think)

    Anyways, working at American Apparel is not a career. It is a good job, but for the most part it is associated with hipsters of the class who are financially floated by their parents.

    The problem is that some people, this journalist inlcuded it would seem, lump an entire generation of kids in with the culturally prominent rich hipster class.

    How is this fair to those of us who paid their way through university through hard work in the summers and during school, who (in ontario at least) were squished through the double co-hort without any real increase in spaces or scholarships in schools, who paid more in tuition than any generation previous and who are now entering a recessionary job market.

    This is the real story…yet you call us entitled? I doubt this reporter could even have gotten into a top college during the double cohort. Acceptance averages at UofT, waterloo, mcgill, queens etc were frequently greater than %90.

    • Sounds like someone should put up or shut up…

      Many boomers and onwards have earned their positions and salaries on their own efforts.

      Expectations are always high, dreams too: effort must match desire before success may be realized.

      This is true through all generations.

      Nobody is special in this regard.

  16. I personally am part of generation x. But I feel sorry for generation y because of articles like this. Both terms “gen x, gen y” are a form of branding that ultimately serve to make us feel inferior to the boomers. Yet the boomers have been at the helm of society for a very long time quite simply because they are the largest voting generation. It is the boomer generation in fact, who have created a society of consumerism. It is they that voted to raise tuition prices for following generations. Not to mention very little investment in infrastructure, and changing the retirement age so they can keep working to pay off the second home. I would hardly call gen y entitled.

  17. They’re going to have one hell of an adjustment problem and in Ontario the only good jobs left are in the public sector. where public sector employees make 17% more than private sector employees working the same job. If they can’t survuve without excellent wages and benefits, they better get on with Ontario Hydro.

    On another note, we hear the mantra of job retraining all the time. But we never hear what the training is aimed at and where the jobs are after the training has been completed. But we’ve been told by anti-Americans and the NDP that we could do better on our own without American investment. Well, now’s your chance.

    • haha, some american must made that -1 …just sayin

  18. I have a good friend who would have graduated in spring 2008. Instead he spent his last year developing some really kickass software and instead of paying tuition for a piece of paper, invested in himself and got something really worthwhile to show for it.

    Now with a highschool diploma and an associates degree he’s entered the workforce as a senior programmer with a 6 figure salary, and it appears it’s all uphil from there.

    I graduated and got lucky finding a decent job in my field, but I’ll never be as sought after as someone with the kind of motivation and talent it takes to really do amazing things. I’m struggling now to master my craft which I might have done better had I spent more time working and improving, and less time in elective courses.

    There’s a certain degree of entitlement from new grads, and it’s always been there. I watched students scrape by with the bare minimum thinking that just showing up to class guarantees them a diploma, and then later expect that their diploma would guarantee them a dream job. Kids who have had to work only minimally for their “accomplishments” are finding a bit of culture shock, but what gives me hope and makes me smile is seeing people like my friend really work hard to be valuable and making his own path rather than following a curriculum. I wish I were half as good.

    • I am very impressed with your level of self reflection as well as the mature conclusions you have come to – good for you and keep the faith as with your attitude you will do just fine!

    • Well said.

      @the author of this piece….does this sound like an entitled person? You’re flat out wrong about generation Y and are basing your opinions on observations that you’ve made. The article you’ve written is almost as bad as stereotyping a race.

      keep up the good work!

  19. Interesting article. I feel that this recession is really hurting a lot of people. I feel that everyone is on edge, not knowing if their job/business/industry is next to be hit hard.

  20. McGuinty didn’t do a thing to prevent the de-industralization of Ontario. He could have given every industry affected by high energy costs and a high dollar, a massive tax break in order to off-set these costs. He didn’t. Instead he blammed Harper, ducked the issue during the election by using John Tory’s quest to fund all schools in Ontario, and as soon as the election was over he hired hired and hired more civil sevants-CUPE’S Sid Ryan must be tickled pink. This man is a failure by any measure and now those entering the workplace have little hope other than managing a cash register. Thanks Dalton for your kind and generous brand of socialism.

    • Yeah! Tax cuts are the answer to everything. Taxes are too high! Taxes are always too high. Government is inefficient. Government should never interfere in the economy. Let’s get right to the logical end point of this chain of, er, reasoning: Taxes should be eliminated entirely, and with it government. Schools, roads, hospitals, and police forces, if they exist at all, should be provided by private companies to paying customers. To those who can’t afford to pay: Die, loser. You are obviously too lazy to live. So die!

      Good ol’ right-wing libertarian economic religion. It makes no more sense than the babble about the long-hair in sandals whose mother never got laid.

      • Yeah!! I want American-level corporate taxation!!

        Oops . . . American corporations pay anywhere from two to ten times the taxes Canadian corporations do. Never mind.

  21. I am in the X generation. I guess I also feel that the early boomers had it made. Factories were still going and good jobs were to be had. Land was cheap and first and foremost your employer could afford to give you the best medical insurance offered not only for you but for the whole family. I feel like the generations that came after the boomers kind of got the shaft. X Gen and Y Gen people are fighters who have had to work longer, harder and get luckier to get the same basic things their parents did such as a family, home and decent automobiles. I was not asking for any entitlement, just a job with decent pay.

    P.S. please insurance companies quit screwing us.

  22. Ian M said:

    ———-“I love sweeping generalizations, so here are two more: Generation X realized it wouldn’t get the same opportunities as the babyboomers and lost hope.”————-

    I’m GenX and I have yet to lose hope. Sure I have more schooling than three average boomers combined and over 20 years in the workforce… 10 of them professional years. Doesn’t mean I stop. I work full time. still go to school part time, volunteer. travel etc. I think the truth of the youth is that we have been bred much more than our parents were to achieve. Most of us grew up hearing the constant lectures about how we were the future and how education was the key to that future. Then our parents jacked up our tuition LMAO.

    Fact is we will as a generation (X and Y) accomplish much more than our parents did. Technology will allow us to advance at an even more unprecedented rate. Our educations and skills will enable to use these advances to their fullest potential. Something the boomers are struggling with as we speak. Honestly; how many of us have had to wire up the DVD/VCR player or teach our parents to use windows? All of us.. most of us? Even in the workplace…. same scenario. To say we are entitled is a bit of a joke/ Maybe the author is a boomer themselves and refuses to accept the fact that they are being outworked, outskilled and outeducated by their children.

    Another point to add is most boomers I know are opposed to change or innovation. They want everything to remain the same as it was in 1972. Most young people 40 and under are the exact opposite. They seem open to change and innovation. The fact is is that employers are going to look at it this way. Do we keep the boomer who is 5 years from retirement and has stagnated job wise due to working fatigue or lack of skills? or do we keep the young whipper snapper who may lack experience but makes up for it with drive, education and adaptability? Our parents went to work for one company and retired there. Our generation works for one company every few years and our retirement is up to us to secure on our own. Now; who is entitled again????

  23. Nicely slanted, author. Whatever it takes for you and your cohort to rationalize away your guilt for shafting the kids all these years.

    I’m a borderline X/Y, and much of what I remember from growing up was being deprioritized in society. School budgets were constantly slashed, while tuition at universities surged higher and higher. And that credit card they try to give you like candy on your first day of higher ed? How can you not recognize that as anything other than exploitation? Here, have a little debt, kid. It won’t hurt you. First one’s free.

    This whole article stinks of *boomer* entitlement, looking down and feeling jealous for what little this generation actually has.

  24. As a boomer, I’ve long abandoned the idea of entitlement. The days of One Company until retirement ended with my parents generation. Pensions gave way long ago to corporate greed and the ubiquitous 401K has turned in to a rolling crap shoot. We can take temporary solace in pointing fingers but the truth is we are all victims of the disease of “more”. Each succeeding generation requires more “stuff”. Go to college, get your degree, get a good job so you can buy more “stuff”. Oh, and be sure to pick a field that yields maximum profitability.

    “We have met the enemy and he is us”—–Pogo, Walt Kelly

    • Well, since we’re going on such an American paradigm — someone show me the statistics showing a baby boom in Canada, please . . .

      Still waiting . . .

      Still waiting . . .

      Oh, right, there wasn’t a baby boom in Canada.

      This is a .ca blog. 401K’s are American retirement vehicles. Up here we have RRSP’s. Either way, though, they should be taken out of market-based investments at least a decade before retiring in case of recessions.

  25. Any writer / reader / business who makes sweeping generalizations about a “generation” with cherry-picked data is lazy in his / her / their thinking an deserves to be ignored.

  26. I agree with those on this thread who dispute the idea that Gen Y is too entitled and have a poor work ethic.

    My peers (Gen X), were and are comprised of far too many cynics who can always be counted on to give you a dozen reasons why they can’t do something, or why it’s unfair and stacked against them, or why it won’t work anyway (at work, in politics, at home).

    The people I work with who are under 30 — especially the 24-28 year olds, are much less cynical, far more innovative and, if you can show them how their contribution fits into the bigger picture, work like little maniacs. They have no fear. I’d much rather have a team of 25-year-olds on a project that requires original thinking, self-starting, etc. than a bunch of whining thirty-somethings (like me).

    As for entitlement, I think the boomer generation — who have lived off of the progress and sacrifices of the WWII generation, thought only of themselves and not of those who would follow, and who now have turned surpluses into deficits to be passed on to future generations are much more the embodiment of “entitlement” attitudes than are Gen Y.

  27. I think by being entitled, the author means that we expect the best, but we’re quickly learning it is very hard to get there. When we’re spending the first few years of our 20’s struggling just to find decent paying jobs with decent hours, you learn pretty quickly that things won’t be easy. 44% of us are still at home, and I would imagine that the majority of the ones that aren’t are struggling to get by, or are double income-ing it.

    I pay rent at home, because I expect to be financially independent with savings built up before I leave. I don’t care what the previous generation thinks, I am simply adapting to the situation I am in. I have a decent job for my age group, and even I can’t afford life on my own, and I am not going to let money become an issue in my relationship. The only way I can prevent that is to be financially independent, no matter how long it takes.

    I would enjoy the freedom that having my own place entails, but at the same time, I would still be relying on another source of income; and that to me, is just as free as living at home paying rent. So why move out? I’m just going to bide my time until the time is right, I am just hoping that the time does come sometime in my lifetime, because it sure seems like a long uphill battle.

  28. A caricature cover image and a simplistic, conventional-wisdom story. Further evidence that Macleans is a doomed rag written by know-nothing, underpaid kids, read largely by older Canadians who crave better information and in fact write better analysis themselves. But enough about me.
    That cover perpetuates the myth that the 250,000 Canadian jobs set to vanish this year will be squished by the black brogue of faceless corporate pigdogs. The truth is that Canadians themselves, like Americans and most other Westerners, are responsible for this descent into permanent jobless hell. For decades, we’ve believed we deserve to have it all, and participated blithely and greedily in economies that have given us everything – provided it’s made for next to nothing by slaves toiling elsewhere. We are the authors of our own misfortune, and there is no fix, political, economic or otherwise, to the choices we’ve made. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…”

    • hear hear

  29. I hope that firms aren’t paying Gen Y consultants more than $5 for advice on how to treat their younger workers. Frankly, the firm can forget my birthday, top 10 BFFs, and hobbies entirely if they continue to provide reasonable pay, decent hours, and a career.

    Companies want (and can demand) loyalty; if a recession is needed to slap back all of the job hoppers who are now 3 or 4 tiers beyond their competency then bring it on!

  30. Dave S, maybe the boomers would stop exploiting you if you tried shit-canning the victim mentality, which very nearly drips from every word in your post? If they refused you credit, you’d be calling that exploitation too.

  31. I know what would fix Dave S – conscription. Or at least a few years of mandatory military service.

  32. So many articles like this go on about Gen Y and “boomers”. There’s a whole generation between that, Gen X (see all the comment above) but we’re forgotten again and again. That’s part of the problem.

    When I entered the workforce after university and a year of vocational graduate school, I found I was – at the age of 22 – already out-aged for a lot of entry level jobs in my industry. Such was the fervour, the obsession with youth, that they actually wanted teenagers. No matter there is no way that the average teen – Doogie Howser excepted – can have a university degree. It was just Youth Youth Youth all the way. I was lucky, I managed to leapfrog straight to the next rank, but there were a lot less positions available at this point then at the entry level below.

    Partly it is because youth is an increasingly rare commodity: the demographic structure of society is becoming drastically grey-heavy. But mainly, I think, it is because of sheer marketeering greed and the miconception that all young people are impressionable and brand promiscous enough to be worth marketing to, whereas older people are supposedly so stuck in their ways there’s no point bothering with them.

    People of all ages and all generations have value. Spoiled young people lured into companies with toys and gimmicks and perks aren’t going to stay – not when a rival company offers them the same or better deal and a host more toys and novelty six months or even three months down the line. I know of endless tech savvy dotcom kids that would change their jobs every month, being put in charge of entire web dev teams, design teams, then getting bored in a couple of weeks and just taking another holiday and getting another job handed to them when the partying money ran out. That doesn’t happen any more, but the belief in their value by older business people that should have known better was astounding. Creativity is nothing if you don’t stay long enough to get your ideas and project at least underway.

    The one thing that Gen Y has right – and a few visionary companies such as Google or Semco (google Ricardo Semler) – is that workplace conditions don’t need to be like a Victorian workhouse to be productive and competitive. Happier staff are more productive, more creative, more efficient. They take less sick days, they are more loyal. But that doesn’t mean confetti and helium balloons. It means flexible conditions, merit-based rewards and progress, relevant training. It means encouraging staff to use technology, get their iPhones on the company network, be able to work from home should they wish or need to.

  33. Generation Y may have been given reason to feel entitled in their elementary years when teachers spoke of college as an inevitability, but we have grown up.
    We know that this world is growing far too competitive to flippantly expect anything to come our way unless we’re fighting for it tooth and nail. I work in a coffee shop twenty-five hours weekly and model for five just so I can afford to stay in school. I realize that even with a degree, my work is just beginning. I don’t expect I’ll own a car for a long time coming, shopping for clothes means a trip to the Salvation Army or the thrift, and I’ve whittled my grocery bill to a mere $120 monthly.
    And most of my peers are in a similar boat.
    We pay more for a degree that will land us a job that pays less. Our internships don’t pay us anything. We hate money, hate that it is standing in the way of what we want to accomplish, but we haven’t the gall to suggest wealth is an inalienable right.
    All we want is reasonably priced education, living, and health care. All three are crippling our efforts to make headway towards a career.

  34. Typical boomer BS… Entitled generation my rumple-muffin. Have you heard of the Baby Boomers???? The generation that MUST have luxury to the Nth, never grew up and has a pill for everything. The generation that did not save for retirement until recently hence creating investment bubbles and then bailing themselves out with their grandchildren’s future prosperity. How can you call Millennials entitled?

    Oh wait, you are a boomer and you are projecting. It all makes sense.

  35. Raging Ranter (surely the handle of a reasonable man)

    Yes, conscription was tragic and on that one count, the boomers have my sympathy. As for everything else, frankly, you can cram it.

    I’m not a victim. Victims are helpless. No, I fought and worked for what I have, and I helped myself into prosperity, no thanks to the short-sighted greed of my elders. The “me” generation is, of course, a title that’s already been given, in case we’ve all forgotten the 70’s. But I think it is much more apt to call boomers the “hypocrite” generation.

  36. ….because you can’t all be Princes and Pricesses…Welcome to real life kids….enjoy! Maybe now you’ll appreciate all that your parents have done for you!

  37. My experience with Gen Y and the still younger set is the opposite of Oh Boy.

    I find they’re the most conformist bunch I’ve ever met and find lateral thinking to be a pretty rare trait. They only appear innovated in comparison to their parents, the baby-boomers, but I’m always amazed by the complete capitulation of this generation to consumerism, to corporatism, to their parents and to whatever’s popular.

    While I agree they tend to be pretty positive in their outlook, I find they are only self-starting as a means to avoid doing anything they find dull (such as what they were hired to do). They often want to run before they’ve learned to walk, which is fine, but sometimes there are tasks that simply need doing by someone, and they were hired to do them. The opportunism is fine, but the shirking is not.
    I see a lot of half-assed, sloppy work (though certainly an admiral attempt at maintaining the pretense of doing actual work) but that’s because I actually pay attention. No, I’m not a micro-manager, just a little sharper than most.

  38. I think there are parts of this article that are true for kids that had very, very well-to-do parents, (whether they were well-to-do via income or merely credit, who knows), generally in the US. I don’t meet a lot of entitled Canadian Y kids.

    As far as afternoon tea at Google? Google hires the absolute best people they can find, worldwide, age is not an issue. I think it’s alright if they get tea. They also get “free” lunch at Google – problem, or sensible approach to creating an environment conducive to doing some of the most difficult computer science work ever done? If businesses choose to provide some food to employees, the money for that comes from somewhere, and businesses who spend too much money on perks will either have to cut salaries, or deal with lower profits – it’s pretty simple.

  39. Oh, and Janet makes a good point: I don’t think I’ll ever, ever own a car.

  40. This is a criminally uninformed article. But, I’m sure no one under 30 reads Macleans so their boomer readership will lap it up. Lap it up while you can boomers! the bell tolls for you.

  41. I just happened to write my first blog post ever about this very topic. I am a Gen-Yer. I appreciate everything I am fortunate to have and as someone that graduated from college in December and has been looking for his first post-graduate, I really do feel like I am paying the piper for the bubble I grew up in. Check out my full blog at http://dadssportcoat.wordpress.com/

  42. This is nothing new – the exact same thing happened in the late 90’s…

    When I enrolled in College (for Computer Science) in 1996, we were all given the same promises – employers fighting over you, being able to (essentially) demand whatever Salary you wanted, etc.

    And you know what happened then: the “Tech Bubble” burst, Y2K turned out to be a dud – and the marketplace was flooded with computer geeks like myself!

    WE learned our lesson the hard way – just as these kids hopefully will. Let’s just hope that they aren’t TOO spoiled (or stubborn) to ACCEPT the change ;);)

  43. This idea of the young generation of a bunch of snot nosed brats that think they are going to rule the world is something that crotchety old men have written about with generation x, during the baby boom, and my guess is probably throughout history. I am glad that you got that off your chest, and I hope you realize that this article, though containing some good information, is all too typical of the older generation.

  44. This generation needs to appreciate all that they have been handed. Now it’s time to suck it up and go find a job and learn the meaning of the words “a good day’s work”. Most “Gen Y’ers” are lazy, narcissistic and self-indulgent…they drift into the office when they want, think that they are the only ones who know anything, and drift around and not accomplish much in the course of a work day.

    Live with mom and dad, help them out, contribute to the household – monetarily and with what ever else needs to be done and quit whining about the fact that you don’t have a job as the president of a large corporation. Find a job that pays the bills, learn how to be humble, and forget about what your peers would think of you if you don’t have the best job on the planet. That’s their problem.

  45. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

    Although demographics is important, we can not typecast the whole generation. Each generation is made out of individuals that have different needs, different point of views, different ways of solving their own problems.

    This article is just a misguided attempt to refocus attention from the real problem: where are the real long term work positions in Canada? Why is acceptable to reduce, reuse and recycle humans, and consider them as resources? Many people are sick and tiered of getting back to school each two years, just to get a short gig that is currently payed.

    I am afraid that this article is just a probe that has to establish susceptibility of the public to the idea that the whole generation could be accused for the economical trouble.

    For some time, baby-boom generation was the one to be guilty, than generations X, Y, Z, sandwich, not to mention that “teenager” was almost a bad word. I have children, and I can tell, that their generations are the best that ever have been. They have such a heavy burden to carry, that they do not deserve to be part of the stereotype. They are young, and they are already sharing the heavy weight of the world that they inherited.

    I also believe and know that they will not ask “Dude where is my job?”, but they will rather instead of waiting, start their own companies, make their own jobs, make the jobs for the rest of us better than we can do for them, and continue to humbly carry a burden of the debt that the older generations have placed on their shoulder. Lets face it: they are going to be hear, once when we are passed our due date.
    This World will belongs to them, and it will be in good hands.

  46. Sadly I am in that spot where I came out of school with high grades, coop work at 2 top CDN companies, a university degree, a collage degree as well.

    All of a sudden I could not get a job if i paid people off, but while in school I had so many offers for full time while everything was great with the world.

    I did find a job in my field, so I am happy and I know lucky as I have many friends who having tough times. I dont have a debt because I worked a low paying job to get myself through school.

    All I can say is hang in there.

    While I was sitting at home looking for work, I decided to start up my own business, which did help pay my bills and give me a new drive. Hey if you cant find work, whats better then working for your self. I live at home not because I cant afford to move out, because I look after my parents who are very up in age.

    Times are rough but if your not built for it, its even worse, I am only 25 so I have along way to go, I have no problem working up to the top, because I know can and will prove it as well.

    You just have to stay positive and focused and dont let all the negative stuff get to you…..good luck!

  47. Let’s face it… this recession is going to be hard on all cohorts not just the millenials…

  48. I think this article hit the nail on the head, and helped me understand why Gen Y feels entitled!
    In 2004 I was laid off from my job of 6 years and landed a far less paying job.
    Here I found myself starting over and taking on a second job to pay my bills (the car I needed for work, rent and student loans for example). My day job was in an office full off fresh out of college 20 somethings that were whining everyday about there job. They actually stated that they had gone to college, so they should be making 40 grand to start! They complained constantly about any sort of criticism or input in regards to their work. We worked in Graphic Design, and only had to deal with internal company input. The degree to which they claimed that what they did was correct, because THEY had gone to school to learn design was flabbergasting to me! I mean, they hadn’t even dealt with clients!!! And as a designer, to make money, you do what your client wants, cause they are paying you. Even if it is against everything you believe is aesthetically correct :) One of these Gen y’s actually turned down a job promotion that amounted to a 15% increase in pay (in my case anyway) because they would not change her title from junior to intermediate!!! Could not comprehend that. I get that now after the article.
    Reading about the self esteem campaign helps me see where this came from, because I found it hard to see that everyone had been “spoiled” when I saw the same attitude all around. I volunteered with Girl Guides as well, and saw wonderful parents and families, but this strange appearance of entitlement at times.
    I must say though, that being exposed to this attitude only helped me. Taught me fully to believe that only you can make yourself happy, and sitting around complaining and waiting for the world/company/boss to change won’t happen. I’ve since left the company on my own accord and traveled for over a year. I’m now back in the job hunt, at a very bad time it seems, but I am willing to work for what I now know will make me happy. I hope this happens to Gen Y and they make themselves be who they deserve to be, without waiting for us to bring them cake and balloons.

  49. I read the article. Not bad. The ones that will come out of this recession stronger than every one else have already started to make moves. I don’t need to complain about my generation or the left overs from the previous generations. I’m going to work hard and get through it. Period. Especially right now before the unemployment rate continues to rise and it will be even more difficult to build a future in a highly competitive job market, or at least, and with great privilege, to maintain a living. Cheers folks, all the best to you and your families.

  50. Wow, what an insulting article!

    • If that is all that you can articulate from this discussion I am sad. I honestly found this the least insulting way to describe the “Y generation” I found it actually provided some sympathy for the attitude and state of mind that exists. Certainly it is a generalization, but I think if people step back and observe, they can see the general attitude and state of mind of each generation has it’s similarities, whether they want to admit it or not. I think this article was a justification and explanation, not an insult, and was just a statement that we all need to look at things from a new view with the impending financial issues we face. Evolution.

  51. The author may appear to be generalizing but ultimately, she is right. I was born in 1973 but I’m as entitled as they come and it took me a long time to realize that I was. My wife and I are only beginning to recover finacially from a lengthy period I spent living and working overseas while my friends were building careers at home.

    After leaving a career I was deeply unsatisfied with (teaching) I’ve had to start at the bottom in the private sector and it hasn’t been easy. Imagine my surprise when my new employer said flat out I would not be allowed unpaid leave to be in the Army Reserve. I had to make a choice and it hurt.

    Generation Y, I recommend you do whatever you want, for as long as you want whenever you want, but there is a price to be paid for it and you’ll know when it comes.

    There are positives in all this. If all people of a generation act the same it forces employers to think about retention seriously. Ultimately an equilirium will be achieved.

    Whatever you do don’t believe everything you hear about this recession, it won’t be worse than ’91 -’94, count on it.

  52. Um, Dave S, the boomers were never conscripted. Their dads were conscripted. You’re a confused young man.

    • Raging Ranter: Baby boomers were born after WW II and up to about 1960-ish. An 18yo grunt in Vietnam in 1969/70 – the peak – might have been born in 1951 or so. Easily a baby boomer.

  53. David F, that early ’90s recession was a real ass-kicker that’s for sure. Those who are already screaming about how bad it is right now haven’t seen anything yet. Remember the NOT HIRING signs in the windows?

    Right now, I still see HELP WANTED signs everywhere I go. In the early 1990s, I don’t think there was a such thing as a HELP WANTED sign. People sneer that all the jobs are low-paying McJobs, but at least there still are McJobs. From 1991-94, people were lining up for such jobs. As a student I had a hard time even finding part-time work.

    For everyone who thinks this recession is just the most terrible thing ever, may I cheer you up by stating, It hasn’t even started yet. That’s right. You think it’s bad because you hear on the news and read that it’s bad, and maybe you know someone who’s been laid off, or you’ve been laid off yourself. Well, to paraphrase Churchill, “This is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Just hope it doesn’t get early 90s kind of bad, or early 80s kind of bad. Now that was bad.

  54. Vietnam, genius. Oh, sorry — this is a Canadian blog.

    • You just figured that out? Let me guess, it was the little red maple leaf in the MacLeans header at the top of the page.

  55. Since we’re playing the generalization game, the main group of people I see as having an exaggerated sense of entitlement are those that work for the government…and they come in all ages, shapes and sizes.

  56. Somebody’s gotta be the blame for all this! Please let me know.

  57. Yep, you’ve pretty much summed it up. And you didn’t even mention the monster debt loads for those who go to university. Boomers didn’t have those, either.

    • I did…. I owed 10,000. at the end of my “university career”, that may seem small by today’s standard but a starting job for a grad was 13-15K at that time if you were lucky. It took me years to pay off (and I did). At times I was working two jobs to get anywhere.

      I think you are out of line to make assumptions.

      • I respect your experiences but they may be atypical. A few things have happened in the past few decades.

        1. The income advantage of a university degree is lower than it used to be. As more people get university degrees, the advantage they confer gets competed down, as they know longer signify membership in the top quintile in terms of education. Some studies have even found that there is no advantage to getting a university education any more (or rather, the opportunity cost is greater than the benefits).

        2. University has never been cheap but increases in tuition have outpaced inflation for decades. This is, I think, also a function of more people wanting to go to university – there is a lot of demand such that educational institutions can charge as much as they want (FYI: I am not a low tuition advocate, I do think fewer people should go to university, though).

        3. While many items are cheaper (in real terms) than ever before, the same is not true of housing – the critical expense that pushes people to live with their parents longer. In 2006 houses were 71% more expensive than in 1987 (a period of relatively low inflation).

        4. Often jobs require people to work as interns for a period of time, because they have no experience. Intern salaries are very low and make it nigh-on-impossible to pay off loans. In the big Ontario survey I was able to find (of 2002 graduates), the median income of graduates was $36,000 (I suspect that number is on the high side, since only 23% of those surveyed responded – those who were say, unemployed, were probably less likely to answer the survey).

        Tuition fees in Ontario were about 5,000 a year on average (doubled since 1990, but still incredibly low compared to US tuition where debt loads are often ~$50-60,000), so the average student would graduate with $20,000 in debt, and a much higher cost of living than in the past.

        Again, I don’t mean to diminish your hardship – your experience sounds more onerous than that of the average grad today. Past generations faced enormous challenges as well. Gen Y will never have to worry about being drafted, nuked, getting polio and while it is more expensive for them to move out on their own, that they have the option of staying with the folks is an edge in itself.

        The recession may make Gen Y a bit more like past generations:
        -economic stimuli may succeed in creating next-gen BLUE COLLAR jobs, taking pressure off the credential inflation machine that is the education system. On the other hand more people tend to go to school during a recession because the opportunity cost is lower (it is hard to find a good job in a recession).
        -Lower housing prices may help Gen Y start to buy property, and move out of their parents homes.

        • I believe that each graduating class entering the workforce has challenges. The education system needs to change to enlighten students of where opportunities are. Teachers have gone the university, teachers college route. They don’t have any idea of what else is “out there”, having said that, these are the influencers of what students may choose as their future.

          In Canada we have a huge shortage of people going into trades as a career. Trades are not for “dummies” and they are experiencing a huge shortage of people. Trades are not “grunt work”, and if money is what is going to make you happy then take a look at the trades. These people are the entreprenuers, making 100K is possible very early in your career. Plumbers don’t just fix your toilet, they work in transport of fluids of all kinds. I need electricians, carpenters, cooks (just to name a few).

          I am tired of hearing of “entitlement”. Those that are willing to work will find their way… the rest.. good luck.. win a lottery The illusion that a diploma or a degree is a guarantee of a great job because “you have one” (a diploma or degree) is nonsense, all it does is guarantee the people working in post secondary education have a job.

          I work in career development and one thing I told my children ( aged 24 and 22) is get any job, prove yourself and the rest will come, yes, they have post secondary education, my son is in the trades and my daughter is in business… their jobs are not impressive but, they live on their own, pay their bills (including monster debt of OSAP) and accept that this is what life is like. I have every confidence that they will be able to survive. I am able to catch them if they fall, but I sincerely believe that it won’t be needed, they are realistic about work. When the time comes they will move up, in my opinion they are better people for starting at the bottom and show the willingness to do whatever it takes to get to better jobs when the time comes.

          The person working at Tim Hortons has a better chance of success in the workplace and moving up to that dream job than the person thay says “I’m better than that”

  58. This article irritated me. I have worked hard for everything I have, as do all of my peers. I work three jobs and attend school full-time. Young workers didn’t cause the recession, but we will bear the brunt of it.

  59. There has always been, always will be, tension between generations. Empires rise and fall, economices rise and fall and your fortune, or lack thereof, depends upon where you are when the tides change.

    I have enormous respect for the 20 year old I know who left for the west to persue her dreams. She pays for her rent, her own car loan, her bills, and has fun while learning about life. She and her friends have games night (board games), pot lucks, art and bi-monthly martinis at the local bar. They don’t spend time whining. The ‘mommy’ contribution amounts to paying a cell phone bill and flying the kid home once a year. This is not the mark of a generation that feels entitled. Too often we ascribe to the many the benefits that in reality accrue to a minority within the population.

    This generation is neither entitled nor disenfranchised. It does not collecitvely feel any more or less entitled than any “next” generation has felt throughout time. Boomers felt they had the answers when they were in their tweenties, they felt ‘special’ they felt ‘entitled’. Why would you think this new generation of youth would feel any differently that previous “new” generations? It is the ‘right’ of each generation to set its’ own tone.

    Make of the world what you will, you will be living here longer than most of us!

  60. I am truly saddened by “generational warfare” it is truly pathetic. Why is it necessary to lump people into groups and then blame based on age. I have worked with Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millenials and have had the opportunity to work with the best and worst of each. I find that everyone has the same goal, to be the best that they can be and work to achieve that goal. The road may be different but the intended result is the same.

    Let’s get rid of the generational fences and learn from each other!

  61. The article should read: What happens when the most entitled members of the most arrogant generation in history get excessively greedy and ruin the economy for everyone else. Thanks rich, white boomers.

  62. For twenty years, the definition of a job has not held water. It is a meaningless word. Even lawyers aren’t sure what it is. I believe that’s the core of the meltdown. If a job doesn’t hold water then how are you gonna pay your bills? It makes sense to someone but not me.

  63. More of the same…. generation gap and complaints about “coddled” kids have been around since the dawn of time. Go read Cicero’s complaints about the younger generation in ancient Rome if you have any doubt. And just like generations past, this generation of kids will mature, take their place in the world and do just fine, and last long enough to bemoan the next generation coming after them.

  64. Am I the only 30-something that would be mortified if my first day on the job, much less my birthday, was “celebrated” at the office?

    That being said I am sooooo tired of the pop-psychological narrative that “this generation” has been spoiled with too much self esteem by parents, teachers, TV, etc. Every generation has been spoiled and coddled compared to their predecessors. And the members of every generation, upon hitting ~24 (probably earlier) begin whining about how the younger generation is even more spoiled. This post has been written a billion times before.

    Now get off my lawn.

  65. i’m a part of the y generation and i haven’t had anything handed to me. i have a good job that i worked my ass off to get and it’s a struggle just to keep that. i don’t celebrate my birthday and i have terrible self-esteem but that hasn’t stopped me from surviving. why? because i was brought up with a good work ethic. i was taught how to tough out the rough times and how to rise above when you need to get noticed. it has nothing to do with “feel good” tactics or trust funds. i’m unaware of both of these concepts.

    also, i have no debt and no credit card. it can be a bit inconvenient when opening a blockbuster account but the stress of debt just isn’t worth it. i wouldn’t want to be part of the problem if i’m supposed to be a part of a solution generation.

    so who exactly are you talking about in this article? because you sure as hell aren’t talking about a large portion of my generation and quite frankly i’m a little bit insulted that you’ve made this broad sweeping generalization.

  66. The number of Gen Y’ers living with their parents could be misleading. How were college students treated in the survey? While attending college, I was still listed as a dependent on my parents’ tax returns and lived at home for half of my college career. If you assume that undergraduates are in college until 22 or 23, with post graduates in college for 2 or 3 more years, the results could be skewed to give the impression that Gen Y’ers are simply living at home due to lack of work or low paying jobs instead of attending college.

  67. Some very valid comments in these pages, but other…
    A bold move on the part of the Conservatives would be to make Canada a ” right to work society” at this point.
    Further and maybe, off topic, they should try to accomodate a coalition with the greens!!! Now it is still possible, for the price of …a few windmills. Before you know it, the greens will become powerful. The best part about it is, that it would take the wind out of the Liberals, NDP maybe even Bloc`s sails, while pretty much guaranteeing endless majorities for this coalition.
    Just my .02$

  68. I agree with the 2nd last paragraph to the article. Simple praise of employees goes a long way. My boss at work is very technically minded and incredibly smart, but lacks the knowledge of when to say, “hey, that was some really good work you just did – good job!”. His “second in command” compliments us all the time, and it makes a huge difference in attitude and environment. I think everyone likes to be acknowledged and told they’re doing a good job – it’s easy and it does make for a better work environment.

  69. wow mcleans, you found your very own ann coulter. great! i can’t wait to hear some more skewed facts. ann usually starts out with something like “single moms raise rapists and criminals”. don’t worry, she has plenty of “polls” to back up her position too. i really think you’re on to something with this lianne george character as well. but don’t stop at print. too many will miss out on her perls of wisdom. maybe you can lend her out to some talk radio shows like bill o’reilly’s or rush limbaugh.

  70. In reading some of these comments, it’s difficult to not pick points. There are, however, some accuracies in this article about previous generations and the one coming up behind us now. I’m 42, graduated in the recession of the 80’s with 3 degrees and couldn’t find decent work. I was a mediocre student at best but managed to obtain a BA, B.Ed and an MA – not without considerable financial support from my parents (who were teachers at the elementary and post-secondary levels). There’s some truth to the coddling influence and “self-esteem” movement comments – those under 25 have been told that they’re “special” and unique and deserving. There’s an interesting book out by two U of Waterloo professors describing (in detail) how current attitudes and educational practices have left entire cohorts of young students woefully unprepared for the rigors of university work and pin pointing such things as wide spread total inability to spell, count, write grammatically, research, prepare papers and follow deadlines. I’ve travelled between Edmonton and Toronto in my working career and had many failures (even firings) before figuring out what I was good at and having the lucky opportunity to own my own business. I’m not entitled to benefits, EI or anything else that many workers receive as par for the course with their employment. I’ve even rented space in my home to students and younger people over the years and I can tell you first hand that their expectations (of those I’ve met) and work ethics leave a great deal to be desired when compared to the majority of people that I went to school with in the 70’s and 80’s. The very fact that 70% report that they’re “above average” in academic ability is quite telling. Think about it boys and girls, if “average” is the mid-point between poor and excellent, then it’s statistically quite impossible for 70% of the population to be “above average”. The sad fact is, the vast majority of us ARE of only average intelligence or academic ability and there are much smaller pockets of people at either end of the scale who are actually quite exceptional or, conversely, exceptionally stupid. My experiences and observations have shown that the majority of the 20-somethings I’ve met over the years have an over-inflated sense of their own abilities and worth and are long overdue for a reality check. As Judge Judy so often says, most of them just don’t “get it”.
    David T
    Kitchener, Ontario

  71. Wall street journal hasnt been helping the little people for a hundred year., what would start now.

    Jacques M author Blogger @ Woodworking plans for Woodworking projects

  72. If someone has a 4.0 GPA and has one numerous scholarships and still can't find a job, that's not exactly their fault. There's a serious problem in the system. You invested years of work and labour into getting the qualifications you have – doesn't it make sense that they should actually lead somewhere? Otherwise, why should anyone bother getting good grades, scholarships, etc.. Why should one even bother going to school?

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  73. They are young adults and have been coddled by their parents to the point of being ill prepared for a demanding workplace. Morley Safer reports on the generation called “Millenials.”

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  74. It's no wonder they still live at home. They have their parents wrapped around their fingers. Who would want to answer to a cranky landlord when they can live with their parents? Their parents would worry about them too much if they lived in a downtrodden area of town. Their parents will work after retirement so that they can support the high class lifestyle that their children are entitled to. It would be a step down in their class sytem to live in an affordable apartment….and their baby boomer parents are so full of themselves that they just can't stand watching their spoiled brats who have been posting drunken pictures of themselves along with their professionally done boudoir sessions on facebook….. actually live in a simple, basic apartment. At job interviews they ask for their parents to be in the room with them. If they don't get the job, the parent asks why…not the job applicant…the parent. The employer that told me this responded to the parent who called…."Your call confirms that we made the right decision. We wanted a grown-up."

  75. Oh, and tech saavy? They text their friends throughout the interviews. One parent said that the popular hip young teacher in charge of her child's class actually fielded wedding planning calls, in front of the kids during math lesson time, negotiating with everyone from wedding cake decorators to seamstresses for fittings. During class time while the kids sat there listening to the phone calls of the bridezilla. That's just plain unprofessional behaviour.

  76. i cant believe you are calling us entitled. OUR GENERATION IS DYING IN AFGHANISTAN. HOW IS THAT SELFISH.