A non blogger friend just sent me this, a great Fortune magazine article about the "Generation Wrecked":
Ten years ago grunge musicians and college-age Cassandras who had never held a day job preached that corporate America would crush their generation's soul and leave them without a pension plan. Films like Singles and Reality Bites chronicled their transition from college graduate to Gap salesclerk.
A few years later the core of Generation X--the 40 million Americans born between 1966 and 1975--found themselves riding the wildest economic bull ever. Salesclerks became programmers; coffee slingers morphed into experts in Java (computerese, that is)--all flush with stock options and eye-popping salaries. Now that the thrill ride is over, Gen X's plight seems particularly bruising. No generation since the Depression has been set up for failure like this. Everything the dot-com boom delivered has been taken away--and then some. Real wages are falling, wealth continues to shift from younger to older, and education costs are surging. Worse yet, for some Gen Xers, their peak earning years are behind them. Buried in college and credit card debt, a lot of them won't be able to catch up as they approach their prime spending years.
(I added the bold).
This is a really, really scary article. If you have a job now and you're not happy? My advice: STAY PUT. This recession has been what I've called to friends for some time "The Quiet Recession". If you weren't directly affected then you didn't realize how bad it was. This article spells it out clearly and succinctly.
Now, if I was really, really cynical, I'd comment that America's current Iraq fervor is because a) Bush knows exactly how bad it is and b) he knows that he can't fix it and c) war is a big distraction.
But I'm not cynical. No I'm not. Really I'm not.