Well, it’s been a good run, but the American dream is all but kaput. Well, not “kaput,” per se, but definitely “elusive.” Young men are finding it next to impossible to land meaningful work, leaving them stranded at home after having spent four years enjoying the inebriated freedom known as college. The psychological impact of this kind of listlessness ain’t good, and it’s something economists have seen before:
The Great Depression damaged the self-confidence of the young, and that is beginning to happen now, according to pollsters, sociologists and economists. Young men in particular lost a sense of direction.
So, post-Depression, how did American men get their groove back? By some good old fashioned fascism-bashing.
Military service in World War II, along with the G.I. Bill and a booming economy, restored well-being; by the 1970s, when Mr. Elder did his retrospective study, the hardships of the Depression were more a memory than an open sore. “They came out of the war with purpose in their lives, and by age 40 most of them were doing well.”
Now if only there were some wars we could fight…