Is the future bright? Some may say yes, but AP News reports that with the economic problems caused by COVID-19, a lot of recent graduates are not seeing a future of anything but dreariness.
Mere months ago, the graduates of the Class of 2020 seemed all but assured of success. The economy was booming. The stock market had closed the year strong. The unemployment rate, on the decline for years, had dropped to a 50-year low of 3.5% in February. Jobs outnumbered applicants, and fears of a recession had faded.
Then came the pandemic, shattering the economy. Last month, more than 20.5 million jobs vanished as the unemployment rate soared to 14.7% — the worst since the Great Depression. The high hopes of graduates crashed as corporations slashed budgets and rescinded offers of jobs and internships.
For working-class students who defied the odds to get a college education, it’s hard to be optimistic about the future. There’s a sense of an unending crisis, with loans due and family members laid off.
These graduates will be competing not just with experienced workers but with those in another Class of 2020 — high school graduates who aren’t college-bound or have put their dreams on hold to join the job hunt, in some cases to help newly unemployed parents .
Others are opting for a two-year junior college instead of a four-year program or taking a gap year or have decided it’s not worth paying tuition for schooling that may be conducted only online.
In California’s agricultural Central Valley, the county of Merced has six high schools with about 2,500 graduating seniors, many from low-income or immigrant families. Typically, about 40% head to college and the rest go straight to jobs in mechanics, construction, agriculture and hospitality — industries that, for now, are wiped out or stagnant.
“The future looks very, very grim,” Merced’s assistant superintendent Constantino Aguilar said. “Where do these students go? A lot of doors have been closed. We’re trying to plan for our students’ futures and there is nothing out there for them.” (source)
I have tremendous empathy for the class of 2020 in colleges. They are going into a work world with no opportunities, and since ALL degrees have, from an “employment” perspective, a “limited shelf life” in that employers will only consider people with degrees as ‘qualified’ for a certain period of time, then by the time the economy stabilized enough to have more work (but not as much as before) available, the degrees that students poured their life savings and future savings into will be worthless.
This is the exact phenomenon of what happened to the class of 2007, except their big issue was the TARP bailouts and the economic collapse then, which should have been as big and bigger than what is happening right now.
This collapse should have been over thirteen years ago, but the government refused to allow this to happen for political reasons. It is about building up economic and social circumstances in preparation for a major war, and the common man who was told ‘do these things and you will be successful’ was shafted.
The Millennials who were shafted are older now. This is the second ‘shafting’ they have gone through, and a lot are not only beat down and depressed, but very angry at seeing this second round of abuse. This is the first round of abuse for Zoomers, and it will sting a lot for them. However, the danger this poses is not to either one, but to the Boomers, since the collective anger of the younger generations could result in fighting against the older, especially and they are inclined towards socialism of all forms (left or right) and are furious at seeing their futures stripped from them.
The class of 2020 has become the class of 2007. The anger they will feel, the dejection, the sadness, and the desire for justice is a dangerous combination that initially will depress, but eventually will seek out a massive political change that will translate into a Democrat victory in 2024 (assuming a Trump 2020 victory), and calls or more socialism than ever before seen in the US.
Revoution is happening, and it does not per se happen with guns. The US went full socialist with the COVID-19 bill, and fascist with the integration of corporate and state power as a part of economic bailouts.
The future has become the past, and you are living it as it unfolds.