Friday, May 1, 2020

The Commencement Speech Kids Need to Hear

Here's a speech for the Class of 2020 that should put things in perspective.

I've been thinking about the Class of 2020 - whether that refers to high school or college graduation, the students are facing a more difficult world than any since the Depression/WWII years. It's fair to say that few of them will be untouched by the WuFlu, and the decisions to shutter the economy for many weeks.

They weren't prepared for this. The economy, since Trump took over, was humming along, and the future was looking so bright, they needed shades.

Then, sneaking along the lines of travel from China to the USA, BOOM!

Kung Flu.

What will be the long-term consequences? Among them are:
  • Fewer jobs. More competition for those that remain. This will not just affect their first job after graduation, but for many years to come.
  • Parents with cratered 401Ks/IRAs. They will not be able to tap into savings to assist their children - they will be using that money to survive/downsize. The 2020 class may have to contribute to their parents' upkeep in their dotage. This is a reversal from middle-class parents taking care of themselves, and, often, throwing a few bucks towards their kids. Not happening in the future.
  • Expect to have more difficulty finding someone to love. Social distancing will keep strangers apart. Having your profile on Tinder/Grindr may be the kiss of death to responsible potential partners. You won't have the money to partake in much social activity. You may not be able to move out of your parents' home.
  • Expect the security blankets of public funding for unemployment, single-parenting, substance abuse, and other income-supporting public programs to be reduced, if not gone entirely. There will be many calls on the public funds, and programs that replace going back home to live with your family will be the first to go.
  • Yeah, home. Good news: the price of homes will drop. Bad news: you still won't have the income to buy one.

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