Presenting Generation E : The Really Entitled Ones

The Millenials (Gen Y) – 1980s-90s, the children of the late Baby Boomers. As a member of Gen X, empathy and antipathy results in a certain apathy for the next generation.

I suppose it is the age thing, like how my father dismisses as what he sees as a pampered life for me. Yet these days he is proud that I managed to fix that troublesome light switch just an hour ago, ripping it out of the wall and tightening the wires (saving 60 bucks on an electrician) and the way I dismantled the ventilator fan in my bathroom 2 months back.

Living a past where I had to count my tips as a waitress to decide on my dinner is nothing to be proud of. It was something I choose to do instead of swiping Mommy’s supplementary credit card. (It was a point to prove to the old man who chose to labour his way to his degree in N.Z. and the grandfather who was lucky to get a handsome scholarship for his)

Millenials have it tough. Brought up not remembering any serious global recessions like the ones in the 80’s, in a world awakening to the importance of child psychology and nurture (as I jealousy observed in some of my younger cousins) and positive reinforcement (caning and corporal punishment outlawed in favour of praise and reward), an affluent world that could afford more luxuries in life and experiences to go along.

These kids are brought up for success with no room for failure, in a time when youth unemployment in the West is soaring (>20% for US and Europe).

“according to psychologists who measure such things, including high rates of narcissism, materialism, unrealistically inflated expectations and a startling lack of independence. American college students scored 30% higher on the 40-item Narcissistic Personality Index in 2006 than they did in 1979..according to a study led by psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego State University” (Marketwatch)

“Jean Twenge, the author of the 2006 book Generation Me, considers Millennials along with younger Gen Xers to be part of what she calls “Generation Me”.[26] Twenge attributes confidence and tolerance to the Millennials but also a sense of entitlement and narcissism based on personality surveys that showed increasing narcissism among Millennials compared to preceding generations when they were teens and in their twenties.” Wikipedia

It is the Paris Hilton effect, I call it.

“UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute. “There’s this general expectation of being rich and famous,” Twenge says…..Several recent studies have shown millennials are saving and investing more, and starting earlier, than boomers.) But millennials’ stated desires, which also include acquisition of cars, houses and boats, don’t always match up with their stated work ethic. ”

So much for Occupy Wallstreet, Goldman Sachs was flooded with 17,000 cv’s just for summer internships. One observation from personal experience is the extreme sense of self worth that translated to sometimes out of control workplace behaviour transcending on insubordination and disrespect.

“there is a higher rate of millennials with fortunes they didn’t have to work for, relative to other generations. Indeed, Gen Y was the most likely generation to inherit money, with 42% of under-32 investors worth more than $1 million saying they inherited much of those funds …”

And so springs another problem – the peers who want to catch up. First entry level cars now for graduation gifts, I am hearing from friends with kids, are VW Golf GTI or the small BMWs. Those without parental support just max out the credit cards to get what they want.

No more of usual adult milestones of marriage, house and kids. They have lifestyle as their main priority including “genetically designed babies”.

No wonder they have it tough.

Step Aside for Generation E

The children of Gen X/early Y, the really entitled ones.

My son, 12. The one who ate wagyu beef burgers before he could spell WAGYU. The one who said he did not need any more toys for Xmas because he had too many.  This new breed are so entitled from the day they are born.

Hearing horror stories of matching LV bags for Mommy and 2 yr old. Custom made golf clubs and champagne parties for 3 yr olds. There is alot more where it comes from !

My friend just set up a philosophy site for toddlers, economics classes are already a norm. Brain food for 3 yr olds.

They are the savvy future.

And sensible they are too. The boy made over a grand last year peddling game cards and refashioning discarded pens for sale. “For what ?”, I asked. “For fun.”, the reply, “They asked me, and I told them to make me a price.”. He is ok with us flying business when times are good and ok with eating hawker fare when I told him we are on austerity.

He is negative about the world and he knows why. He says its school pressures, homework and expectations.

Not all good news as some reports suggest.

“”Monster” parents in Hong Kong are turning out a generation of spoiled brats who have an inflated view of their abilities and may resort to aggression to get ahead, a City University study warns.” SCMP

Good or bad ? I cannot say.

But one thing I know.  So much for all of us – Gen X and Y, trying to find ourselves, soul searching and all that. This little social experiment of mine seems to know what he wants and will probably know himself better than I ever will myself.

Why is this batch so important ?

We are living in a lost decade – stagnating economies and slowing growth (except for America).

So move over Millenials, lets see how this batch shapes the world in the next decade.