Recent data from a survey commissioned by Better Homes and Garden Real Estate (BHGRE) suggests a pent up desire among 18-35 year-olds to own a home of their own that could easily fuel a real estate boom for at least the rest of this decade.
In contrast to predictions from some futurists that the Millennial generation, born 1982-2003, will be content to be lifelong renters, BHGRE’s survey found home ownership still ranked as young Americans’ most important definition of personal success. Overall, three-fourths of those surveyed named home ownership as an indicator of having succeeded financially, more than seven times the number who named other major expenditures such as taking extravagant vacations, buying an expensive car, or owning designer clothing. Even among those living in the Northeast or in cities, seventy percent identified home ownership as the best indicator of having made it financially. This is fully in line with earlier studies by Pew Research that found home ownership was among the top three priorities in life for members of the Millennial generation.
Unlike comments often made about this generation by some of their elders, most Millennials didn’t express sentiments suggesting that they feel entitled to be simply handed this badge of success. Seventy percent of those in BHGRE’s survey said they needed to possess the skills to own a home; only thirty percent said they “deserved it.” Respondents also made it clear they were prepared to sacrifice to achieve their dream of home ownership. About sixty percent were willing to eat out less and/or only spend on necessities to save the money needed to buy a home. These sentiments were most strongly expressed by those who had grown up in a home owned by their parents. In addition, forty percent were willing to take a second job. And, almost a quarter of the generation accused of “failing to launch” were prepared to live with their parents for a couple of years to save the money they would need to own a piece of the American Dream.
The collapse of the housing market that triggered the Great Recession also has made Millennials sophisticated, knowledgeable consumers when making decisions about how and when to purchase a home. Rather than thinking they should buy a home as soon as they get married or qualify for a mortgage, seventy percent of BHGRE’s respondents said the time to buy a house is when a person can “afford it and maintain their lifestyle.”
Millennials are careful consumers, as befits a group shaped by the most lengthy economic downturn in decades. Sixty-one percent suggested they would want to have a secure job before buying a house and more than half said people should wait until they had saved enough for the down payment before making such a purchase. When asked to indicate the factors they would research in determining whether to buy a home, financial considerations were cited by a majority of the respondents.
They understand the power of money. Interest rates, home prices and how those two factors impacted their ability to secure a mortgage, all ranked much higher in importance than the type of neighborhood a house was in, school district ratings or foreclosure rates. With the median sales price of both new and existing homes up almost five percent this year, Millennials are likely to jump into the market soon before it becomes too expensive for them to do so.
These findings suggest the current policies of the Federal Reserve and its Chairman, Ben Bernanke to keep interest rates low in order to stimulate this key part of the U.S. economy are right on target. If home builders and sellers can tailor their offerings to these technologically sophisticated, family-oriented potential buyers, Millennials could well play an important role in reinvigorating the nation’s housing market, further spurring the nation’s recovery from the Great Recession.
at Huffington Post
In an election as close as this year's presidential contest, any group can make a credible claim for having made the critical difference in the outcome. But there is certainly no denying the impact the Millennial Generation (young voters 18-30 years old) had on the outcome of the 2012 election. Because it was so surprising to so many (but not us) there was as much commentary among the chattering classes on the day after the election about the impact on American politics of the Millennial Generation as the more conventional conversation about the continuing rise in the influence of Hispanic-Americans. It is possible that this sudden discovery of the power of the Millennial Generation will last beyond this week's instant analysis but whether it does or not, the size and unity of belief of the Millennial Generation will continue to be felt for the rest of this decade and well beyond.
Millennials made up 19 percent of the electorate in 2012, a point or two more than their share of the 2008 electorate. Unlike four years ago when the Millennials' share was equivalent to that of senior citizens, this time they outpaced the senior share, which fell to only 16 percent of the electorate. Although final turnout numbers are difficult to calculate until all the votes are counted, CIRCLE research data suggests that the Millennial turnout rate approached the celebrated performance of their generation in 2008. In both years , the number was about 50 percent of those eligible, with much higher rates of turnout in the critical battleground states.
For that reason, Millennial organizations can stake a legitimate claim to having made the difference for President Obama in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Virginia. Even as Hispanic voters reached an historically high level of participation, Millennials, about a quarter of whom are Hispanic, became a powerful 23 million strong segment of the electorate, a number that will only grow larger over the rest of this decade.
So far, just about 60 percent of Millennials have turned eighteen. Over the next eight years, all Millennials will become eligible to vote, representing a 95 million voter opportunity for whichever party is willing and able to successfully recruit them. If Millennials continue to participate at around the 50 percent mark that they have in the past two presidential elections, they will eventually represent about a 47 million member constituency, twice the numbers that they were in 2012.
But it's not just the size of the generation that makes Millennials such a powerful political force. The previously largest American generation, Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) have been hopelessly split in their political opinions and preferences ever since they ignited the cultural wars of the 1960s. This makes Boomers less of a political opportunity as an entire cohort and of more interest to politicians when they are segmented along other lines, such as the infamous and well-known gender gap that they created starting in the 1980s.
Millennials, by contrast, have consistently voted in a highly unified manner. Two-thirds of them voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 60 percent of them voted for his reelection this year. Even though there are significant ethnic differences within a generation that is 40 percent non-white, Millennial voting behavior continues to show the powerful pull of their generation's consensus-oriented approach to decision-making.
Millennials are now a key part of a 21st century Democratic coalition that includes minorities and women, especially college-educated and single women of all ethnicities, which together now represents a majority of American voters. As the number of Millennial voters continues to grow throughout this decade and the generation preserves its unity of belief, something which political science research suggests will happen, Millennials will have the pleasure of experiencing many more electoral triumphs in the years ahead.
Millennials were taught to treasure nature. In 1995, almost in the middle of the generation’s birth years, 1982-2003, Disney produced an animated version of the legend of Pocahontas, which uses the heroine’s communication with animals and plants at each dramatic turning point in the story.
The need to empathize with nature was further imprinted on young Millennial minds through the lyrics of the movie’s hit song, “Colors of the Wind,” that reminded everyone, “We are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop that never ends.”
Empathy is defined as the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. The application of this concept to becoming one with nature was taken to even greater heights for Millennials when Pocahontas’ story was updated in 2009.
That year the hit movie, “Avatar,” used 3D technology to transport its characters, not to the New World, but to another planet, Pandora. Populated by sentient beings even more connected to their environment than Native Americans, it’s something especially true of Avatar’s heroine, Neytiri.
But the message of both movies was the same—the world becomes a better place when macho warriors are turned away from their life of plunder and conquest by getting in touch with the feelings of another culture through their relationship with just the right woman.
Both this blending of gender perspectives and a focus on the importance of preserving nature are defining traits of the Millennial Generation.
The Holstee Manifesto
The implications of such attitudes for the future of business are exemplified by Millennials driving the success of the clothing firm, Holstee.
That company sees ecology, which it defines as “the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment,” as all-encompassing. Holstee’s goal is to sell products that “create the greatest social impact while simultaneously creating the smallest environmental impact.”
Making the leap from buying a T-shirt with a holster-like pocket for carrying an environmentally correct Holstee wallet to changing the world is something that comes easily to a generation convinced that the best way to solve global problems is to act locally and directly upon them.
The same year that “Avatar” was breaking box-office records, the founders of Holstee, still a fledgling enterprise at the time, wrote a manifesto about what they wanted to create. That document has now been viewed more than 60 million times and shared on social media by more than a half million people.
The manifesto ends with the empathetic declaration that “life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them.
So go out and start creating.” The manifesto reminds readers, who Holstee hopes will become the company’s customers, that “life is short,” and implores them to “live your dream and share your passion.”
It’s as if Holstee’s founders were channeling Pocahontas and Neytiri in an effort to turn their customers away from traditional, insensitive-to-nature consumer behavior and instead to change the world by buying one of Holstee’s products. By melding their personal cause with their company’s business raison d’être they have created a perfect brand for Millennials.
The desire of Millennials, such as the founders of Holstee, is to put societal goals at the center of an enterprise’s mission—and this will change how every business will need to operate in the future.
More and more corporate leaders will have to transform their organization by communicating its vision and values to customers and employees alike. The message needs to be an empathetic one, capturing the beliefs and values of America’s largest generation in order to establish a foundation of trust that generates innovation on the part of the company’s employees and brand loyalty from its customers.
As pressure from Millennials leads to more and more such transformative efforts among the nation’s entrepreneurs, all generations will benefit, and nature’s circle of life will hum with the empathetic vibrations such action produces.
One of the more curious developments in American politics over the last two decades is the political malpractice of Republicans in dealing with Hispanic-Americans. Indeed, it now appears that the 2012 election may well be determined by the share of the Latino vote that Governor Mitt Romney is able to keep from falling into President Barack Obama’s column.
According to the Investor’s Business Daily tracking poll, Hispanics prefer Barack Obama by a greater than 2:1 margin (61% to 29% on October 25). Hispanic-Americans have tilted toward the Democrats for decades, so it is hard to blame the Republican Party’s current predicament on just the political tactics of this year’s campaign.
But unlike the African-American vote since the 1960s, which has remained rock solid Democratic, history indicates that on occasion the GOP has competed for and won a significant share of the Latino vote. Hispanics tend to be family oriented and somewhat entrepreneurial, which should make them potential Republicans.
But deliberate, conscious decisions by Republican leaders focused on the short run gains from immigrant bashing have done severe damage to the long term health of their party. Attacks on immigrants have caused Hispanics to desert the GOP in droves, particularly in the two most recent presidential elections. And, because the Latino population is relatively youthful, if this concern is not dealt with, it may become even more acute for the Republican Party in the years ahead. Among Millennials, America’s youngest adult generation, about one in five is Latino as compared with about one in ten among Baby Boomers and one in twenty among seniors. Among the even younger Pluralist generation (children 10 years old and younger) between a quarter and 30% are Hispanic. Between these two up-and-coming generations, it’s likely that Hispanics will represent nearly 30% of the nation’s population within the next few decades. This suggests that the Republican Party has little hope of winning national elections in the future unless it reverses its current policies to bring them more in alignment with the attitudes and beliefs of this key voter group.
Some have estimated that Ronald Reagan won 37% of the Hispanic vote in his successful 1984 re-election campaign. Since then the presence of Hispanic voters in the electorate has grown by 400%, but the Republican share of their votes has risen above the level at which Latinos supported Reagan only once. That occurred in 2004 when Karl Rove’s strategic focus on Latinos enabled President George W. Bush’s re-election effort to win upwards of 40% of the Hispanic vote. In every other presidential election since 1984, Republicans have struggled to win the votes of even one out of three Hispanics.
Recent data from Pew Research demonstrates that the Hispanic rejection of the GOP was not pre-ordained. Their recent survey showed 70% of Hispanics now identify themselves as Democrats, but that this percentage falls to just 52% among Evangelical Hispanics, a fast growing group whose cultural attitudes are more conservative than those of the overall Hispanic population. In 2004, President Bush actually won a majority of the Hispanic Protestant vote even as his support among Catholic Hispanics failed to improve from his showing in 2000.
Catholic Hispanics, who comprise about 60% of all Latinos, are more likely to vote based on perceived loyalties to their social-economic class than their attitudes on social issues. Bertha Gallegos, who is Catholic, pro-life and the Vice President of the Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that researches the state’s Latino history, typifies the attitude among members of her faith toward the Republican Party. “I still don’t get how Hispanics can be Republicans. The only time they’re nice to us is when they want our vote. Republicans work to make the rich richer. They don’t care about the poor.”
Since the virulently anti-immigrant campaign in favor of Proposition 187 in California that attempted to bar immigrant access to basic social services the Republicans have continued to play exactly the wrong tune for Hispanics. In this year’s Republican primary, there was much emphasis on removing undocumented immigrants from American soil through self-deportation or other more draconian means, Republicans have allowed economic resentment and cultural fears to get in the way of positive voter outreach to America’s fastest growing minority population. After all, many Latino legal residents and citizens also have relatives and friends who are undocumented.
Yet studies as far back as the 2000 presidential election have shown that when properly engaged, Hispanics have an open mind on which party deserves their support. Latinos in that election were statistically more likely to support Bush over Gore if they were contacted by Latino rather than Anglo Republicans. Clearly the election in 2010 of Latino Republican governors, Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada, suggests that the community remains open to such appeals in the future.
Before such efforts can be successful however, Republicans will have to reverse course on their attitudes toward comprehensive immigration reform, a cause which traces its historical lineage to Ronald Reagan and which was a key part of Karl Rove’s re-election strategy for George W. Bush. Only when the Republican Party’s message changes will their messengers deserve and be able to gain a respectful hearing from America’s Hispanics.
A recent Pew survey described an America that is more religiously diverse and less religiously observant than at any time in its history. In the two most publicized findings, Pew pointed out that for the first time ever, the number of Protestants in the U.S. population fell to less than half, while one in five Americans claimed no religious affiliation.
The implications of this change will be felt widely across U.S. politics, culture, and--based on Garrison Keillor’s tongue-in-cheek reference to the Pew research (“If you are not Lutheran, how will you get casserole?”)--even its eating habits. But nowhere will they be felt more strongly than by the nation's religious institutions.
Churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will have to develop strategies for coping with the increasing religious diversity and decreasing willingness of Americans to affiliate with a faith, if those institutions are to prosper or even survive in the decades ahead. And because the changes in America’s religious landscape are being driven by the millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2003), those strategies will have to be focused on the nation’s youngest adults if they are to have any chance of success.
Millennials are almost twice as likely to be unaffiliated with a faith (30 percent compared with 17 percent for older generations), according to the April 2012 Pew values survey.
Not only is the millennial generation the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in U.S. history, it is also the most religiously diverse. Only 57 percent of millennials (compared with 75 percent of all older Americans) are Christians. Furthermore, only 23 percent of millennials are white Protestants (compared with 38 percent of older generations) and just 8 percent are white non-Hispanic Catholics (compared with 15 percent of older generations). At the same time, the millennial generation contains about one-third more Hispanic Catholics and twice the number of non-Christians as older generations.
Some might argue that if the country’s religious organizations only wait long enough, millennials will lose their youthful doubt and disbelief and seek out a faith. But, just as people are not invariably liberal in politics when they are young only to become conservative as they age, neither are they invariably skeptics about religion in their youth who convert to becoming believers in middle and old age. In fact, the opposite is the case.
According to Pew tracking surveys, millennials are twice as likely to be unaffiliated with a specific faith as were baby boomers in the 1970s when they were the age millennials are today. Similarly, millennials are one and one half times more likely to be unaffiliated than members of Generation X in the 1990s were when that generation was the nation’s twenty- and thirtysomethings. Moreover, Pew’s most recent research indicates that over the past five years, the lack of religious affiliation has actually increased slightly among Generation X-ers and Boomers.
While playing a waiting game is not likely to be fruitful for America’s denominations in eventually enlisting unaffiliated millennials, taking a more proactive stance that reflects the values of the generation could be. According to generational theorists, the millennial generation is a group-oriented civic generation, an archetype that is tolerant of diversity and focused on fixing society.
Those traits are evident in both the attitudes and behavior of millennials. Pew surveys indicate that solid majorities of millennials accept gay marriage, interracial marriage, and gay couples raising children. A National Journal survey reports that six in 10 white millennials said they had at least some neighbors of other races and two-thirds had interracial friends. The number of millennials who have neighbors and friends of different religions is undoubtedly even higher.
Millennials are also busy making things better for their community, their nation, and the world. In 2009, for example, 93 percent of those entering college had performed community service in high school and half expected to do so in college, while 35 percent of adult millennials continued their volunteer activities after completing their education. In that year, applications by millennials to the Peace Corps and Teach for America rose more than 40 percent from 2008.
Pew’s research indicates that large majorities of the disproportionately millennial religiously unaffiliated believe churches and religious organizations play a positive role in bringing people together and strengthening community bonds (78 percent) and in helping the poor and needy (77 percent).
Adopting a strategy that is based on those perceptions and is focused on the elements of its belief structure that emphasize service and inclusion rather than doctrine and exclusion could be the path to salvation for American religion in the millennial era.
at Christian Science Monitor
Many protective mothers and fathers of Millennials aren't allowing their kids to play tackle football because of health risks. These attitudes could close the NFL’s pipeline to many talented players. But these concerns also have the potential to change the violent NFL culture for the better.
The emergence of the Millennial generation poses an existential threat to the future of the National Football League.
Professional football has been America’s favorite spectator sport since 1972 when baby boomers became the most important TV audience demographic. Steve Sabol, the genius behind NFL Films that helped to popularize the NFL in the 1960s, captured the drama and danger of pro football with his slow motion films of big violent hits backed by stirring music.
Pro football, depicted by Mr. Sabol as a confrontation between good and evil in which there can be only one winner, matched the values of baby boomers a half century ago. But this focus is not as appealing to the Millennial generation with its focus on win-win solutions and an instinct for avoiding confrontation.
Furthermore, out of concern for the future health of their children, many protective mothers and fathers of Millennials are deciding their kids should not play tackle football at all. These attitudes could close the NFL’s pipeline to many talented players within the coming decade. But these concerns also have the potential to change NFL culture for the better.
Millennials (young people 9-30 years old) were reared by their parents in a highly sheltered and protected manner. The generation’s arrival was signaled by “baby on board” bumper stickers and AMBER Alerts, major child protection legislation and “helicopter parents.”
Because of the way they were reared, Millennials are the most risk averse in recent American history. Concerned about the safety of their “special” children, the parents of many Millennials have demonstrated a strikingly fearful reaction to a series of reports about the devastating impact playing in the NFL has had on many former players.
According to GamesOver.org, a group “dedicated to serving and meeting the transitional needs of players when they leave the game,” 65 percent of NFL players retire with permanent injuries, while the suicide rate of former NFL players is six times the national average, possibly due in part to a brain disorder that researchers say impacts those who have suffered multiple concussions.
So far, more than 3,000 former NFL players have filed more than 100 lawsuits against the league for concussion-related conditions. If they are combined in a single class action, these suits could cost the NFL millions of dollars and possibly threaten it with bankruptcy. Moreover, in each of the past two seasons about 15 percent of those on NFL rosters (270 in 2010 and 266 in 2011) received concussions. And already in the first month of this season, at least two starting quarterbacks have been sidelined by concussions.
The NFL has taken note of the threat and is working to reduce the impact of concussion-related injuries through improved equipment, especially helmets that provide enhanced protection. It is also working toward better coaching that teaches safer tackling and blocking techniques. And the league is developing new rules or stronger enforcement of existing ones that prohibit or reduce blows to the head.
But there are some who doubt the effectiveness of those efforts, or even feel that they are incompatible with the brand of a sport that is based on vigorous contact. Still, the NFL Players’ Association has strongly endorsed them.These changes to improve player safety need to be made quickly if the NFL is to avoid another potentially more serious challenge to its future – the unwillingness of the parents of Millennials to allow their sons to play football.
Most shocking, a number of current and former NFL players – among them quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw, Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, and Troy Aikman and linebacker Bart Scott, famed for his hard-hitting style – say that, due to its dangers, they would bar their sons from playing the game in which they earned fame and fortune.
Perspectives like this have the potential to hamper or even halt participation in the programs that develop future NFL players. Because, other than a Canadian variation, American-style football is only played in the United States, there are no replacement athletes in the pipeline for football from foreign countries as there are for other professional sports.
Millennials were reared by their parents to be an egalitarian, group-oriented cohort, one that believes the welfare and success of individuals is best assured by maximizing the welfare and success of the entire group. It’s no coincidence, then, that high schools and colleges prohibited the taunting of opponents and exaggerated celebration of individual achievements on the gridiron just as Millennials were beginning to play football at those levels.
Perhaps Millennials will bring their group-oriented values to the NFL, producing a kinder, gentler version of pro football just in time to save the league from its boomer-dominated approach.
If so, the version of football that Steve Sabol’s films made so popular a half century ago will become a thing of the past. But, if the NFL doesn’t take the steps necessary to convince Millennials and their parents that their game is safe to play, it will take much more than brillian
On one level, the 2012 presidential election is a battle between two distinct party coalitions: a Republican coalition heavily centered on males, people over 50—especially seniors—and whites; and a Democratic coalition built around women, younger voters—especially Millennials—and minorities. But it is also a dispute over policy and program, because the party that develops a winning majority coalition will also determine America’s new civic ethos and answer the fundamental question of U.S. politics: What should be the size and scope of the nation’s government?
An August national survey of nearly 3,300 Americans ages 18-85, conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, suggests that President Obama’s reelection prospects are underpinned by a distinctive demographic voter coalition, whose beliefs will also shape America’s next civic ethos in the years ahead.
According to Magid, a clear majority of Americans favor “a government that actively tries to solve the problems facing society and the economy,” while only 31 percent prefer “a government that stays out of society and the economy to the greatest extent possible.”
Since the New Deal, the belief in an activist government has become so ingrained in the American political psyche that a majority of most major demographics now support this concept. Still, not surprisingly, support for governmental activism is greatest among key demographics that also make up the core of the Democratic Party’s 21st century coalition: women (55 percent), minorities (59 percent), and Millennials (55 percent).
It is a bit lower within groups that comprise a disproportionate share of the GOP coalition: men (50 percent), whites (50 percent), and seniors (48 percent).
Together, these demographic building blocks result in 70 percent of Democratic identifiers and 35 percent of Republicans favoring governmental activism (although 53 percent of Republicans do prefer a hands-off approach).
The Magid survey indicates that a clear plurality, 47 percent, believes that “the best way to protect America’s national security is through building strong alliances with other nations” rather than by “relying primarily on its military strength” (37 percent).
Once again, the demographics that comprise the core of the emerging Democratic Party coalition also favor the position with the greatest support among voters. Majorities of women, Millennials, and minorities all agree that U.S. foreign policy should rely on alliance building.
By contrast, groups that tend toward the Republican coalition more strongly favor relying on U.S. military strength as the basis of the country’s foreign policy: men (41 percent), seniors (43 percent), and whites (39 percent).
As a result, a majority of Democratic identifiers favor an approach focused on alliance building, while most Republican identifiers prefer a foreign policy centered on U.S. military strength.
An Economic Safety Net
The Magid survey indicates that close to half of the electorate believes that “the best policy is to ensure that all Americans have at least a basic standard of living and level of income, even if that increases government spending,” while about one-third say that “the best policy is to let each person get along economically on his or her own, even if that means some people have a lot more than others.”
Majorities within left-leaning groups such as women, Millennials, and minorities believe that government should guarantee at least a minimal level of economic well-being. Less than half of groups inclined toward the GOP such as men, seniors, and whites concur.
As a result, perhaps more than any other, this issue separates those who identify with each of the parties: two-thirds of Democrats believe that government should provide a basic standard of living to all Americans, while 59 percent of Republicans are in favor, instead, of allowing each person to get along on his own.
On Nov. 6, voters will not only elect a president and decide which party controls Congress. They will also determine anew just how and to whose benefit government will intervene in the economy and how the country will interact with the rest of the world. While it is too early to know the details of the nation’s new civic ethos, recent survey research suggests that these policy issues will be decided based the beliefs of an emerging new majority coalition in American politics centered on women, minorities, and Millennials.
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) tended to be workaholics—causing the average time their Gen X children spent with an adult role model during a typical day to fall to about 14.5 minutes.
Despite their parents’ attempt to make these fleeting moments “quality time,” adult Gen Xers (born 1965-1981) are determined not to let their own work life intrude on the time they spend with their family.
However, as Boomer Anne-Marie Slaughter so eloquently points out in her controversial and interesting Atlantic magazine article, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, implementing the concept of work/life balance can be challenging—especially for women.
As a result, the children of Boomers and Xers, members of the Millennial generation (born 1982-2003), are searching for an alternative approach to incorporating the obligations to family and the demands of work.
The desire of Millennials of both sexes for a “blended life” will remake how work is organized and what is expected from each parent in the years to come.
Ryan Healy, (pictured right) the COO and co-founder of Brazen Careerist, clearly articulated his generation’s desire for something completely different than the work/life balance exhibited by his Gen X elders early in his career.
“I would never dream of saying I want a Family/Life balance. … This whole notion of needing to separate work and life implies that your career, which takes up about 75% of your day, is something you simply try to get through so you can go home and do what you really enjoy for the other 25%. What a terrible way to live. My purpose is to be successful, genuinely happy and to make a difference in this world. … The balance doesn’t work, we already know this. I don’t want to choose. I want a blended life.” Click here to read more.
Millennials like Healy have the most gender-neutral attitudes of any generation in American history.
Unleashed from traditional societal constraints, Millennial women have reached new heights of accomplishment in comparison to men.
For instance, by 2016, women are projected to earn about two-thirds of all undergraduate and master’s degrees and even 56 percent of the doctorates that will be awarded in the United States. Millennial gender-neutrality has also led to a perspective on feminism that isn’t defined in comparison to men.
Jen Kalaidis, (pictured at left) is a writer and marketer in DC who describes her Millennial sisters’ attitudes this way, “Today’s women were raised to believe we were equal to men, but we didn’t have to try to be them to prove it. We play sports, go to college, start businesses, have babies, and travel the world on our own terms. We aren’t constantly trying to out-man the boys, play for play.”
All of this female success has led some male Millennials to rethink what it means to be a man in today’s society.
Two of them, Andrew Romano and Tony Dokoupil, wrote about “Men’s Lib” in Newsweek and took issue with those “who argue that men are ‘designed’ for some gigs and not others … women long ago proved that gender essentialism doesn’t determine what kind of work they can do. … The time has come for a similar expansion of what men can do for a living.”
Romano and Dokoupil expect to see greater participation in housework and child-rearing from the men in their generation as well, with Millennial fathers creating a demand for, and taking advantage of, paternity-leave opportunities as they become more available.
As Millennials marry and start families and pursue their individual careers, employers who wish to attract the best talent of the generation will have no choice but to accommodate their desire for a more blended life.
Such things as telecommuting, flexible hours, child care, and round-the-clock access to technology will become essential elements of the benefits package employers will need to offer their workforce.
With Millennials on track to become more than one out of every three adult Americans by the end of this decade, their desire for a seamless blend between working and raising a family will generate a new national consensus on the importance of enabling the full participation of both sexes in all aspects of American life.
at National Journal
An August national survey of nearly 3,300 Americans between the ages 18 and 85, conducted by research company Frank N. Magid Associates, details the current composition of the two major political party coalitions that are more distinct from one another than at any other time in the past 50 years--perhaps even since the Great Depression.
In many democracies, political parties represent particular interests: labor or business, specific religions, ethnicities, or regions. In the United States, with its continental dimensions, varied population, and a constitutional system designed to disperse governing power, political parties are historically, and still remain, coalitions of various social groups. No party monopolizes the members of any one demographic, and each party contains at least some representation from all segments of the population.
Once formed, the party coalitions have staying power. During the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt assembled the New Deal coalition comprised of Southern whites; the "Greatest Generation" children of Eastern and Southern European immigrants; white workers; and urban blacks. This coalition dominated U.S. electoral politics for four decades and restructured public policy domestically, transforming public economic policy from laissez faire to governmental activism; and internationally, moving the nation’s foreign policy from isolationism to interventionism.
But as new generations with new concerns emerged in the midst of the racial and lifestyle changes of the 1960s, the New Deal coalition fell apart. It was supplanted by a Republican coalition that increasingly added two former components of the Democratic coalition—the white South and working-class whites—to the upper-income white residents of suburbs and small towns outside of the South that had been the core of the GOP in the previous era. The new Republican coalition dominated national elections almost as long and shaped public policy almost as profoundly as had the New Deal coalition that it superseded.
But these party coalitions are formed in a nation with a constantly changing economy, political process, and demographic makeup and, consequently, are not permanent. The Magid display very clearly the sharp differences between today’s party coalitions.
The majority of voters who identify with or lean to the Republican Party are males and members of America’s two oldest generations—baby boomers, those in their 50s to mid-60s; and silents or seniors--who together make up 53 percent of Republicans.
The GOP coalition is almost entirely white (81 percent). It is disproportionately southern (38 percent of all Republicans and 41 percent of strong Republican identifiers) and 40 percent reside in small towns and rural areas. Two-thirds of Republicans are married, and three-quarters are Christian; only 7 percent are unaffiliated with any faith. A third of all GOP identifiers and 42 percent of strong Republicans attend religious services at least weekly. And, not surprisingly, 56 percent of all Republicans and 68 percent of strong Republican identifiers are self-professed conservatives.
The Democratic coalition is far different. A majority of Democratic identifiers are women and from the country’s two youngest generations—Millennials, voters in their 20s; and Generation X, people in their 30s and 40s, who in total make up 57 percent of Democrats. Forty-one percent of all Democrats and 45 percent of strong Democrats are nonwhite with about equal numbers of African-Americans and Hispanics.
Nearly half of Democrats live in the Northeast and West, and a disproportionately large number—70 percent—live in big cities or suburbs. Just half are married. Only 57 percent are Christian, and about one in five are either of non-Christian denominations or unaffiliated with any faith. Just 21 percent of Democrats attend a religious service weekly. Slightly more, 24 percent, never do.
The Democratic coalition is, however, more diverse ideologically than the Republican: While a plurality, 42 percent, are either self-identified liberals or progressives, nearly as many, 35 percent, say they are politically moderate.
The United States is undergoing major demographic, economic, and societal changes that have led to this new alignment and will continue to shape the two parties' coalitions. Some of the change—the Great Recession, the deepest and longest economic downturn since the 1930s—was severe and occurred almost overnight.
Other changes, among them the transformation of the nation from a white to nonwhite majority, the emergence of America’s largest and most diverse generation, the Millennials, and a makeover of the U.S. economy, are taking place more slowly, but equally profoundly.
To hold together and expand their coalitions, both parties will need to formulate a new “civic ethos” that addresses the fundamental question of what the size and scope of government should be in this new era.
Both President Obama and Mitt Romney recognize this and have used their respective party’s conventions to articulate distinctly different visions and values that they believe should shape and guide America’s politics and government in the coming years.
The party that enunciates this new civic ethos in a way that enables it to build a majority electoral and governing coalition is likely to dominate U.S. politics for the next four or five decades.
Millennials (born 1982-2003) are convinced that college is the ticket to a better life.
Consider these statistics:
- Ninety percent of high school students say they want additional education after they graduate,
- And two-thirds enroll in a two- or four-year college within a year of completing high school.
- Including trade schools, 60 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are now seeking a credential of some type, the highest percentage in history.
In today’s global economy, the country’s economic success depends on students acquiring the skills that come with the completion of two- or four-year college programs.
And, unfortunately for the nation, the percentage of students who actually graduate from college has been stagnant for the last 30 years.
More than a quarter of this year’s college freshmen will not return for a second year. Half of those enrolling in two-year college programs won’t be back for their final year either.
A recent study by CompleteCollege.org (the chart above, is courtesy of the site) found that only 60.6 percent of full time undergraduate students had obtained their degree within eight years. Part time students took even longer, with less than a quarter of them finishing their bachelor’s degree after eight years. The numbers are even lower for two-year associate degree students.
The reasons for this dismal performance are well-documented.
- Too many high schools fail to adequately prepare their students for college. While innovative efforts are under way to change this, those requiring remedial courses in college to catch up with their better-prepared counterparts still comprise half of all students enrolling in a two-year associate degree program and about one in five of those seeking a bachelor’s degree.
- Not surprisingly, those who do require remediation are about 40 percent less likely to earn a degree in a timely manner than those who don’t.
- College costs are rising much faster than inflation, causing many students to delay or abandon their education. A 2009 survey of Millennials who had dropped out of college found that they had done so because they had to work full-time or did not receive enough help from their family to be able to afford staying in school.
And that’s not all.
Despite continuing to raise tuition rates, a recent Bain & Company study found that about one-third of all US colleges are on an unsustainable financial path.
Its examination of more than 1,700 public and private nonprofit colleges found that the growth in these colleges’ debt and the rate of spending on interest payments and on plant, property, and equipment rose far faster than did spending on instruction from 2002 to 2008.
In no other industry would overhead costs be allowed to grow at this rate—executives would lose their jobs, the Bain study said, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education article about the study.
Clearly, to continue to maintain its critical role in providing the nation with the skilled workforce our economy requires, the nation’s system of higher education will have to find ways to deliver a better product at a lower cost.
Fortunately, solutions are rapidly coming into view that will win over Millennials, first as students, and then as parents of America’s next generation of students. One is the increased use of technology to both reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of instruction.
The introduction of Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, by some of the nation’s leading universities is at the leading edge of this trend. Unlike earlier versions of distance-learning, these free offerings take advantage of delivery platforms that use data-mining technologies to personalize material and analyze huge numbers of student experiences to see which approach works best.
MOOCs are still in their infancy, with a variety of universities partnering in both for-profit and nonprofit consortiums, some of which offer credit for completing a given course and some of which only issue a “statement of accomplishment” and a grade. Even though they are free, these courses provide a high-quality instructional experience and, as a result, hundreds of thousands of students have signed up for them, according to a July article in The New York Times.
In the future, many colleges may find it easier to lower their costs by granting credit for these types of courses and focusing their instructional efforts on providing the level of social interaction that is essential for real learning to take place.
One way that shows early promise for making this happen is through the adoption of the same digital technologies that have been used to create immersive, interactive experiences in games, such as World of Warcraft, or movies, such as “Avatar.”
Studies have shown very positive effects on the skill and performance of students exposed to such “serious games” in subsequent real-world situations. The experience of being engaged in these simulated environments has also been shown to produce positive effects on the individual’s or the group’s identity, an important part of Millennials’ maturation.
The Bottom Line
By adopting these new technological solutions to the cost and effectiveness of instruction, America’s system of higher education has an opportunity to make a higher quality education available to Millennials at a lower cost.
This should enable America’s next great generation to acquire the skills and knowledge the country needs for its future economic success. If it does, the nation will have found a win-win solution to its current higher education challenges—just the type of outcome Millennials prefer.