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OFF-TOPIC 'Deaths of despair' soaring among Gen Z & millennials: 'It's the economy, stupid'

reedracer

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I have a 93-year-old relative who was my grandfather's first cousin. We call him Tigg. He's sharp as a tack, hilarious, cheeky, and still living with his wife in his own home. They've been married for 72 years and they both claim they've never had an argument.

Great source of perspective on the world and where things have been and where they're headed.

He made a comment recently that really got me thinking.

He was telling the story of when he and all the other young men joined up for World War II. They were all rural country boys. He said, "They didn't have any education to speak of, but they were all in very sound mental health."

I thought of the contrast between then and now. I had just heard a statistic (probably hyperbole, but unsettlingly close to the truth) that the mental health of the average high-schooler today is approximately comparable to the mental health of the average psychiatric patient in the 1950s.

It just made me wonder - what was in the environment in those times that was different from what we have today? I think there's something about being raised outside, doing hard physical work, that contributes to making a person mentally sound... but what else was there to it?
I think quite time has gone by the wayside. We barely have to wait for anything these days with all the just-in-time improvements. We need to get back to having time with just your own thoughts to sort things out.
I believe my grandson is an exception to the millennial stereotype or at 15 maybe post-millennial :). He loves to mow the lawn with his head set on. He call it his me time. He also does not use social media much and seems much more content than even my own adult kids.
 

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Tourmaline

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Wow, you are full of sunshine and sparkles today huh? I understand but.. not everything is impossible.

Ughhh dude. I’m the first to admit that the world is full of crap right now but turns out there are a TON of ppl shining in the darkness and fanning the flames of goodness, truth, and beauty.

There ARE small composting businesses all over the country that are having fun and doing good. This is an old article but a very cool one. Businesses find cash in composting organic trash

There ARE ppl teaching classics to kids, kids reading Shakespeare, Edmunds, and Plutarch and those kids? They’re amazing. CiRCE Institute comes to mind.

There ARE churches of all kinds of denominations that are bringing ppl closer to spirituality.

If you don’t see opportunity here.. I can’t help you.
haha. idk, I don't think things are that bad. Suppose it depends a lot on what you focus on.

Very cool, looks it's already happening then with regards to composting.

Kids that are actually into classics are not the norm. I don't think they'll ever be the norm. Hence my solution is to make modern media.

People are becoming increasingly non-denominational and/or atheist. Modern organizations divorced from churches are required.

There's plenty of opportunity, but coming up with new ways to solve the problems that utilizes old wisdom is to me what is needed over trying to double down on old ways.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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haha. idk, I don't think things are that bad. Suppose it depends a lot on what you focus on.

Very cool, looks it's already happening then with regards to composting.

Kids that are actually into classics are not the norm. I don't think they'll ever be the norm. Hence my solution is to make modern media.

People are becoming increasingly non-denominational and/or atheist. Modern organizations divorced from churches are required.

There's plenty of opportunity, but coming up with new ways to solve the problems that utilizes old wisdom is to me what is needed over trying to double down on old ways.
Ok now that I know you’re cool.. can I humbly suggest re-examining where you got the idea to pursue new ways INSTEAD of “old” wisdom?

I know we agree about post modernism and Marxism. One of the subtle but truly devious things they accomplish is a fundamental disrespect for the past.

I’m not advocating making everything boring.. but presenting the past wisdom in relevant ways. The twitter handles about stoicism come to mind. They’re quoting Epictetus but doing it on Twitter. THAT is good stuff!
 

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This is a great thread.

The people who are growing up in this culture have a NEED for spiritual guidance. It may seem counter intuitive, but this is exactly why I expect my venture in writing fiction to eventually be successful.

The postmodernists have convinced the world that art is subjective and merely a form of entertainment.

It isn't. It can be objectively judged and it is a form of communicating a philosophy. The world needs heroes - or at least, a vision of them. These can be created.

For example, in MFL, Mj told a story about two Egyptian brothers who were tasked with building a pyramid. It's a simple story but it successfully concretized his message: that building a system is a better means to creating wealth than making incremental improvements in a skillset.

I'm quite certain that 99% of fiction writers don't understand this, so I'm not worried about the "over saturation" of the market. The truth is that the world of literature is drastically underserved.

Heres an original thought of mine for free. You know how Roger Bannister first made the 4 minute mile, and suddenly others were quickly able to follow? Art, properly made, achieves the same function. Why do you think the first cave paintings showed men successfully killing huge buffalo? It was to show that it could be done, to inspire young hunters to see the world that way, ie. "We are men that can kill buffalo".

The same can be done now, and people will love it, because at the end of the day, people have an objective need to know that success is possible - otherwise, they won't even try.
 
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Tourmaline

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Ok now that I know you’re cool.. can I humbly suggest re-examining where you got the idea to pursue new ways INSTEAD of “old” wisdom?

I know we agree about post modernism and Marxism. One of the subtle but truly devious things they accomplish is a fundamental disrespect for the past.

I’m not advocating making everything boring.. but presenting the past wisdom in relevant ways. The twitter handles about stoicism come to mind. They’re quoting Epictetus but doing it on Twitter. THAT is good stuff!
I think we're stemming from the same place. 'presenting the past wisdom in relevant ways'.

My media growing up, my Bible if you will, is stuff like Star Wars, The Matrix, DragonBall Z, Lord of the Rings, Berserk.

None of these are actually very original in concept. Most of the philosophies that run through them are based on past wisdom, some more directly, some less.

However they are packaged for modern audiences.

We cannot deny pop culture, and making good pop culture media is what is needed. It is ultimately pop culture media that programs the masses.

The biggest pop culture media of the 2010s has been Game of Thrones and the Marvel universe, imo. The stories are very weak, with only one theme based on old wisdom. That seeking power and power alone leads to evil. Apparently everything else has been forgotten or ignored!

With the meteoric rise of YouTube and Netflix, it has become increasingly possible for non leftist controlled media producers to create good enjoyable and desirable media. And this is the primary way to teach people, especially young people, what it is they need to know about life.

This is a great thread.

The people who are growing up in this culture have a NEED for spiritual guidance. It may seem counter intuitive, but this is exactly why I expect my venture in writing fiction to eventually be successful.

The postmodernists have convinced the world that art is subjective and merely a form of entertainment.

It isn't. It can be objectively judged and it is a form of communicating a philosophy. The world needs heroes - or at least, a vision of them. These can be created.

For example, in MFL, Mj told a story about two Egyptian brothers who were tasked with building a pyramid. It's a simple story but it successfully concretized his message: that building a system is a better means to creating wealth than making incremental improvements in a skillset.

I'm quite certain that 99% of fiction writers don't understand this, so I'm not worried about the "over saturation" of the market. The truth is that the world of literature is drastically underserved.

Heres an original thought of mine for free. You know how Roger Bannister first made the 4 minute mile, and suddenly others were quickly able to follow? Art, properly made, achieves the same function. Why do you think the first cave paintings showed men successfully killing huge buffalo? It was to show that it could be done, to inspire young hunters to see the world that way, ie. "We are men that can kill buffalo".

The same can be done now, and people will love it, because at the end of the day, people have an objective need to know that success is possible - otherwise, they won't even try.
Yes! It's like losing knowledge! It's quite...sad in a sense? Missing the entire point of art. Missing the understanding of what objective art is and why it is great and above subjective art, inherently.

It's funny that you brought up the story of the Egyptian brothers. That story is one of the things that makes TMF great and above many other books. It has an excellent parable that illustrates the entire book.

Art is not entertainment first, it is passing on human values, messages, ideas, and systems of human technology in ways that words cannot describe or explain.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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I think we're stemming from the same place. 'presenting the past wisdom in relevant ways'.

My media growing up, my Bible if you will, is stuff like Star Wars, The Matrix, DragonBall Z, Lord of the Rings, Berserk.

None of these are actually very original in concept. Most of the philosophies that run through them are based on past wisdom, some more directly, some less.

However they are packaged for modern audiences.

We cannot deny pop culture, and making good pop culture media is what is needed. It is ultimately pop culture media that programs the masses.

The biggest pop culture media of the 2010s has been Game of Thrones and the Marvel universe, imo. The stories are very weak, with only one theme based on old wisdom. That seeking power and power alone leads to evil. Apparently everything else has been forgotten or ignored!

With the meteoric rise of YouTube and Netflix, it has become increasingly possible for non leftist controlled media producers to create good enjoyable and desirable media. And this is the primary way to teach people, especially young people, what it is they need to know about life.



Yes! It's like losing knowledge! It's quite...sad in a sense? Missing the entire point of art. Missing the understanding of what objective art is and why it is great and above subjective art, inherently.

It's funny that you brought up the story of the Egyptian brothers. That story is one of the things that makes TMF great and above many other books. It has an excellent parable that illustrates the entire book.

Art is not entertainment first, it is passing on human values, messages, ideas, and systems of human technology in ways that words cannot describe or explain.
Same same. Def like you now. But seriously come up with some solutions that YOU can do. Lol
 

Tourmaline

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Aww you like me :smile2:

Well I can do this. But first I need to retire...and build my AI.

I'm actually not too worried about postmodernism. I am far more concerned about Islam. Islam is the greatest religion ever crafted, and it can only be defeated with words.
 

reedracer

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I think we're stemming from the same place. 'presenting the past wisdom in relevant ways'.

My media growing up, my Bible if you will, is stuff like Star Wars, The Matrix, DragonBall Z, Lord of the Rings, Berserk.

None of these are actually very original in concept. Most of the philosophies that run through them are based on past wisdom, some more directly, some less.

However they are packaged for modern audiences.

We cannot deny pop culture, and making good pop culture media is what is needed. It is ultimately pop culture media that programs the masses.

The biggest pop culture media of the 2010s has been Game of Thrones and the Marvel universe, imo. The stories are very weak, with only one theme based on old wisdom. That seeking power and power alone leads to evil. Apparently everything else has been forgotten or ignored!

With the meteoric rise of YouTube and Netflix, it has become increasingly possible for non leftist controlled media producers to create good enjoyable and desirable media. And this is the primary way to teach people, especially young people, what it is they need to know about life.



Yes! It's like losing knowledge! It's quite...sad in a sense? Missing the entire point of art. Missing the understanding of what objective art is and why it is great and above subjective art, inherently.

It's funny that you brought up the story of the Egyptian brothers. That story is one of the things that makes TMF great and above many other books. It has an excellent parable that illustrates the entire book.

Art is not entertainment first, it is passing on human values, messages, ideas, and systems of human technology in ways that words cannot describe or explain.
One thing that always spurred my interest in classic tales was references in popular culture. The you know, the good book says and the Ben Franklin felt, and Aristotle called that...

I'm reminded of Bill Bennett's Book of Virtues. There was even a cartoon series based on it. Might be time to revisit that book and bone up on basic wisdom.
 

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"I am far more concerned about Islam. Islam is the greatest religion ever crafted, and it can only be defeated with words."

Yes, our religion is great. And we won't be defeated. Good luck though. :innocent: :halo:
 

Tourmaline

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One thing that always spurred my interest in classic tales was references in popular culture. The you know, the good book says and the Ben Franklin felt, and Aristotle called that...

I'm reminded of Bill Bennett's Book of Virtues. There was even a cartoon series based on it. Might be time to revisit that book and bone up on basic wisdom.
It's interesting how much I'm a fan of virtue these days, especially when I used to be entirely against it. However most good virtues seem to be crafted pragmatically, and have good results.

"I am far more concerned about Islam. Islam is the greatest religion ever crafted, and it can only be defeated with words."

Yes, our religion is great. And we won't be defeated. Good luck though. :innocent: :halo:
Just like every other religion before it, it will be defeated given adequate time. It is better than nothing, but the costs are far too great and liberty will ultimately prevail.
 

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WJK

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What are your thoughts on this?


They were given unrealistic expectations and not enough responsibilities. I don't know how to fix that. I have been working daily since I was 11 years old. That's now 54 years of work experience. And I'm still working every day. I tried to retire when I was 49 -- it was boring and deadening. These "kids" have their noses pressed against the glass wall of reality. They don't know how to join the fray and become successful. They won't do the chores and the work that I'll do -- they're too good for that. They won't lower themselves. They think that I'm crazy because I'll do any job that needs to be done. The say to hire someone. I tell them that I will do any job for which I'll hire someone to complete. I'm not too good to do any job. It's a matter of personal honor. These young people don't "bounce back" when they are knocked down. They are crushed by the little everyday events and moments that don't even phase me. I listen to their whining and I wish them well. The best thing that I can do for them is to be a good example. And no, they can't believe that I'm really 65 years old...
 

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@WJK I'm 23 and cleaned houses through middle school, high school, and into college. I don't know how many "kids" are in your sample size, but Gen Z is not a monolithic entity. I know plenty of people my age who are very hard workers.

They are crushed by the little everyday events and moments that don't even phase me.
Could you give some examples?
 

WJK

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I have low to moderate income housing -- the only group of affordable housing in my community. I see examples of this every day. I have young people who have never worked and need housing. Yes, there are some who have work ethics. BUT, I have a whole raft of young people who don't know how to work and don't even try. They don't even know why they have to have a job in order to qualify for a rental. They think that housing is right. But, I don't rent to them and they are totally shocked. And, if they do have a job, they don't know that they must pay rent every month. Excuses and sad stories don't count. Either they must have the money on time, or they end up out on the street. I evict them while they are screaming how unfair I am. This fact of life totally blindsides so many of them. Do you need details? I'm thinking of writing a book, but no one would believe these silly stories.
 

kelvinfernandezm

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I like to call it post truth. Any idiot can put up a youtube video about the earth being flat or doughnuts being fruit and they are hailed as some kind of cross between Einstein and the Dali Lama.
But the Earth is flat though.
 

WJK

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But the Earth is flat though.
If you believe that -- I have a bridge you can buy cheap -- on low monthly payments -- pay now and get the title later -- and I'll tell you a great, feel-good story about how rich you'll be in the future. Oh, to be young and so gullible. Flat earth indeed. It only appears to be flat at night when you can't see the horizon, or when you fall flat on your face and kiss it.

And that's why I believe that there are so many suicides of young people. These sheltered snowflakes haven't experienced the grifters and con games of the real world. It's a real shock to their belief systems when they have to confront the truth -- life is not fair. People are not always honest with them. The world doesn't care about their personal problems. No one is going to pick them up every time that they fall down. No one is going to fix their boo-boos and wipe their tears. Life is a rough and tumble journey and many of our young people as a group have not been prepared for that truth. And I totally agree. They are so right. Life is just not fair for anyone.
 

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@WJK Thanks for sharing your experiences; I can understand why you'd see the younger generation as entitled and sheltered! And to some extent it may be true. I wonder if it's a Gen Z/ Millennial thing or just a "young people" thing.
 

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@WJK Thanks for sharing your experiences; I can understand why you'd see the younger generation as entitled and sheltered! And to some extent it may be true. I wonder if it's a Gen Z/ Millennial thing or just a "young people" thing.
I blame it on Baby boomers/Gen X. They're the ones who raised millennials/Gen Z
 

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If you believe that -- I have a bridge you can buy cheap -- on low monthly payments -- pay now and get the title later -- and I'll tell you a great, feel-good story about how rich you'll be in the future. Oh, to be young and so gullible. Flat earth indeed. It only appears to be flat at night when you can't see the horizon, or when you fall flat on your face and kiss it.

And that's why I believe that there are so many suicides of young people. These sheltered snowflakes haven't experienced the grifters and con games of the real world. It's a real shock to their belief systems when they have to confront the truth -- life is not fair. People are not always honest with them. The world doesn't care about their personal problems. No one is going to pick them up every time that they fall down. No one is going to fix their boo-boos and wipe their tears. Life is a rough and tumble journey and many of our young people as a group have not been prepared for that truth. And I totally agree. They are so right. Life is just not fair for anyone.
I agree. I have many similar stories as well. It is unbelievable. One kid that worked for me cussed me out like crazy and tried to file a lawsuit against me because I would not force the kitchen to make him a meal. The attendant was preparing for a large group lunch. He wanted food and was offered a pre-made sandwich. He came unglued. I fired him. He hired an attorney.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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I blame it on Baby boomers/Gen X. They're the ones who raised millennials/Gen Z
True, and part of their derelication is also pawning off their parental duties to a state run educational system focused on "liberal arts" where they aren't prepared for the real world.

I wonder if it's a Gen Z/ Millennial thing or just a "young people" thing.
The forum has had its share of millenial bashing but I believe the young folks here don't represent the generalized stereotype.

Practically every week a young person here introduces themselves (sometimes teenagers!) and they sound like they have the wisdom of a 40 year old. I'm damn proud of Fastlane millenials! :cool:
 

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Can't speak for Mattie, but from my own observations (this obviously doesn't apply to all Americans or all Europeans, it's silly to even use the word "European" considering so many different cultures in Europe and the same goes for the US and the differences between, say, a Texan, and a person from North Dakota) here are some of the reasons (just to emphasize: it's only my uneducated opinion):
  • In the US, eating habits are largely about stuffing yourself and eating low quality food over eating something of high-quality slowly, enjoying the flavor, taking your time, talking with your family or just enjoying the day doing nothing (go to any Mediterranean country or most European countries in the summer to see what I'm talking about). In Europe the portions are much smaller and there's more focus on eating good food, not just eating a lot of food.
  • The infrastructure seems to be designed to promote unhappiness. You need a car to get anywhere. There are few or no convenience stores which are always within walking distance anywhere in Europe. The cities are not walkable, with everything concentrated in specific areas, usually far away from the residential areas instead of everything being close to each other. With so much traffic, forced to drive every day, stress levels inevitably go up.
  • Vacation policy or its lack thereof. It's inconceivable for pretty much any European that you get less than three weeks of paid vacation days a year (if at all) and often don't even use it at all. I'd say that a lot of people in Europe would rather have more vacation days than a higher salary because they often value their time more than money.
  • I enjoy the unique US spirit of pioneer freedom, but at the same time I have a feeling that because of that, the social ties are weaker than in countries with a more collaborative and communal perspective on life. I'm conflicted about that because I'm more of a loner than a social butterfly, but research shows that human connection is very important for happiness and living in a community (like a typical European neighborhood with people living in apartments) encourages this more than living in a huge house on a huge plot of land.
  • Success is largely defined by money or fame, which means that people look up to celebrities and often look down on people not successful in the traditional meaning of the word. If you define your worth largely by money or other external signs of status, you're bound to feel unhappy. Compare it to countries where people don't talk as readily about money and don't care that much what other people do for a living. Boundaries largely disappear in a more egalitarian society with people being kinder to each other (I've found this to be particularly visible in Australia which is in many ways very similar to Europe).
  • A society that doesn't feel like it particularly cares for the well-being of others considering a huge number of homeless people. Not sure what causes that, but in all of my travels, the country where I saw by far the most homeless people was the US. Now, I don't think that people should be obligated to help the homeless, but I would personally find it hard to be happy, no matter how rich, if I were surrounded by the homeless every day. You feel better when everyone around you is well-off.
  • A lot of Americans seem to know very little about the world outside the borders, while pretty much every European has been to another country, speaks at least a little bit of a foreign language, and is generally more tuned it to the entire world, not just their own country. I think that this helps be less obsessed about the local politics, local problems, etc. and gives you a bigger picture and possibly a more optimistic worldview.
Just to reiterate: it's just my observation, obviously including generalizations. Not every place in America is like that, and in the same way, not every place in Europe is like that. But in general, I think that many of these reasons are why people living in some countries are happier than in others.
I think this is spot on. Anytime anyone asked me what arr the main differences between the US and Spain my short answer was: in Spain people work for a living and in the US people live to work.

In any case, I believe this death of despair situation is not exclusive of the US, it is very generalized in most western countries but the reasons are probably the same.

My opinion is that the main factors are: very high and unrealistic expectations, high sense of entitlement, extreme hedonism and very low resilience to hardship.
 

kelvinfernandezm

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If you believe that -- I have a bridge you can buy cheap -- on low monthly payments -- pay now and get the title later -- and I'll tell you a great, feel-good story about how rich you'll be in the future. Oh, to be young and so gullible. Flat earth indeed. It only appears to be flat at night when you can't see the horizon, or when you fall flat on your face and kiss it.

And that's why I believe that there are so many suicides of young people. These sheltered snowflakes haven't experienced the grifters and con games of the real world. It's a real shock to their belief systems when they have to confront the truth -- life is not fair. People are not always honest with them. The world doesn't care about their personal problems. No one is going to pick them up every time that they fall down. No one is going to fix their boo-boos and wipe their tears. Life is a rough and tumble journey and many of our young people as a group have not been prepared for that truth. And I totally agree. They are so right. Life is just not fair for anyone.
Did you give me a bridge anology because you assume I'm guallible enough to think the Earth is flat?

I can say the same about you for believing the Earth is round.
 

WJK

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I agree. I have many similar stories as well. It is unbelievable. One kid that worked for me cussed me out like crazy and tried to file a lawsuit against me because I would not force the kitchen to make him a meal. The attendant was preparing for a large group lunch. He wanted food and was offered a pre-made sandwich. He came unglued. I fired him. He hired an attorney.
That sounds like me too. When I married my husband 15 years ago, he asked why I just stand there when my tenants cuss me out. I told him that if I took it seriously, I have to hit them upside their head. He's developed a thick skin. Now my husband just says, "Whatever. Go talk to Wifie (that's me)" and he walks away. I usually just wait until the screamer run out of steam and ask if they are done. If they don't back down at that point, especially when they start making threats, then I do have to do something. They are so amazed when I serve them, summarily evict them and run them off of my property. Some hire attorneys, but I cross my t's and dot my i's -- so I win in court.
Many times, no has ever confronted these "kids" on their bad behavior and they've had no consequences. They have no clue about empathy or fair play with others. They think that, in the end, they can just say they're sorry and their little world will go on as if nothing happened. I guess they miss that play-nice-with-others-lesson in Kindergarten.
And I have a long memory. My tenant records go back over 20 years now. When I get an application, I look everyone up in my database to see if we have a history. Some of my current tenants grew up here as kids. Many of my tenants call me "Miss Wenda" and most are very polite to me. Many have a great deal of respect and love for me. I have helped many people over the years. I do more social work in a week than most social workers do in a month. It the nature of having this type of tenants. But, I do get a bad apple now and then. I just remind myself that you can't have salt without pepper!
 

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Did you give me a bridge anology because you assume I'm guallible enough to think the Earth is flat?

I can say the same about you for believing the Earth is round.
Give me strength, you're being serious????????????!!!!!!!!!!!

He doesn't believe the earth is round, he knows it is!

Seriously dude, you do not need NASA to prove the world is round, just a working brain, your eyes and some goddamn common sense.

Please tell me you're joking...
 

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...they can just say they're sorry and their little world will go on as if nothing happened....
This is a major pet peeve of mine.

People have this weird belief that saying a magic word negates their actions. That their feelings make their shitty actions ok.
 

Kruiser

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Making generalizations about the "younger generation" is a hazard that comes with reaching a certain age. Heck, making generalizations about other generations is probably a hazard that comes with being human.

For every entitled milennial taking selfies with the latest iPhone, there is an entitled retired former public employee who retired at 50 (after working about 2 hours a day for 20 years) with a huge yearly pension and full health benefits.

The same entitled generation bankrupting all the state and city governments.

A pretty useless and unfair generalization, I'll admit. But that is the problem with all of these generalizations.

On a more serious note, I read somewhere recently (I forget where) that a factor in the deaths of despair is the general atomization of culture. We are all free floating individuals now, without strong ties to anything (church, extended family, fraternal organizations, bowling leagues, etc.).

Thus, any failure (real or perceived) can hit us much harder than generations past because we have nothing to fall back on. Personal setbacks are more likely to feel pervasive and all-encompassing. Personal setbacks are more likely to feel like complete and total failure.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some kids on my lawn I need to yell at . . .
 

Kevin88660

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What are your thoughts on this?


It is very real.

I just went to Brisbane and Melbourne for my holiday. So many kids serving in restaurants and retail outlets have degree!

In Singapore that never happens even though there is also issue of youth underemployment.
 
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