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A Lost Generation?

A Lost Generation?

You have to be around it to sense how corrosive it is to the human spirit. We experienced it in Greece. Talking to Maria our server in the Fontana Restaurant at our hotel. “Why would I go to technical school? If I did, it would just cost my parents money and then I wouldn’t have a job anyway.” So the pretty Maria has to be content to work in the restaurant and have her besotted boyfriend – who also has no prospects – moon over her.

Enlightened writers are now sounding the alarm bells for Europe. Idle youth – there has never been a larger threat. Not just to prosperity but peace.

The socialist vision is that, on the whole, we are better if all make it together. Rather than having some left behind while others surge ahead. Inherent in that conception is that all want to try, that all are gifted with ability. The refuge of the wildeyed capitalist is that those who don’t do well are lazy or have nothing to offer.

When you see structural malaise as in Europe, it is hard to cast the problem at the feet of the Marias of Greece. There is no vibrant business sector to make opportunity for her. And no surging economy that builds a web of follow on work in services and for preparing tomorrow.

So tomorrow looks as bleak as today for her.
In the past, visionary government looking down the barrel of the ultimate cost of a lost generation as in Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Britain, would have taken on the challenge. Now government cowers, lost in a world of deficit reduction, having no legitimacy to address the issue and bound to follow “prudence” into the social unrest that must follow.

It can’t be avoided unless something like a Marshall Plan for youth is created. These are good kids – at least as good as any generation. We only have to look back to our own lost generation – generation X. Born after the boomers, when they finished school there was nothing for them in the stagflation of the 80’s. They were frustrated, but compliant to their fate. It wasn’t ever so – witness Fascist Germany. All it takes is a spark to coalesce their energy behind a cause. Almost any cause. Not always for “good”.

We have it now in the US. In have- not Provinces. A lost generation. No good can come of it….

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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