Friday, September 29, 2006

Barriers to commitment

Another article, this time in the Telegraph about how twenty-somethings can't 'grow up'. What they skirt over is covered in this Grauniad article.

This is an education/career-specific problem - people I was at primary school with who have no degree now have houses, cars and children. However, friends living in London from some of the best universities in the country flit between low paid or contract work, additional education (often MAs) and in some cases, periods of unemployment. London, incidently, has 45 % of graduate jobs. They have no hope of affording a house even if they could guarantee staying in one place long enough. This probably also contributes to low birth rates and unstable relationships - people move around and have few assets.

I've accepted this unthinkingly and find the idea of a 'job-for-life' both strange and somewhat oppressive. But, really, the idea that qualified people end up working for nothing or as administrative staff for years whilst house-sharing with friends in the hope of 'making a break' is... not quite right [that said, you will notice it's predominantly particular sectors, e.g. charities, media. Multilingual PhD students are not fighting each other to work for firms of accountants for free]. It's a demonstration of calibre only in the same way that surviving walking across the Sahara desert is a demonstration of anything - triumph over grinding adversity. Insecurity, like everything else, is only exciting in moderation.

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