Yesterday, I talked about the bleak job and economic future facing those graduating from American colleges this year. A few hours later, Jim Sciutto--a reporter for CNN--retweeted on Twitter a graphic that shows compared to what young people in Europe are facing, the US is still the land of milk and honey:
Unemployment for those under the age of 25 is 23% in the European Union--with the rates reaching an astounding 54% in Spain and a whopping 57% in Greece. And this is not a recent development, "youth unemployment" has been above 20% across the EU for better than 5 years now.
Sciutto calls this a "real and under-covered" crisis. I'd disagree that it is under-covered. Fiscal conservatives who oppose the Socialist systems of many EU members have known about this for some time--and have pointed to the effects of high taxes on income and corporations along with a safety net that is more like a safety hammock. The reason the "mainstream media" doesn't report on European unemployment is that so many people over their are perfectly content not to work.
You don't see tens of thousands of young protesters taking to the streets of London, Madrid or Rome demanding the government get them jobs. There are no violent clashes with police, or people throwing Molotov Cocktails through the front windows of corporate headquarters or bank branches in a "Proletariat" show of force against the "Bourgeoisie". That is the kind of thing that garners "media attention". The only such incidents that did make the news were violent protests in France by immigrants who are being denied work and in Greece--where residents were upset that overly-generous government benefits were going to be cut.
The lack of concern by those who are unemployed--or underemployed--in the European Union comes from the fact that most are more than happy with the way things are. They may not work but they still have social insurance payments, free health care, free birth control, subsidized college education and rental assistance. As long as you have money to sit in the cafe all day--and at the pub or discotheque all night--why ruin a good thing? Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would probably applaud these deadbeats--saying how "great it is that these young people can ease their way into the real world and not have to worry about finding a job right away to pay for things."
If you notice, the one country bucking the trend in the EU is Germany. Their unemployment rate for those under 25 went down over the last five years to just 7.7%. That is due largely to the cultural heritage of young people moving into technical fields and apprenticeships--rather than attending liberal arts colleges--out of high school. It's amazing what happens when you teach someone the value of work early in life--and stop giving them every reason not to earn a living.