Economy & Budget

For too many Americans
30 is the new 20

For too many Americans 30 is the new 20

The sluggish economy is to blame for the national phenomenon of arrested development, according to a new study.

It isn’t news that the droves of twenty-somethings graduating from college far outnumber the job opportunities they seek, and that this has resulted in the “boomerang generation” of young adults returning to their parents’ empty nests. What’s surprising about a new survey by the Clark University Poll of Parents of Emerging Adults is that of the 38 percent of parents with children living at home, the majority is just fine with it.

According to the poll, 61 percent of parents consider having their children back home to be a “mostly positive” experience. In addition, a whopping 73 percent says they have “mostly positive” relationships with their kids.

Jeffrey Arnett, author of When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?, says “a new life stage has developed in the last half century.” That the poor economy is responsible for making offspring more childish is a bit of a stretch, but it is definitely forcing young adults to revert to more dependent lifestyles. According to Fox Business, “This new category includes those aged 18 to 29 and is characterized by the delayed transition into a stable life, which includes marriage, parenthood, and careers. Essentially, 30 has become the new 20.”

Here’s a little secret degree-holding know-it-alls know but don’t want you to: being a kid is fun. Kids have little to no responsibility, people’s expectations of them are low, and they’re excused for a lot. Do you think fresh grads mind having the family fridge at their disposal, sleeping in ‘til noon, or not having to stack quarters for laundry? To those boomerangs lucky enough to have parents with “mostly positive” attitudes, I say enjoy it while it lasts, or else vote Democrat to keep the economy under water and your name inevitably on your parents’ health insurance plan.

In all seriousness, though, moving back in with the ‘rents for a while may actually pay off in the long run. “Good things come to those who wait,” the study concluded. “Research has shown that couples who marry young have higher divorce rates,” the article says, adding, “When it comes to careers, getting it right isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Those who spend the time pursuing an education typically find their way into long-term careers nearly three times faster than those who enter the workforce after high school.”

Teresa Mull is the managing editor of Human Events. 

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