Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If Money Doesn't Buy Happiness

If Money Doesn't Buy Happiness.....

This is not intended to be an example blog entry so please see the direction handout for specific requirements and suggestions for completing your blog entry.  Instead I wanted to share an article with you and get your perspective on it.  Traditionally the US and other nations have used GDP as one of the key economic indicators to assess the health of an economy and even general well being of a society.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total market value of all final goods and services produced annually within the boundaries of a nation.  Some nations, organizations and even states within the US are experimenting with other measurements focusing on happiness and overall well being of a society instead of, or in addition, to GDP.  I have seen articles in the New York Times and the Economist about this topic if you want to explore it further.  To start our discussion, please read "If Money Doesn't Buy Happiness" published in the USA Today last year.  Please share your thoughts on the topic after thinking about the pros and cons of using GDP and/or other measurements. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do kids have it worse today?

By: Mrs. Jecha

It sounds cliche, but parents still claim that they had it much worse than kids today.  The old adage of walking to school, barefoot, in sub-zero degree weather.  They didn't have computers to help them with research and they even left the house without a cell phone.  New inventions have helped many young students be better connected, but what about the idea that kids are better off - economically - than their parents?  With a struggling economy constantly making headlines around the world, is the younger generation actually in more trouble than their parents when it comes to finding that dream job?

According to the Wall Street Journal, yes!  Economic times have taken their toll on everyone.  However, they have taken an even bigger toll on young-adults aged 18-24.  It is more difficult to find a job and some 20-somethings actually find themselves living in their parents' basements working a job that is under their skill level. 

While baby-boomers did have a few rough patches, according to Ben Cassleman, the 18-24 year olds of today are facing an economy that isn't bouncing back as quickly.  And, jobs are a little harder to come by.  According to the article,
...young people are facing far higher levels of unemployment and under-employment. The official jobless rate for 18-24 year olds is more than double that for those between 35 and 54, and the rate of underemployment is even higher. By some estimates, more than half of all college grads under age 25 are either looking for work or stuck in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
Many recent college graduates are struggling to find work.  And, unfortunately, it is difficult to recover from the recent set-backs for the younger generation.
Many of today’s 20-somethings, therefore, are stuck on the sidelines for what should be — and what was for their parents — their most important years for wage growth and career development. The effects are likely to be long-lasting. A study by Yale economist Lisa Kahn found that “the labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy are large, negative and persistent.” 
It's hard to say what will happen over the next few years.  Regardless, over the next few years, you might be seeing a few more students living in their parents' basements after college. 
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