07.07.2010 1

$40,000 isn’t enough for Scott Nicholson

A July 6 article in the New York Times should have been an eye opener for those that read it. This article tells the story of Scott Nicholson, a young college graduate from the suburbs of Boston who is unable to land his dream job. If the intent of the article was to make one feel sorry for Scott, or for the millennial generation (18-29 year olds) that is struggling as a whole in the Great Recession, the point was lost on this millennial generation reader.

Scott Nicholson is the epitome of a silver spoon fed child. Unable to find a job he “likes”, he relies on his parents’ goodwill for survival. While admitting he does the occasional odd job such as fence installation and lawn mowing, he hustles his parents to pay half his monthly rent (a sum of $1,000) along with his cell phone bill aside from whatever other costs he incurs. His parents pay for this while Scott turns down a job that would have paid $40,000. Had he been my son, I would have denied his next money request.

A graduate of Colgate College, Scott should have the commonsense to get by without having to rely on others footing the bill. But alas, Scott has never known what it is like to be independent. From his college, to his apartment, it has always been others that have funded Scott’s lifestyle.

The millennial generation has been hit especially hard by the recession. Currently, 37% are unemployed or are not even seeking work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the economy is bad, and finding a job is even worse, stories such as Scott’s only damage the reputation of the millennial generation.

It is the millennial generation that is being relied upon for many important things in society. Many soon-to-be retired Americans will rely on this generation to fund Social Security. If they are not working, no one is paying in, and thus, no one will receive any payments out. Also, it is the millennial generation for the most part that is fighting America’s wars abroad. The millennial generation is an important part of society, and one that is often overlooked.

I, for one, know the value of independence and hard work. For instance, when I had trouble making ends meet, the last thing I sought was charity from family. I understood that taking a job I didn’t like would allow me to make ends meet. And doing so was eventually rewarded richly. The last thing one should do is turn down jobs that will pay the bills and allow you to save money; specifically you do not turn down a $40,000 a year job.

Stories such as Scott’s are fairly uncommon. No one that I associate with has acted with such unprofessionalism and immaturity. Every person has the power to determine their course in life. Scott has determined that as long as he is being handed everything, he should hold out for the next best offer.

The Scott Nicholson’s of society should be looked down upon. These folks exist in all generations. But they are the exception and not the rule. The New York Times would have done better to dedicate its reporter to reporting on the many good things this generation does, not the rotten eggs that seem to become the poster figures of the group.

When jobs are hard to find, the core values of Americans shine through. I know of many folks that are doing jobs that they would consider themselves to be overqualified for. But we are in the middle of a recession and they understand that they are lucky to have employment at all.

After all, we are currently dealing with millions of people that are flocking to this nation to take jobs that pay far less than the one that Scott Nicholson turned down. Clearly there are plenty of people that believe America is the best place to start a life and find a job, Scott just needs to be mature enough to realize that he will not become the CEO of a major corporation overnight. That dream job he is after only comes after much hard work, if at all.

The key to the American Dream is having a dream and pursuing it. This requires sacrifice, hard work, and a willingness to get your hands dirty. The entitlement society that gives kids the expectation of a free education that leads to an un-earned “cushy” job without providing hard work along the way is a false hope perpetuated by a society that has taken the understanding that there are winners and losers away from America’s youth.

Hard work pays off, even in jobs that are not considered to be “dream jobs”. Through that hard work and determination, people end up where they want to. And most of the people in the millennial generation understand that. Clearly Scott Nicholson believes he is above that, and he has been rewarded exactly as he should—as an unemployed beggar to his parents.

Adam Bitely is the editor-in-chief of NetRightDaily.com and is a student at George Mason University.

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