Millennials tilt toward optimism?

ManpowerGroup has surveyed 26,000 millennials in 18 nations around the world and found surprising levels of optimism across most such youth. Establishment western media often portrays millennials as fearful narcissistic wannabee-victims, failed by schools and unfit for the workplace. People who, at the slightest flicker of disapproval, need to leap into the ‘safe room’ to have fondle-sex with their therapy puppy. But they are remarkably optimistic about the future, especially in terms of jobs and careers…

“at least six in 10 millennials in countries such as China, Mexico, Australia, Norway and India, were confident of their career prospects. 70 percent see [the world] as full of opportunities, versus only 30 percent who see it as full of struggles; 86 percent see technology creating jobs, while only 14 percent see it destroying them.”

Of course these days opinion polls, even with a sample of 26,000, are hardly worth the paper they’re written on. Having been proved worthless time and time again by recent events. Nevertheless, the survey offers an interesting hint that millennials may be maturing a little, or at least some of the more reachable ones may be presenting a more optimistic face to opinion pollsters.

This change in outlook, re: unemployment, may in time impact on their politics. I often read columnists casually assuming that millennials of the Great Recession will stay the same whiny pseudo-socialist narcissists into their 30s and 40s. No, I think many of them will change, mature, learn, and break free of the smothering blanket of peer-pressure (as many people do, around age 26-27). This may be especially true of the most intelligent ones, and especially if Brexit and Trump prove to both be a mutually-sustaining success. Actually, I think many millennials may be far more small-c conservative than opinion polls and focus groups can discover — if ever there’s a post-war generation which has internalised the danger of speaking ‘on the record’ about one’s real opinions, it’s this one. They’ve learned to tell adults what they want to hear, which means parroting back at adults the accepted mantras and pessimisms. If they really believe these, or not, is another matter.

Also, if one were to exclude the especially gloomy Singaporean and Japanese youth from the ManpowerGroup figures, and those stuck amid the unemployment of the basket-case Greek economy, then the above aggregate figures would become even more positive. Note also the complete absence of Africa, where many nations currently have millions of young minds who are brimming with optimism for the future.

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