Dead Wild Roses: Our Families, Technology and Having the ‘Right’ Experience

We can lump this video in with the others that attempt to shed light on issues in society that matter while discreetly hawking their wares in the background.  The best form of advertising?  I’m not sure, but the commercial makes space for some thinking about how generational experiences are becoming increasingly stratified and foreign to ...

elementalpresent: Who’s Driving? A Response to 4Front Atlantic’s GPS for Atlantic Canada

 What we are all looking for…is the readymade, competent man [sic]; the man whom some one else has trained. It is only when we fully realize that our duty, as well as our opportunity, lies in systematically cooperating to train and to make this competent man, instead of in hunting for a man whom some ...

elementalpresent: One benefit of getting older…

…is that you age your way out of the generational gaze. You know the one. The one that fixes on everything younger than 30 or 40, and can’t see anything but narcissism, entitlement, deviance and degrading values. I wrote this blog many months back, and a much shorter and slightly different version of it was ...

elementalpresent: ‘Hipster’ is not a real job. Neither is not having a job.

Last week, the CCPA released a report (authored by yours truly) about youth un- and underemployment in Canada. It showed that, while youth unemployment in Canada is not insubstantial – 14.1% in 2011, up from 12.9% in 2006 – it’s still “low” compared to other OECD countries. In Greece, for example, the rate was 44.4% ...

elementalpresent: The Pot and the Kettle

In several previous posts, I’ve made passing reference to the idea that every generation doubts or outright disparages the “work ethic” of the one following it into the workforce. Conducting some preliminary research for my next project on the concept of “productivity”, I came across some hard evidence for my claim. It’s not earth shattering, but I’m ...

elementalpresent: Let’s not get carried away with Helicopter Parents

University and college classes start today for one of the most cash-strapped, debt-burdened, under-employed cohorts of post-secondary students this country has ever seen.[1] But that’s not the story. Instead, on the radio, in the newspaper, online and among many university instructors, the focus is on “entitled” students, “coddled” first-years, and “helicopter parents.” I’m especially ashamed ...

elementalpresent: “Gotta Spend Money to Make Money”… or is it “Make Money to Save Money?”

 “Young people want to retire early and spend, too”. That’s the main finding of a survey commissioned by the Bank of Montreal, released today in newspapers across the country. The coverage of the survey report is problematic on its own. For instance, although 1000 Canadians aged 18 and over were surveyed, the focus in media ...

elementalpresent: How to Eliminate Tuition Fees (and do it right)

Quebec student group CLASSE has come forward with an offer of what it would take to end their almost four-month strike: the elimination of tuition fees by 2016. The plan is based on taxing banks, starting at 0.14 per cent per cent this year, and rising to 0.7 per cent over the next four. According ...

elementalpresent: The Real Culture of Dependency: In Defense of Atlantic Canada

This post is co-authored with Brian Foster “Is the EI system making it more attractive to not work?” That’s the (attempt at) thought-provoking (or fire-stoking) title of a recent National Post piece, written in the aftermath of Jim Flaherty’s intellectually lazy and socially irresponsible public musings on the psychological, voluntaristic reasons for Canada’s unemployment rate. Flaherty, ...

elementalpresent: On Strike from Life as we Know it

The Quebec Government just announced a “special law” intended to bring an end to the 14-week student strike in that province. The law would postpone the rest of this semester and allow current students to finish it in August before starting school again in October. The announcement came on the heels of a particularly contentious ...

elementalpresent: Why work?

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be I’ll get ...

elementalpresent: Making Sense of Youth Voter Apathy OR Why Youth Voter Apathy Makes Sense

I’m 28, and I’ve voted in every federal election since I was old enough to do so. Yet I understand why the majority of people my age didn’t, and won’t, and why those who turned voting age after me were less and less likely to cast a ballot. In fact, it’s easier to comprehend why ...

elementalpresent: “Twelve Going on Thirty” OR “Is the Globe and Mail the Worst Newspaper Yet?”

What do I have in common with a 12-year-old? Other than being alive, right now, in the same world, I’d like to wager ‘not a whole lot.’ Yet psychologist Jean Twenge is working on the assumption that we share a generation, and for the Globe and Mail, it just might be “the worst generation yet”. ...

elementalpresent: Now, to let the money start rolling in…

You’ve likely seen at least one list, published in a newspaper’s ‘business’ section, of tips for how to manage that unruly influx of “young punks” wreaking havoc on workplaces around the world: the millennials (or Generation Y). Over at the CCPA’s Behind the Numbers blog, I’ve combined some old material with some newer numbers in a different format to ...

elementalpresent: What do Bruce Springsteen, KONY2012 and Occupy have to do with one another?

This is a guest blog, courtesy of Brian Foster. Now, no shells ripped the evening sky No cities burning down No army stormed the shores for which we’d die No dictators were crowned I awoke on a quiet night; I never heard a sound The marauders raided in the dark And they brought death to ...

elementalpresent: Waging or Resisting Unwinnable Wars: A Response to Donald Gutstein

Across Canada and every other place where austerity has become a household term, the idea of generational conflict has come out of retirement (pun intended). In Canada, intergenerational issues and tensions garnered a bit of attention during the Occupy encampments, and resurfaced again in the wake of the Prime Minister’s nonchalant announcement, in Davos, that ...

elementalpresent: Delaying Retirement: What Does it Mean for Younger Workers?

Since the announcement that his government was considering raising the eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS), Stephen Harper has backed off slightly, assuring the public that such reforms are years away. Nevertheless, media and experts of all kinds have fired into gear, speculating on the possible motivations for OAS reform, and exploring its potential implications. ...