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This is like a dispatch from Bizarro World.

My parents' Carter-era mortgage was for 15%+, mine signed last year (well before my mid-30s!) was for 5.5%.

The rest of my counterexperience is just anecdote, so I'll spare everyone the details and just ask:

Do you have even a single shred of evidence backing up your nostalgia for things you didn't actually experience?




It's more relevant that the Boomers had 10 workers per retiree whereas we have 3 workers per retiree. The Boomers took the next two generations prosperity and used it all up themselves.

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Sorry, I may be missing your point, but how do you blame the Boomers (of which I'm at the tail end) for this situation? Shouldn't you be blaming the "Greatest Generation" (parents of the Boomers) for setting up a system that depended on maintaining a high ratio of workers to retirees?

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Well its the boomers that "didn't reproduce enough" (I'm not serious about this one).

However the boomers are the ones that deregulated the shit out of the world, bankrupted the pension funds, built houses and luxuries on credit (they didn't invest much into infrastructure). They are also underqualified and sitting on many positions from which they are screwing their children (that's at least how it works in my country), while simultaneously taking it out on us - for supposedly being lazy and incompetent - to create families and build homes.

While we stand on streets - well educated and eager to take on challenges, but we're unable to because boomers don't allow us the privilege. And I mean quite literally - don't just whip around mortgage rates. I don't know about USA - but I'm certain that it's a lot harder and costlier to start and run a business in a lot of the world nowadays than 40 years ago.

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I like the idea that Boomers haven't been reproducing enough (although with 3 children I feel like I've done my part).

As a tail-end Boomer, I don't see current 20-somethings as "lazy and incompetent", but I know that my peers and I discuss the fact that Gen-Y seems to be motivated by different things than we were. In the context of the original discussion about job-hopping, I don't have any problem accepting that members of Gen-Y have different attitudes toward tenure in a particular job. However, as I mentioned in comments for a related posting, the issue from the employer's perspective isn't really whether they agree with your values, but whether they perceive hiring you as a good investment.

The costs of hiring someone are such that most companies want to be able to rely on the individual to stay in the role for at least 2 or 3 years. Furthermore, your value to the company increases rapidly as you gain experience in their particular business - they don't want to see that value walk out the door. Other posters in this discussion have suggested that the answer is for companies to make the job more interesting/rewarding, so that people will stay. I don't disagree with that - creating an environment that attracts and retains the best people is a critical success factor for IT organizations that I've worked with. However, when making a decision to hire, the employer can only consider the candidate's past track record, not some possible future where either the company or the candidate change behaviour.

I think this discussion may really be two separate questions: (1) is it reasonable for companies to discriminate against perceived "job-hoppers" when hiring, and (2) should companies adjust their practices to retain good employees? My answer to both would be a qualified "yes", although from some of the comments it seems like there are some people who would not stay at a company for more than a year or two regardless of the company's retention practices.

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As my peer said...

I know that myself and most of my peers would love to be loyal to something, we are eager to learn... We love to work hard and play hard. We're willing to learn the ropes - but we have no intention of working for the same company for all our adult lives - because we have seen many cases on our own eyes how that kind of attitude is less then beneficial.

But as mentioned elsewhere our bullshit tolerance levels are low.

I agree with you that costs of loosing productive people who understand context of their work is expensive. I don't agree with you that businesses care (at least not the ones I saw myself). Well maybe they care - but not enough to actually invest anything or seriously commit to solving the issue for themselves.

It's all just talk - yes they'd like if people would stay longer, but they "can't afford" to actually improve living and working conditions for their workers.

Just mgmt business as usual - improving sales and market position is hard, cutting expenses is easy, leave a trail of broken businesses behind on your path to glory.

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from some of the comments it seems like there are some people who would not stay at a company for more than a year or two regardless of the company's retention practices.

I think that attitude's unusual. Most people would love to have conditions such that they can stay for 5-10 years at their next job, but are realistic enough to cut bait when the job isn't working out, from a career perspective.

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The Boomers are the ones that ate the seedcorn.

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Or in the analogy I prefer , "Social security is eating your own young."

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Interest rates were high because there was an inflation problem in the 1970s. Also, house prices then would be considered a bargain by today's standards-- you could buy a middle-class house in Seattle or San Francisco for what would be about $200-250k today.

I am certainly not saying that the 1960s and '70s were a perfect era. They were far from that. What I'm saying is that it wasn't nearly as difficult to advance. You had to seriously fuck up in order not to advance by default. College practically guaranteed a good job.

People who slacked off in college during the '60s entered boardrooms in the '70s and '80s. That sort of access and opportunity isn't handed out to our generation; far from it. We face stiffer competition for (except at the very top) less reward, at least economically speaking.

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"Interest rates were high because there was an inflation problem in the 1970s."

Of course they were, that's the point. That was the crappy economic situation that generation lived under; it was worse than today's, at least from a home-buying perspective.

And again, you still don't have any actual evidence for your other idyllic depictions.

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Well, yes and no. Inflation eroded their debts too remember. That's why there are so many Boomers living in nice houses that their kids could never afford at the same age.

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Right. Inflation is far less vicious than house-price inflation for most people.

It's bizarre that so many people have adopted the "rising house prices = good" mentality, since housing is something on which people naturally have a short position (a need). Renters are obviously short housing, single-home owners are theoretically neutral (they own housing equal to their need) but actually short as well, since they're paying real estate costs every time they shop. So 90+% of us are actually in a short position with regard to housing; our lives get better if real estate becomes cheaper. The important, high-value land is held by a few.

This is why it's odd to hear people rage against inflation or rising gas prices but cheer on housing bubbles. They have the perception that rising energy prices benefit "other people" but that they somehow are making money when real estate gets expensive-- and unless they own a lot of it, this isn't true.

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This is a very insightful comment. Did you read something that gave you this notion, or was it an insight that you had on your own?

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It's something I realized after I started working in finance-- the young are very "short housing", and most people are neutral at best.

In New York, housing is a source of widespread and ongoing misery. If you lose your job, you're truly fucked because rents can easily exceed $2000 for a studio. Many apartments lack basic first-world amenities in-building laundry and dishwasher because there is no need to include them when rents and prices are so ridiculously high. It's very difficult to save money here because a class of fucking parasites (most of whom don't even live in New York) are sucking everyone dry.

Land ownership is the justification for entrenched aristocracy and, in less-enlightened times, slavery. It always has been, and probably always will be. It's a concept that exists for a purpose that 90% of us would find distasteful. This is also why Americans have such a fetish for homeownership; throughout most of history, those who did not own land were at a social level comparable to slaves or serfs. What they don't realize is that if they take out mortgages on bad terms, they're assuming a speculative position while not gaining real ownership of the property.

I frankly think it's time for aggressive land reform, and I think private land ownership (with exceptions for small, single-house plots) needs to be retired as soon as we can build the infrastructure to replace it.

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I'm curious. Is a "small, single-house plot" a 30'x50' lot? A quarter acre? An acre? 160 acres? Should someone with a house on 160 acres in northern Alberta be subject to the same restrictions as a condo-owner in Manhattan?

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