By Cahya – Why is the younger generation often looked down upon? All the “kids these days” arguments have been around for a long time. The phrase usually comes with complains about how “kids these days” are spoiled, or have it better. Yet, does no one realize that different generations have different challenges? Why do previous generations love assessing the behavior of the younger generations using outdated standards?
Behaviors are a result of time.
The old generation were taught to survive under oppression. In Lee Kuan Yew’s time, it was necessary to have everybody submit silently so that he can transform Singapore faster. At that time, as long as they work hard, they will be rewarded with a stable life. They will do better than those who choose not to work hard.
Once majority of the population has a stable life, working hard is no longer enough. Therefore, in the new rat race, the new generation are taught to express themselves to stand out. If they were silent, they will be forgotten.
Yet the older generation see this freedom of expression as a sign of weakness, calling them “strawberries”.
What are some of the younger generations’ struggles?
One of the biggest problems that they are facing is property ownership. Present homeowners grew up during a time when the economy was booming, allowing them to save money and purchase their first home. Basically, work hard, save money, and you’ll get a house in time.
Yet this does not apply to the younger generation. Even if they worked hard, they have to fight with so many others (just take a look at the number of people vying for each BTO). Most are unable to afford private housing on their own because of the insane prices. All while having people from the older generation complaining about how “kids these days” are weak and don’t know how to save up for their own flats.
Housing is just one symptom of a difficult time. Inflation and price hikes that beat salary increases, the challenge of having to compete with the rest of the world. These boomers also fail to recognize that the younger generation grew up during 2 pandemics (SARS and especially COVID), bring about a period of unprecedented loneliness and economic uncertainty.
The role of the government is important.
This is a generation who will soon become a sandwiched generation. They will need to take care of their parents, themselves, and their children (it isn’t surprising that many choose not to have children at all).
Before things get even worse, our government should be looking at how they can manage the society today. They need to stop relying on policies of the past in hopes that the future will work out the same way. Price controls on necessities (e.g. transport, housing, tuition) is one way to begin.