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Most 20-Somethings avoiding shortcuts, taking proven paths

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POSTED March 26, 2009 4:23 a.m.
There’s been a lot of ink spilled in the national press about how 20-Somethings take the attitude they have to have the latest high-tech gizmo, how their work ethic is flighty and how they live in the moment and don’t plan for the future.

It’s an erroneous snapshot much like that taken of the 20-Somethings riding the dot.com wave before it went bust. You remember that snapshot. They worked 20 hours a day and came up with “new” cutting edge things such as running their entire life via the Internet ranging from groceries being ordered and delivered to buying cars. They were able to raise tons of capital for things such as PurpleTie.com – the Internet dry cleaning operation that was going to build in Manteca and serve the entire Bay Area and Northern San Joaquin Valley.

They were not new ideas, just high-tech versions of old home delivery models and dry cleaning pick-up and delivery routes. None of the stuff worked because of the expense and the fact that most of us – including most 20-Somethings - weren’t making $150,000-plus a year.

Fast forward to 2009 and the argument that 20 Somethings are softening America’s economic drive and resolve plus are generally self-centered

Get real. Yes, there are probably those that are guilty as charged but that applies to every age group.

Those stepping forward to fill most of the military ranks are still 20-Somethings.

And when it comes to having their head screwed on straight about delayed gratification when it comes to building a life, 20-Somethings in Manteca look especially smart.

It is easy to come across those in their 20s – single and married – who are resisting dining out every night, spending tons of money on entertainment, pursuing new car lust, or spending every last dime so they can buy homes.

They aren’t mortgaging to the max. They aren’t insisting on granite counter tops. They understand needs are more important than wants.

They don’t talk of starter homes. They talk of paying off the mortgage.

The generation of 20-Somethings may actually be more attuned to living within their means than any generation since the Great Depression.

It has something to do with the current economic crisis created by easy money and greed that ballooned housing prices that led to the mortgage meltdown. They also saw the dot.com boom go bust.

If the truth be told, though, most 20-Somethings never got caught up in the get rich quick or entitlement mindset. Yes, it is often difficult for many to understand why they have to work for years to get what they want as it may seem to them their parents had everything all at once without realizing it took them years to get to where they are at financially.

 The generational truth about America is simple. There are the fat cats who give capitalism a bad name whether it was the robber barons of the late 19th century or the Wall Street CEOs of today. There are those that want to take shortcuts from claim jumpers and outlaws in the 1800s to Internet swindlers and criminals today. There are the stars, there are the pro athletes, and there are the wealthy.

America’s strength always has been – and always will be – the little guy plugging along, doing the right thing for family, country, and community while living the simple life.

The world is not collapsing. While the majority of foreclosures are the result of greed or else wishful thinking on how much debt one could handle, well over 90 percent of Americans stayed the course.

The 20-Somethings today are no different.
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