Youth Unemployment – Unfinished Story

The Atlantic

The Atlantic had me at hello, but lost me at, “wanna dance”:

Europe’s unemployment inequality is simply astonishing. Germany’s jobless rate for young people is 8.2 percent. In Greece, it’s 54.2 percent.

Elevated and lasting unemployment is an awful thing, anywhere, and for anyone. But it is awful in a special way for young people, cutting them off from networks and starting salaries at the moment they need to forge connections and begin to cobble together a career.

A truly honest take on the impact of youth unemployment.  The first rung of the employment ladder doesn’t contain money so much as “stuff”.  Things like speaking to customers, showing up on time, meeting other people in your field and developing a work ethic that is rewarded by promotion.

Money is nice, but at age 16, 17 and 18 is largely unimportant; parents and all.

Yet we never remember this as we craft legislation, minimum wage laws anyone, that punish our youth mercilessly.  In fact, if you wanted to purposely handicap a nation, enforcing a minimum wage law that results in youth unemployment, would be near the top of the list.

But The Atlantic never goes any further than reporting on the symptom, never mentioning the cause.

So close.

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