The world of the future

What does the future of the U.S. and world look like?

The present is, well, not all that encouraging, according to an essays today in The Motley Fool:

“Unemployment is stuck painfully high. GDP growth is painfully low. The American political system has been deadlocked in shutdowns, fiscal cliffs,

and partisan bickering. People are genuinely concerned about the future.


“But the present is constantly becoming the past. Every moment the future becomes the now. And every day, it’s the millennial generation that is defining that future. With help from a great infographic from Badgeville (see below for the full graphic), here are nine facts that paint a picture of the future, a future designed, defined, and directed by the next great generation of Americans.

“Millennials: The good, the bad, and the ugly

“1. Millennials have already witnessed three wars (including the longest in U.S. history), a presidential impeachment, a Great Recession, and the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Oh, and there’s this Internet thing. Millennials see the world as a dynamic place. Their existence is both local and global. It’s connected. An infinite amount of information, knowledge, and content is available anytime, anywhere, and in the palm of your hand (and soon perhaps on the lens of your glasses). The future of America is not the suburban two-car garages and white picket fences of the baby boomer generation.

“2. Millennials are overeducated, underemployed, and in debt. But they still want to work hard and do a good job. Sixty-three percent of millennials have a bachelors degree, 48% of those with college degrees are in jobs that do not require a college degree, and the average millennial has $45,000 in debt. The promises of their youth have not proven themselves out. The mantra of “go to college, get a job, be successful” has proven to be a false promise. As a result, many millennials are even more distrustful of authority than their parent’s generation was. And yet, millennials still strive to succeed. Ninety-five percent of millennials work harder when they know where their work is going. Eighty percent prefer on the spot recognition instead of formal reviews. Ninety percent want their workplace to be fun and social. The disconnect is a contrast between the business culture of the baby boomer generation that — from a millennial perspective — has failed them, and the expectations a generation raised on the Internet, Facebook, and near constant smartphone notifications.

“3. Millennials will surpass the spending power of baby boomers by 2018. By 2020, millennials will have a collective spending power of more than $1.4 trillion. That’s a huge increase from their $600 billion spending power today. As businesses transform to better sell to this generation, a power shift will propel millennials into increasingly more meaningful roles in business. Why? Because…

“4. Older generations do not understand millennials. More than 85% of hiring managers and human resource executives say that millennials have a higher sense of entitlement than older generations. Managers report that millennials expect higher pay, more flexible work options, and faster promotions. But at the same time, companies routinely fail to adapt to the changing social landscape. Forty percent of millennials think that blogging about their workplace is acceptable. Seventy percent have “friended” managers or co-workers on Facebook. Fifty-six won’t accept a job at a company that bans social media, and 71% don’t always obey social media policies at work.”


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