For Every Generation, the Threat of ‘Lazy Teens’

These dangerously aimless kids are turning into young bosses. That may be the real threat.


"Lazy teens!" That's the headline on this morning's Examiner. Apparently Washington, D.C., area teens are bereft of summer job opportunities and they don't really mind. Urban teens are losing out to immigrants and suburban teens are seeing their opportunities swallowed by retirees. Instead of fighting the trend, today's teens are reportedly kicking back, firing up the Xbox, or watching movie matinees—and happily freeloading off their parents.

But folks, this is nothing new. Despite these bad tidings, the threat of aimless teens has been around for a long time.

 John Stossel of ABC News tackled the issue two years ago.

And, when a letter writer to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote: "It is high time employers stopped complaining about our lazy teens and started showing them the same respect they would render an adult," it was 1986. Today's teens were barely a twinkle in their mothers' eyes.

Or, you can even go back to 1955, when the teen angst portrayed by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause seemed to announce a new kind of aimlessness among the nation's youth.

It appears, however, that these "lazy" generations turn out all right. Otherwise, the Wall Street Journal would never have to address the pressing issue of youthful bosses: "As younger workers rise to executive-level positions, older employees increasingly find themselves reporting to a boss many years their junior." You mean those lazy teens?


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