I had to patch together a succession of $50 to $200 junkers for years while I was in high school. I learned a lot about fixing up cars, and learned to appreciate how difficult it is to buy and own a car. If I had simply been given a brand-new car, well my life would have turned out differently - and for the worse.
Sadly, it seems that today, on the political landscape of the Left that this lesson has yet to be learned. Young people - growing up no doubt with free cars from weekend Dad - are expecting the government to be the ultimate weekend Dad, and provide everything in life for free. And of course, they will appreciate these gifts and not just shit all over them, because, well, because they will, is all.
Adversity is not the enemy - luxury is. One reason the "kids of today" are struggling right now is that they grew up in an economy that was constantly expanding. If you were a mall rat in 2005 and wanted a job, well, they were there for the asking. Everyone was making bucks in the 1990's and early 2000's and life seemed pretty simple. Then things changed and what they perceived as "normal" is no longer the case. But of course, their normal was never normal in the first place.
Maybe the next generation - who have yet to be tagged with some moniker that we can use to pigeonhole them into oblivion - will see things differently. Coming of age in 2008 and seeing their parents and grandparents "lose everything" including houses, cars, and jobs, they will appreciate little things a lot more, and not expect everything to automatically go their way.
One reason the "Greatest Generation Ever" was so great was that they had to deal with the Great Depression and World War II. To them, early life was nothing but hardship and hard times. You can only imagine how orgasmic the 1950's seemed to them, with prosperity on every street corner, and no Nazis to deal with. And you could understand their frustration with the next generation, raised in luxury and rejecting it all as "not good enough".
Perhaps these things go in cycles. As I noted before, when I graduated from high school, there were "no jobs" (unemployment topped 10%) and inflation was running 10% or more. Gas was available on even and odd days only - if you could afford it. And if you had a job and wanted to buy a house, interest rates were 12-14%, sometimes more. But we succeeded and thrived, even then. And when the economy improved, it was like an acid trip.
And funny thing, though, I always was nervous not when things were bad but when the economy was going like gangbusters. Because rapid growth just didn't seem sustainable to me (and of course, it wasn't).
Adversity is a better teacher than luxury. And in that regard, I am glad I had as much of it as I did.