Elizabeth Stoker and I have a new post over at Salon about the stupidity of generational analysis, which is, in fact, just analysis of the well off in a given generation.
A program crafted around the needs of the majority of young people would look much different, of course. Instead of droning on about the narrow employment issues of those with graduate degrees, we would be talking about the need for massive fiscal and monetary stimulus that does not let up until full employment is reached. An economy operating under capacity will generally find work for its most educated, even if the work is not great, but those on the bottom, especially the young, are the most likely to get squeezed out of the labor market altogether. Instead of churning out piece after piece about four-year university students, we would be talking about community colleges and vocational training programs that can have much larger impacts in the lives of the majority of youth for whom four-year university is and will continue to be out of reach. Instead of focusing on sending cash to student debtors, we would be focusing on dramatically expanding cash benefit inequality-reduction programs, e.g., by installing a basic income system.