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The millennials get a lot of attention in our culture.

Advertisers crave their eyeballs. Social media companies build software and business empires around their habits. Publishing and entertainment companies buckle under the weight of change wrought by their predilections. Sociologists debate whether they are the most apathy-prone generation, or on the verge of becoming one of the most activist.

Will masses who grew up on Beavis and Butthead and The Simpsons turn to Occupy in droves? Will they even continue to vote? Will they care to join unions? Will they marry? How many will be obese? Will they save? Will they even have a safety net for themselves?

I’m not aware of any studies about millennials in the workers’ comp system.
How do they view workers’ comp? How do they view the tort system?

If there’s any research on those issues, I’ve yet to see it.

But in the process of nosing around, I found a couple of studies that are worthwhile for background understanding of millennials and their current situation.

One is a survey undertaken by the Pew Research Center. The title says it all, “Young, Underemployed and Optimistic”:
http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/20 … mistic.pdf

As might be imagined, the recession of the last few years has hit millennials very hard, making it difficult for many of them to gain any traction in their economic status and professional lives. Yet, many remain optimistic over their longterm prospects.

Filled with charts and graphs, it’s a fascinating read.

But tied to the millennial story is a sense that there must be a change in the long term politics of the country. What would a budget designed by millennials look like?

Check out the Budget for a Millennial America, a project of the Roosevelt Campus Network:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/44487427/Blue … al-America

The millennial budget claims that:
“Millennials nationwide have the potential to dramatically reshape the conversation about America’s future. In 2010, the Roosevelt Campus Network leveraged the visionary talent of its Network to launch Think 2040–a program that empowers the Millennial generation to reframe the challenges and opportunities facing America and its communities and build toward a progressive future. Using Think 2040 participant contributions, the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network created a Blueprint for the Millennial America that identifies the policy structures and reforms necessary to realize the Millennial vision for America in 2040. The proposals move us toward an “equal, accessible, empowered, and community-minded 2040 America.” The Blueprint addresses six critical areas: Education, Energy and the Environment, The Economy, Health Care, Social Justice and Democratic Participation, and Defense and Diplomacy.”

Many of the issues raised in the millennial budget go far beyond the scope of this blog, but it is a start for a debate that is long overdue.

The critical point is that many of us in the “comp community” have millennial kids. Their expectations and interests may be very different from our expectations and interests. In time they will need to decide what kind of social net they want and how much they want to tax themselves to pay for
it. They will need to decide how much they want to continue to subsidize a boomer generational wave that will be long in the tooth in the coming decades.

They’ll probably need to come to grips with the very definition of work itself, as technology shifts continue to wreak havoc on old models of productivity and job stability.

Workers’ comp will probably change over time in response to some of these forces. Just how and when that will happen we don’t know.

Julius Young
www.boxerlaw.com

Category: Political developments

Julius Young

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