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End of The Good Life: How the Financial Crisis Threatens a Lost Generation--and What We Can Do About It Paperback – April 23, 2013
A financial reporter and member of Generation Y, Froymovich gives voice to the frustrations of a generation looking at lower wages, less job security, fewer benefits, and higher taxes and prices than did previous generations. As a result of the global financial crisis, those born between 1976 and 2000 in the U.S. and other developed nations face tough choices regarding continuing education, careers, marriage, and childbearing as governments struggle to reduce their debt by cutting spending on education and social programs. Brussels-based Froymovich puts the U.S. crisis into global perspective with an overview of efforts in European countries to combat recession, rising government debt, and unemployment in the face of massive protests by youth in Spain, Greece, and Britain. Froymovich also examines the more resilient economies of the developing nations of Brazil, China, and other countries for possible solutions. Most compelling are Froymovich’s interviews with a wide range of dispirited young adults that provide a more intimate picture of a generation exploring new paths, developing new opportunities, and reshaping its plans for the future. --Vanessa Bush
“Froymovich debuts with an impressive presentation… A forcefully written treatment of the plight in which an increasing number of people find themselves.” (Kirkus)
“…Froymovich gives voice to the frustrations of a generation. …Most compelling are Froymovich’s interviews with a wide range of dispirited young adults that provide a more intimate picture of a generation exploring new paths, developing new opportunities, and reshaping its plans for the future.” (Booklist)
“Rich with narrative detail from young people around the world struggling to stay afloat… Froymovich lucidly explains how Generation Y suffers from the negative effects of long-term unemployment.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“A fascinating, global trip through the daunting numbers and frank stories of the challenges facing young people who want to start a business, make a better living than their parents, or just survive when the financial cards are stacked against them.” (Heidi N. Moore, Finance and Economics Editor, Guardian US)
“An insightful and astute narrative about the world in which Generation Y is living and what the Millennials (and the rest of us) will need to know about how to be successful now and in creating the future.” (Lucy Marcus, CEO, Marcus Venture Consulting, host of "In the Boardroom with Lucy Marcus")
“Riva Froymovich brings a critical question to the forefront: how can we restore an American Dream that is quickly fading for Generation Y? Froymovich illustrates the problem in a vivid and personal way and offers bold prescriptions for meeting this daunting challenge.” (Ian Bremmer, President, Eurasia Group and author of “Every Nation for Itself.")
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Top Customer Reviews
The author's thesis breaks down in the anecdotes and stories that are used to back up her analysis. She mentions a young man who was in debt by tens of thousands of dollars, having gone to a good school for a history and political science degree. This person was in instrumental in the occupy wall street movement and had looked for a job for several months, after having worked successfully until 2007 when the economy crashed. He began his school, to much sacrifice on his parents part, and ended up with no job. This is one of many similar stories she cites.
While this is a sad story, it breaks down on two fronts as I see it:
1) Did he expect to get a bachelor's degree in history/political science and get a job with that degree? Before incurring tens of thousands in debt, I would be certain my investment would get me a job that would help me pay that money back. History and Political Science, while noble things to study, are not great prospects for getting a job outside of academia.
2) This shows a lack of drive in the current generation more than a current economic situation. 40 years ago one would have flipped burgers, picked cherries, or found whatever job one could until the hard times passed. If anything this story and the others like it show less willingness to start at the bottom and work up than it does how the economy is going. Granted, 40 years ago you could achieve the American dream of home ownership and a family using a high school diploma, but times have changed, and the current generation does not seem to know how to deal with it.
In THE END OF A GOOD LIFE, Froymovich does a really good job explaining how Generation Y got into this mess. The personal stories tug at your heart. But, if you think it's all depressing, it's not. I actually felt empowered reading the book. Yes, the economy is broken and we need smart fiscal policies to help fix the problem. But, today we have opportunities like no generation before us. The author inspires Generation Y to make changes. The technology today will allow for innovation and innovation can spread globally like no other time in history.
The one shortcoming of the book is that it lacks a suggestive road-map to the future. That said, it is no obituary of economic mobility, merely a sign that not only in America, but internationally, a generation has been forced to reassess its goals and definitions of success as compared to those generations coming of age in the second half of the 20th century.
An interesting, easy and entertaining read.