It’s The Economy, Stupid: Fox’s Dana Perino Says Young Americans Living At Home Are ‘Spoiled’
In a typical Fox News example of sarcastic punditry, political commentator Dana Perino recently said young Americans are “spoiled” when they’re forced to flock back to the nest due to a flailing economy.
“That age group, 18-25, is very spoiled, and they have a lot of stuff, so they don’t want to go live on their own where they’re not going to have all that extra stuff that Mom and Dad have provided all those years,” Perino said on Fox News' The Five. “If you live in a McMansion and you have your own room down in the basement, and you have your in-and-out privileges, and you have your car taken care of, then why would you leave?”
Perino’s deduction stems from a report on the attitudes of young Americans as part of a recent study released by the Pew Research Center. The research found that an overwhelming majority of young adults were content with living in their parents’ home and were optimistic about their financial prospects in the future.
But those respondents were between 25 and 34, not the 18-25 demographic that Perino called out. Perhaps she also misread the part about the 80 percent of young Americans who said they didn’t have enough money to live the life they wanted.
Settling for unwanted jobs to pull in a paycheck, postponing family planning, or going back to school and acquiring more debt doesn’t sound much like the luxurious “McMansion”-style living that Perino thinks most young Americans are enjoying.
In fact, the recession has been extremely hard on young Americans. Many are weighed down by some of the most depressing debt facing any segment of the population, —while others, regardless of their level of education, have struggled to find jobs in an unwelcoming economic climate with an 18 percent youth unemployment rate. As a result, many young people delay moving out of their parents’ homes, and others who have tried to strike it out have had to “boomerang” back.
One reason why young people aren’t complaining about these situations, the Pew report suggests, is because of how ubiquitous moving back home has become since the start of the recession. When you find strength in numbers, it’s easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Young Americans aren’t looking for a handout, as Perino suggests. They’re just waiting for a fair shake.
Naima Ramos-Chapman is an associate editor at Campus Progress.
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