Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Are Baby Boomers and GenXers Breeding Monsters?


Seventy-one percent of American adults think of 18 to 29 year-olds—millennials, basically—as "selfish," and 65% of us think of them as "entitled." That's according to the latest Reason-Rupe Poll, a quarterly survey of 1,000 representative adult Americans.

If millennials are self-absorbed little monsters who expect the world to come to them and for their parents to clean up their rooms well into their twenties, we've got no one to blame but ourselves—especially the moms and dads among us.

Indeed, the same poll documents the ridiculous level of kid-coddling that has now become the new normal. More than two-thirds of us think there ought to be a law that kids as old as 9 should supervised while playing at a public park, which helps explain (though not justify) the arrest of a South Carolina mother who let her phone-enabled daughter play in a busy park while she worked at a nearby McDonald's. We think on average that kids should be 10 years old before they "are allowed to play in the front yard unsupervised." Unless you live on a traffic island or a war zone, that's just nuts.

That's from my latest piece at Time. After noting various ways in which kid-coddling has become the new normal, I end on this cautionary note:

Whatever the reasons for our insistence that we childproof the world around us, this way madness lies. From King Lear to Mildred Pierce, classic literature (and basic common sense) suggests that coddling kids is no way to raise thriving, much less grateful, offspring. Indeed, quite the opposite. And with 58% of millennials calling themselves "entitled" and more than 70% saying they are "selfish," older Americans may soon be learning that lesson the hard way.

Whole thing here.

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  1. 100% of H&R commenters are tired of hearing about “millennials” as a collective.

    1. More like 150%, because I know I’m tired at least twice.

  2. What do Millennials think?

    1. New woven hemp wristband: WDMT?

  3. Breeding monsters?

    When did this alien development happen and why wasn’t I informed by Reason?

    And dammit, where is Lou Reed?!

    1. And dammit, where is Lou Reed?!

      Snorting that great line in the sky with Robin Williams.

    2. Release the Kraken?

    3. And the terrorists took all the IUDs to blow up American soldiers in the Middle East.

  4. I’m really sick of the term “millenial”. All these opinion polls are meaningless if younger voters keep voting for statist assholes. And for the most part they will.

  5. Are you saying that Baby Reason and Baby Liberty are gonna be monsters, Nick?

    Thems fightin words, mister.

    1. Has Liberty been born already? Not sure I ever saw pictures if she has. Congrats again on both kids, man. (Although I’m still a bit sore that you used the name Liberty before I did, I can’t fault you since I’m not even married and shouldn’t be thinking about kids for the next long time.)

      1. *yet, not already…

    2. If baby Reason is not a monster where is her belly button? Answer me that.

  6. You know who else was *selfish*?

    1. Kulaks and wreckers?

  7. Wake me when 20-somethings screech “Hands off my Medicare!” despite being the demographic with the greatest concentration of wealth.

  8. Are they breeding or raising monsters? The first brings to mind some terrible experiment in Warty’s basement.

    1. Gah. That would give H.P. Lovecraft the heebie-jeebies!

  9. Each time I see these generational articles I think of this:

  10. “Are…GenXers Breeding Monsters?”

    … look Nick, I’d had a lot to drink, it was late, and she was the last girl in the bar.

    Also, i think “monster” is unkind.

  11. It is funny, though, that many of the very people who raised the “millennials” have the temerity to call them selfish or entitled, seeing as someone had to raise them that way. But that’s just another aspect of why generational collectivism is moronic. Like any collectivism it makes the stupidest fucking generalizations about individuals.

    1. I bet you wear flannel to go with your disaffection while you listen to Nirvana.

    2. I was cruel to my children — they grew up hard and mean. It thrills me to see them passing on that mean streak to their children.

      1. kinnath named his son Sue.

        1. +1 Walk Hard

  12. Speaking of teh Childrunz, and our need to ceaselessly coddle and insulate them from the world; I am fucking weary of this “squishy unformed brains!” theme.

    I keep hearing this imbecilic twaddle about how the incompletely developed youthful brain is too fragile to be exposed to random external environmental stimuli. How the fuck do these people think brains *become* developed? If you want your kid to be a retard, by all means, keep him in your B F Skinner Baby Box until he’s 25. Just restrict your experiments to your own progeny.

    1. B F Skinner Baby Box

      Is that one of those “As Seen on TV” products I can find at discount stores?

      1. I’d like the bigger box for teenagers, please. Although consequences for bad decisions and more freedom and responsibility for good decisions seems to be working OK.

        The Skinner box would be less work.

  13. The ability to comment via mobile would be nice, I’d comment more if I didn’t have to sneak and bring articles up on my work computer.

    Anyways, I love hearing about all the things I’m supposed to do and be because when I was born. How many of the people who make these generalizations check there horoscope every morning? And are we selfish? No. We were told if we went to school, and went to college the world would be ours, instead the majority of “millennials” have unpayable college debts, an overwhelming national debt that’s being left to us, and no job market because the baby boomers refuse to die or retire. Are we selfish? No, we just want what we were told we would be able to have.

    Anyways take that with a grain of salt, I can be a little over ?dramatic.

    1. Did they tell you that you were going to get a unicorn that shits rainbows too?

      1. Yes, goddarnit, and if science isnt working on making it happen we should cut their funding and give it to DARPA so they can build fighting robots! /s

  14. The recent stories about kids being suspended for saying “Bless you” to a classmate or arrested for writing a story about shooting a dinosaur (among many others) leave me unable to blame “millennials” for this country’s problems.

  15. Also, any of those adults who are actually going to get a Social Security payment should STFU about Millenials being selfishness.

    1. …being selfish…

      Post lunch drowsiness, it was a good curry.

  16. And with 58% of millennials calling themselves “entitled” and more than 70% saying they are “selfish,” older Americans may soon be learning that lesson the hard way.

    Well considering that older generations are stealing the world from Gen Y and replacing it with 20 trillion dollar debt it would probably be a good thing if they flexed their political power in the name of selfish greed and shut down social security, obamacare, medicaid, stimulus, bailouts and the FED. All of which are transferring billions from the mouths of babes into the hands of the already generationaly rich boomers

    Though in all likelihood Gen Y would probably just steal money from their children and grandchildren just like their parents and grandparents are doing to them.

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