You are supposed to:
Go to k-12 from the ages of 5-18, then...
Attend college from the ages of 18-22, but...
Today's modern economy demands some form of progressive credentialism, so a bachelors degree no longer cuts it. So you need at LEAST two more years of schooling or certification...22-24, however...
Even with all that education, the labor market is flooded with poorly-financial-planning baby boomers who can't retire and millions of other recent college graduates desperate for work, so you work crappy, low paying jobs "earning your stripes" and "proving yourself" doing work you could have done at the age of 13. You never make any real money to significantly pay down your student loans, so at least 5 more years wandering in this job-desert before your now-2 decades of education *might* be put to work...24-29, STILL...
You're an American! You gotta keep up with the Jonses! And not just in housing, but cars, McMansions and other crap you
Did you promise your kid's you'd pay for their equally worthless Masters in Puppetry Degree, taking out a home equity line to pay for it?...59-64
And so NOW, at the age of 64 you decide it's time to "get serious" about retirement planning, except, OOPS! That's right, the patently INSANE demands of the labor market in terms of education and certification (combined with vanity-induced debts) make it nearly impossible for you to ever successfully and mathematically retire.
But whereas this fun little exercise is one of finance and investing, there's another ENTIRELY different aspect of life that is now quickly being made impossible by progressive credentialism and arrogantly-demanding employers - human biology.
You see, for the human race to continue on, we need to breed. And in order to breed successfully, mothers and fathers need to be earning the resources necessary to raise and support children DURING THEIR MOST FERTILE YEARS. Biologically speaking, this means anytime from puberty (12/13) to the late 30's (for women). However, while biology says we "can" start breeding at 13, society through historical trial and error has developed the wisdom to know that you shouldn't. And so now we wait until we're at least 18.
This "optimal age" for breeding was at its pinnacle during those (hated and evil) 40's and 50's. Young men and women would graduate from high school, land a job here or there, and within a few short years of dating and courting, start marrying and having children while still thoroughly ensconced in their 20's. Women were optimally healthy to be birthing children. Men strong enough to toil at the factory. And both young enough to have the energy needed to tend to the children on very little sleep.
But keep in mind this was possible because a young men and women could graduate from high school and find gainful employment. And not just gainful employment, but enough employment that you could raise a family on just one person's income (albeit a tight budget).
Still, the point is that the educational system and the labor market adhered to this biological reality. You would not only be educated adequately to perform a job, but there were jobs available (and high paid enough) that you could go and support a family while in your most fertile years.
But today a similar clash between education and biology is forming as is the clash between education and retirement. Employers and the labor market are demanding more and more education, to the point it's starting to "push out" the ability to have families.
Simply look at the similar demands mentioned above in terms of family planning:
K-12 is spent learning how to hate capitalism and white males instead of learning skills.
Since you didn't learn anything of employable value in K-12, you need to learn it all over again in college, (plus women are heavily lobbied to eschew families and husbands).
But today you don't graduate when you're 22. It's more like 23 or 24 after your "studying abroad," taking a year off to "find yourself," or heck, just taking a year off so you can afford the next year of tuition.
So you do your obligatory 2 additional years of getting a masters or certifications (because no employer will touch you otherwise) and you're finally deemed "employable" by our employer overlords at the not-so-young age of 26.
Of course, keep in mind just because you're employable doesn't mean you'll actually find a job. Remember that labor market sucks for young people. And you've likely accrued at least $40,000 in student loans. So even if you're lucky and land that $38,000/year job with (giggity!) benefits, your average 26 year old man is having NO thoughts of marriage, let alone kids. Which is alright, because nearly every woman in his age bracket is so obsessed about their careers they're deaf to the "tick tick tick" that biology is futilely screaming at them.
So everybody slaves away, slowing chipping away at their insurmountable student loans, and with pure, 110% corporate stooge dedication (and "continuing education" of course), and a 2 hour daily commute, our 20 something heroes finally pay off their student loans and earn enough now to consider, maybe, potentially starting a family.
Just one problem - they're all 34.
Now this is fine according to feminist math. Which, if I understand correctly means, women will earn their doctorate at 28, completing a total of 23 years of schooling, all so they could work a whopping 6 years, before finding their future husband in the 4 months, 2 weeks and 5 day window that remains before their bone-dry eggs ensure an 83% chance their child has Down Syndrome.
But if you don't believe in "feminist math" (and most sane people don't) the reality is that it's more or less too late. Demands for an absurd and unnecessary amount of education, combined with:
Usurious tuition rates
Crippling student loans
Anti-family propaganda, and
A lousy labor market
is quickly making it impossible to form and start families in the US.
But here is the rub.
What you have are two massive and unmovable forces heading towards each other. Human biology on one hand and human socio-psychology and politics on the other. Human biology is not going to change, and our economic and social structures we've created are not going to change either. People will want to have families, but they're not going to because society, the labor market, academia, and American employers have made it financially and time-wise impossible to. So there will be a lot of late marriages and a lot of sex, but a lot of birth control, and thus a lot of childless families. The two massive forces will essentially neutralize each other out. Our population will decline, but corporate America as well as Academia will have no new bodies to sell their wares to in the future.
Or won't they?
For you see, all of the above hinges on one important, but highly flawed premise. That every person is responsible and will wait until they are financially sound enough to have kids and WON'T if they can't.
This, as we all well know, is simply not true.
For you see there is another group of people who do not wait until they pay off their student loans to start a family. A group of people who don't bother breaking out an Excel spreadsheet to see if children are in the budget. A group of people who just spread their legs or don't wear condoms "cause it feels good." A group of people who don't bother worrying about whether they can support and afford their own children.
Government subsidized families.
By definition if you can't afford your children and take a government check, you are a government subsidized family. You need other people's money to support your family because you (frankly) made a stupid mistake, didn't care about the best interests of...well...anyone, and have no moral qualms about being a parasite. And it is this group of people that will continue to breed.
Alas, I'm no fortune teller (well, actually, yes I am), but if I had to put money on it I would say these are the makings of a culture that is hell-bent on becoming an "Idiocracy."
Which makes you wonder if it's even worth bringing children into this world at all.
Enjoy the decline!
If you wish to help the Captain make sure he can keep writing and never has to go back to working a banking job ever again, please consider purchasing something through his Amazon Affiliate account. Besides which, he can't go back to the working world even if he wanted to. Nobody would hire him as that's the price for writing the truth.