Matt Towery

As summer approaches, there is good news and bad in our latest InsiderAdvantage poll. With terrorism in the back of our minds and a terrible economy in the front of it, only 17 percent of American adults say they plan to travel less this summer than in the past. Twenty-four percent say they will travel more. The rest say nothing has changed this vacation season from past ones.

That's the good news. But the poll portends some bad news, too. It indicates what might be a deep-seated problem in the United States today, although harder to fathom than terrorist killers or empty wallets. The only age group that has more ambitious travel plans than ever is the 18-29 age group. That demographic showed a 44 percent jump in vacation plans over last year. That's hardly great news for the travel and hospitality industry, which desperately need bigger spenders on the road than the under-30s will provide.

Beyond that, the wide disparity in travel plans among the younger and older says something about the just-out-of-college generation. Without impugning the work ethic of the many exceptions to the rule, I think it's safe to say that anyone with experience with the younger end of the workforce knows where this essay is headed.

How many employers and experienced workers in America have, like me, been taken aback by the unrealistic expectations

of the young and the restless as they set out to make their fortunes? They all seem to expect a salary based on their personal needs, not on their company's professional ones. They want not only luxuries but also plenty of time to enjoy them. They think holidays begin a day before they're scheduled and end a day later than the weekend that follows them. And that these off days should be followed by a gracious number of half days out and late days in, and plenty of non-work-related fun in between. Sound familiar?

I know, I know: Old people like me are all the same in our bitter grousing. (I'm 43, which looks old enough to the young and feels old enough to me.) And of course there are loads of hardworking young doctors, lawyers, businesspeople and others who contribute to their own individual and our collective economic well-being.


Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
 
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