On a completely anecdotal level, I've been noticing for a while that those with young-adult children report that their daughters are completely job-focused and hard-working, while their sons are drifting around finding themselves. This NYTimes article confirmed my observations: Young Women are More Career-Driven than Men.
The headline statistic was this one, comparing young men and women who said that being successful in a highly-paid career or profession is "one of the most important things" or "very important" in their lives: 59% for young men, 66% for young women.
The poll also reveals that marriage and parenthood are becoming increasingly separate goals, at the expense of marriage. Young women say these issues are "one of the most important things in their lives" at these rates: 37% for having a successful marriage and 59% for being a good parent.
What careers will be available to our kids? Some speculate that in the future there will simply be less work to do, because of advances in technology. I've been meaning to read this book about it: The End of Work, by Jeremy Rifkin. As reported in the Atlantic Monthly, in Making it in America:
There’s a joke in cotton country that a modern textile mill employs only a man and a dog. The man is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to keep the man away from the machines.I liked this article in the NYTimes: Let's Be Less Productive. Productivity is not a useful way to think about caring professions, e.g. teaching. A teacher with more students in the classroom is more "productive", but it's usually not in the best interests of the kids.
I'm also WAY in favor of a drastically shortened workweek as a way to increase the number of jobs. Of course, to make that work, we'd need universal health care, so that employers wouldn't be penalized for taking on more employees.
Readers? Thoughts? What will the future look like? What should it look like?