Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) recently appeared on "Conversations With Bill Kristol" to discuss the trend of young men and women caught in a state of arrested development and unable to function as independent adults after college.
Sasse told host Bill Kristol that, over the entirety of human existence, the concept of adolescence is relatively new — only around 2,500 years old — and is a "special gift" that allows for the safe development of both mind and spirit.
However, according to Sasse, modern American culture has encouraged the extension of the adolescent years well into adulthood, which has discouraged both meaningful work and promoted a horrible work ethic.
"We’ve created this new idea that you can have a greenhouse-sheltered environment for two, three, or four years. And it’s great. It’s glorious. And yet, it’s always been a transitional state," Sasse said. "It’s not supposed to be Peter Pan. You don’t want to be stranded in Neverland. It’s a hell if you don’t get to become an adult."
Sasse recalled his time as president of Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, saying that he was shocked that many of the students entering college had never worked a day in their lives.
“What shocked me about the experience of arriving at the school is that overwhelmingly, the incoming students had never worked before. They’d never done any hard labor. They just never really had to do any work of any kind," Sasse said.
Sasse pointed out that this lack of work leads to a lack of character building, often sending college graduates back into mom's basement, instead of out into the world to lend a productive hand to society.
According to a Census Bureau report, 34 percent of adult millennials live with their parents, up from 25 percent a little over a decade ago. Millennial attitudes toward putting educational pursuits over finding a job and getting married are to blame, the report revealed.
Federal Reserve data released earlier this year showed that millennials are far behind in life compared to where their parents were at the same age and are making 20 percent less money than the previous generation.