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Why Ireland’s Generation X stares up at the ceiling at night

Ireland's Generation X

Global financial ruin and Ireland’s Generation X.

An Irish journalist named Ed Power who writes for London’s The Guardian has penned a personal column about the state of Generation X in Ireland where unemployment has reached 14 percent. (It appears on the newspaper’s online version, Excerpt:

For those of us unfortunate enough to be in our 30s and 40s, the outlook is overwhelmingly dismal. Shackled to huge mortgages we have neither the option of fleeing a country which saw GDP plunge 7.1% in 2009 or of scraping by until retirement. Overwhelmingly we are employed in the private sector and so, in addition to staring at the ceiling each night worrying about negative equity and the looming flurry of tax increases, we fret whether we’ll be in a job next month (with unemployment tipping 14%, our paranoia is justified). 

Our reward? Unaffordable housing and some of the longest commutes this side of American exurbia. Of my circle of friends originally living in Dublin, not one has been able to buy a residence within 30 miles of the city. From the far-flung satellites of Drogheda and Mullingar to the dismal depths of the midlands, Generation X has become Generation Commute. We rise at 5am to ready our kids for the creche – who has the luxury of a single income household at the moment ? – spend all morning stewing in traffic, pausing, if we have the time, to pay €5 for a cappuccino.

And, if you thought corporate bailout only occurred in the United States, last week, Irish Gen X sentiment played out on Twitter after a cement truck covered with anti-bank slogans crashed into Leinster House, the Irish Parliament in Dublin. According to the Associated Press the action was demonstrative of rising tensions over the country’s debt crisis and enormous bank bailouts.

What are your thoughts on Ireland’s Generation X?

Photo Credit: Infomatique via Flickr with Creative Commons

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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