Tyler Cowen wants to inculcate the value of hard work and discipline. My personal view about this is that I learned a lot about hard work and discipline from my parents, but I also learned a lot on the job. My editors at the American Prospect weren’t exactly cruel taskmasters, but there really is something different about working a regular job day-in and day-out that school just doesn’t prepare you for. And my sense is that this is pretty common, it’s in the workplace that you really learn to be a grownup. Which brings me to Mike Konczal’s chart of youth labor force participation:
I don’t think that this was caused by a collapse in values and discipline, but you can easily imagine it causing such a collapse.