(4 of 10)
The facts are that the U.S. is a highly organized society, must be, and will get more rather than less organized; that the big corporation is here to stay (and is a progressive instrument of U.S. capitalism). What is discouraging to some observers is not so much that youth has accepted life within the well-padded structure of organized society and big corporations, but that it seems to have relatively little ambition to do any of society's organizing. What is even more disturbing is youth's certainty that Government will take care of it-a feeling which continues despite a good deal of political distrust of Government. Reports TIME'S Seattle Bureau: "The Pacific Northwest is only yesterday removed from the frontier, but the 'root, hog, or die' spirit has almost disappeared. Into its place has moved a curious dependence on the biggest new employer-Government. A 28-year-old aerodynamics specialist at Boeing says: 'I hope to work toward an income of $500 or $600 a month, after taxes. You know, only on a sliding scale for inflation. I'd just like to net $600, and then my family would always be O.K. You start earning more than that, and it's taxed away from you, so what the hell.'"
Says a 26-year-old promotion manager in Dallas: "Sure, I'd like to do something on my own, but I want to get well fixed first-make plenty of money and then maybe start some innovations."
This cautious desire to be "well fixed" and a little more has many causes: the war; the lingering shock of the Big Depression (which this younger generation felt or heard about in its childhood); and the hard-to-kill belief (still expounded in some college economics courses) that the frontiers of the U.S. economy have been reached.
There is also the feeling that it is neither desirable nor practical to do things that are different from what the next fellow is doing. Said a girl in Minneapolis: "The individual is almost dead today, but the young people are unaware of it. They think of themselves as individuals, but really they are not. They are parts of groups. They are unhappy outside of a group. When they are alone, they are bored with themselves. There is a tendency now to date in foursomes, or sixsomes. Very few dates are just a boy & girl together. They have to be with a crowd. These kids in my group think of themselves as individuals, but actually it is as if you took a tube of toothpaste and squeezed out a number of little distinct blobs on a piece of paper. Each blob would be distinct-separated in space-but each blob would be the same."
The Girls Want a Career-and Marriage