Hilarie Gamm has hit the nail on the head in her eloquent and well thought out preparation of this book, “Billions Lost: The American Tech Crisis and The Road Map To Change.” I have read the “Hard Work Factor” and “The Damaging Effects of The Disintegration of Teen Labor” chapters several times, and they are resonating very strongly with me. In essence, Hilarie recognizes that our generation of children has lost the “work hard, play hard, earn hard” mentality and is now functioning on the sense of “work minimally, earn hard” which is creating a sense of lethargy and lack of motivation. As parents, we also have not continued in the push to work and save, but rather we are funding our children’s social activities and providing a lavish lifestyle that they will not be able to maintain independently in their future.
The damaging effects on our children as adults will be huge. In line with my professional work as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, specializing in children and adolescents, we have a generation of children and adolescents who are scared, lacking skills and resilience. We are also seeing much too much of “failure to launch” young adults who have developed a mind set of “don’t work hard, but get a good paying job and maintain a high end lifestyle.” The connection between work hard, start at the bottom of the ranks and work your way up, does not resonate with many of our young adults. Hilarie stated it so clearly in that our children lack the “hunger for success” that motivated us as their parents to continuously challenge ourselves, learn more, and to hold goals.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as a parent and professional, and will recommend it to other parents as a way to understand how our culture and societal values have changed over time and how they are negatively impacting our children’s emotional, social, academic well-being, and future career aspirations. Hilarie also offers an entire chapter on how to make those positive changes, and it can start at home in our conversations and expectations with our children.