According to a Newsday/News 12/Siena College telephone survey, 72% of those responding said that that they felt young people today have less chance for success than they did back in 1991. Surprisingly Blacks and Latinos were the most upbeat with 34% and 27% stating that there were more employment opportunities for them now, although neither were particularly optimistic about the current economic situation on Long Island. In the meantime, the most post pessimistic were voters 35-54, as well as people earning more than $100,000 per year. In fact, 28% of the 984 people polled said they were worse off financially than they were 4-years ago.
“25-years ago, you could graduate, find yourself a position and stay at the same place of work for 25-30 years while moving up the ladder,” cited Richard Vogel, an economist and dean of SUNY’s business school in Farmingdale,
Although the poll involved relatively few people compared to the overall population on the Island, few people anywhere you go here feel that the future is anywhere as bright as it once was. In fact, more people are being forced to work freelance. Manufacturing jobs have been replaced by jobs in hospitals and service companies including fast food restaurants, or at the retail level for a lot less pay.
At the same time, while stores throughout the Island are continuing to close, including supermarkets leaving thousands unemployed all together. Those with jobs have also seen their salaries cut significantly, while taxes continue to rise, along with utilities, While an increase in general property taxes has created added burdens to financially strapped homeowners struggling to make ends meet, it is the crushing weight of school taxes (now accounting for more than 65% of the total tax bill per year) that is burying many older residents and forcing them out of homes they have lived in for decades. And while educational standards are no longer what they once were, those who graduate from college are faced with insurmountable debt from educational loans and few employment opportunities in the area to help pay them off.