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• While few would deny that self-centeredness and greed are largely responsible for current economic woes, Florida State University business professor Wayne Hochwarter agrees with Twenge when it comes to the root cause of the entitled mentality. His recent study shows "much of it has to do with society and the way parents raise their special little angels, the pace of life with MTV and video games. Young people have a bit of a struggle with delayed gratification," not because they were born that way, but because their parents conditioned them, he said.
• Materialism is the most visible manifestation of entitlement, but many young people who watched their parents' challenges as well, and came to the conclusion that "I'm looking out for myself. I saw mom and dad stay with the company for 38 years and I'm not going to get laid off like they did."
• Hochwarter said while many adults focus on the negatives and the lack of true physical labor many young people were spared, he sees college students being "a lot more similar to other generations than different. To some extent think this whole entitlement stuff is a way of ruffling the feathers of the older generation." And attacking one's work ethic is the answer, he said.
• "We're going to talk about how the younger generation is easing through life and older workers are busting it. Sure there's a bit to the entitlement mentality, but every generation has had their stuff. In the '60s it was being rebellious, in the '70s it was doing drugs, in the '80s we were materialistic."
• He sees some evidence of self-centeredness, but, Hochwarter said, "it's not as big a deal as I think some think it is. I see more similarities (between generations) than differences." He lauds the technological ability of young people and said employers would do well to put their skills to good use rather than trying to stuff them into the same mold that fit their baby boomer parents.