That acronym stood for Double Income No Kids and that is the largest cohort in most of the "it" cities of Seattle and San Francisco.
I find this very much a trait of the MElinneal class a sense of debt, career obsession, narcissism and the overwhelming need to be in with the crowd. That crowd is exceedingly urban, carless, tech fetishizers and overwhelmingly boring.
What you do see is quick partnering up to find your "best friend" like your mother or father were which I find odd as that parental child relationship should be healthy and close but not peer like or whatever that strange thing Trump has with his daughter, Ivanka.
I think most MElinneals are very afraid of being alone, being quiet and being introspective. I see that in the generation just behind them only if possible increasingly stupid. There is no other way to explain it do to the incessant testing, the increasing segregation of schools that is entirely due to economics and in turn race as those of color are largely from poorer families. That increasingly contributes to a sense of isolation and social awkwardness which is also being demonstrated on college campuses and the overwhelming need to shut people up who are not like you and don't say things that reinforce your world view. The bubbleator of social media has long arms and it makes people feel safe and that is not a good thing because sometimes taking risks can lead to amazing outcomes.
MElinneals while being defined the creative class are the least creative people I know. They remake the wheel by calling it weel and that to them is changing the world. But when it comes to marriage and family they pull out the familiar and the wedding and family part means buy a mini van and move to the suburbs to support your family the way your family may or may not have but that is the American Dream - the nuclear family living in a house with a yard and two cars and a dog. Remake that one.
Living in Nashville there are more kids than anyone would expect as the city was thought of as a "family friendly." Clearly I have different definitions of that and the way families and their children are treated it explains the nasty rudeness and repressed anger I experience in the schools on a daily basis. They bus kids all over this town that is shaped like a pie. It is an amazing level of urban planning that goes back decades an in turn segregated and divided this city into pieces of the pie that define you. Where you live in the South is an fascinating measure of how you are perceived and what you are expected to do or become. This extends also into the bizarre "county" talk as another way of somehow explaining and in turn defining you.
Yesterday at a school that once had to be a bastion of white attendance, the student body is largely comprised of minorities. They have learning contracts, struggle with academics, behavior and socializing. They congregate together disproving the notion that when kids are bussed 20 minutes out of their neighborhood plunked into a school in the middle of another neighborhood that has none of the composition of theirs, they simply self segregate. Schools contribute to this further thanks to testing by placing those who test well into a separate category of classes and label them advanced/honors and in turn further divide a school. And this school is no different as it is feeder school to the International Baccalaureate Program.
I spoke to the Teacher yesterday who had warnings and threats posted on the board, had notice in my lesson plans so I expected the worst and braced for it. My 3 prior visits had well prepared me for abuse, ignorance, intolerance and unkindness. I hit it by hour one. I spoke to him with his last period who were the "advanced" class and who on Friday when he also had a sub when he walked in saw chaos. He came in to none but that is because I had already shared with the kids what I had experienced earlier. The endless disrespect, the snarking, the snickering and the accusation of being a racist. When I offered the usual flag where I say to the kids I will give you one minute to debase me, throw things at me and no harm, no foul and then we have to move on. In 20 years of that offer I have never had a kid take me up on it; that ended yesterday when two young black men in "jest" picked up a chair after verbally berating me about my looks and wardrobe; while in an earlier class another child picked up a book which he also swung at me of course in "jest". And before getting accused of racism, a young white woman said I needed a nose job. She did however say that not to me but to her young table mate who loudly ratted her out and informed me what was said and that was in fact a young black woman.
It was in the course of my conversation with this Teacher when I realized he was oddly not surprised but he was, however, apologetic. That was a first and so felt compelled to offer some ideas, telling him that once those attendance rosters leave you have no way of knowing who these kids are and just having a seating chart would be better than nothing. There are problems here, real problems, and those children of color are often the most in need of support. And I have seen black educators speak to these kids harshly and at one school call them retarded for their behavior so please ask yourself if this is my white privilege speaking? The race card gets played a great deal in almost all encounters between white and black and that explains Trump. We have to start to just own our evil and move along and try to figure out if this is more than color that is the source of our problems.
And while I support special education on both ends of the spectrum, to the learning disabled to the highly capable, there is no way to do this that is equitable to the kids who qualify for either. The tests, the needed medical support, the time that parents must allow to attend meetings and additional support in turn are all matters that are affected by income and in turn that is another way to segregate and divide. It is all about money in education and that reality comes from those willing to put in the time to fund raise, donate and support their local schools.
Schools are a bedrock of a community and serve it in many ways and when you have kids in the city you see diversity and in turn recognize that immediately and try to find ways to address it that may again take the two tenants of education - time and money.
And children inside those schools are the future we keep hearing about. But in the real world that for many urban settings, there are fewer of them and that in turn has long term outcomes that don't bode well for anyone. This article in New Geography discusses this issue.
And we are at "peak Millennial" which may mean that the now maligned suburban malls may find a renewal effort, that craft beers and artisan bakeries may find themselves in a new hive, the reality is that the courtship is like many they come to an end and eventually you put a ring on it. This article discusses this very issue and what this may mean for those of us urban dwellers, old and young alike.
For Nashville to attract single MElinneals, an educated class and in turn larger income generated class, they need to first look at the infrastructure of lack thereof and then in turn the greater picture and that is the conservative wing nut policies that have made this state deep red. Some of the crazy policies the legislation is debating for the upcoming year veer on repression to down bizarre.
For me I am a SINK, single income no kids and I have a widow that will close I hope in the next 4 years. I can only tread water so long and this water is heavily polluted. Another perk of those living and swimming in the deep red sea. This is something I think one must see and live with to understand how complex this issue is in a place that doesn't do well with complex math. Go figure.
San Francisco Asks: Where Have All the Children Gone?
By THOMAS FULLER
THE NEW YORK TIMES
JAN. 21, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO — In a compact studio apartment on the fringes of the Castro district here a young couple live with their demanding 7-year-old, whom they dote on and take everywhere: a Scottish terrier named Olive.
Raising children is on the agenda for Daisy Yeung, a high school science teacher, and Slin Lee, a software engineer. But just not in San Francisco.
“When we imagine having kids, we think of somewhere else,” Mr. Lee said. “It’s starting to feel like a no-kids type of city.”
A few generations ago, before the technology boom transformed San Francisco and sent housing costs soaring, the city was alive with children and families. Today it has the lowest percentage of children of any of the largest 100 cities in America, according to census data, causing some here to raise an alarm.
“Everybody talks about children being our future,” said Norman Yee, a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. “If you have no children around, what’s our future?”
As an urban renaissance has swept through major American cities in recent decades, San Francisco’s population has risen to historical highs and a forest of skyscraping condominiums has replaced tumbledown warehouses and abandoned wharves. At the same time, the share of children in San Francisco fell to 13 percent, low even compared with another expensive city, New York, with 21 percent. In Chicago, 23 percent of the population is under 18 years old, which is also the overall average across the United States.
California, which has one of the world’s 10 largest economies, recently released data showing the lowest birthrate since the Great Depression.
As San Francisco moves toward a one-industry town with soaring costs, the dearth of children is one more change that raises questions about its character. Are fewer children making San Francisco more one-dimensional and less vibrant? The answer is subjective and part of an impassioned debate over whether a new, wealthier San Francisco can retain the allure of the city it is replacing.
Many immigrant and other residential areas of San Francisco still have their share of the very young and the very old. The sidewalks of some wealthy enclaves even have stroller gridlock on weekends. But when you walk through the growing number of neighborhoods where employees of Google, Twitter and so many other technology companies live or work, the sidewalks display a narrow band of humanity, as if life started at 22 and ended somewhere around 40.
“Sometimes I’ll be walking through the city and I’ll see a child and think, ‘Hey, wait a second. What are you doing here?’” said Courtney Nam, who works downtown at a tech start-up. “You don’t really see that many kids.”
There is one statistic that the city’s natives have heard too many times. San Francisco, population 865,000, has roughly the same number of dogs as children: 120,000. In many areas of the city, pet grooming shops seem more common than schools.
In an interview last year, Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley investor and a co-founder of PayPal, described San Francisco as “structurally hostile to families.”
Prohibitive housing costs are not the only reason there are relatively few children. A public school system of uneven quality, the attractiveness of the less-foggy suburbs to families, and the large number of gay men and women, many of them childless, have all played roles in the decline in the number of children, which began with white flight from the city in the 1970s. The tech boom now reinforces the notion that San Francisco is a place for the young, single and rich.
“If you get to the age that you’re going to have kids in San Francisco and you haven’t made your million — or more — you probably begin to think you have to leave,” said Richard Florida, an expert in urban demographics and author of “The Rise of the Creative Class.”
Mr. Florida sees a larger national trend. Jobs in America have become more specialized and the country’s demography has become more segmented, he says. Technology workers who move to San Francisco and Silicon Valley anticipate long hours and know they may have to put off having families.
“It’s a statement on our age that in order to make it in our more advanced, best and most-skilled industries you really have to sacrifice,” Mr. Florida said. “And the sacrifice may be your family.”
In 1970, a quarter of San Francisco’s residents were children, nearly twice the level of today. The overall demographic picture of San Francisco is a city with more men than women — 103 for every 100 women — and with no ethnic majority. Whites make up slightly less than half the population, Asians about one-third and Latinos 15 percent. The black population has markedly declined and stands around 6 percent.
A report released on Tuesday by the San Francisco Planning Department said the building boom in the city, which for the most part has introduced more studios and one-bedroom apartments, was unlikely to bring in more families. For every 100 apartments in the city sold at market rates, the San Francisco school district expects to enroll only one additional student, the report said.
Mr. Yee, the supervisor, is urging his colleagues to hold hearings next month on the issue of children.
“For me it’s part of the fabric of what a city should have,” he said. “It makes us all care more.”
A few recent initiatives have sought to make the city friendlier to families. San Francisco is the first city in the United States to require employers to offer six weeks of fully paid leave for new parents, a law that came into effect this month.
The city has also invested millions in upgrading parks, according to Phil Ginsburg, the general manager of the city’s Recreation and Parks Department.
“We are trying to do our part to send a very strong message that San Francisco is an awesome place for kids,” Mr. Ginsburg said. The city has increased its offerings for summer programs, many of which were fully enrolled last summer.
Yet even those with the means to stay find themselves looking elsewhere when children come along.
Liz Devlin with her children, Ella and Jack. She said San Francisco was a “phenomenal place to raise kids” but is considering a move because of schools and the cost of living. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Liz Devlin, a senior manager at Twitter, which like other technology companies offers generous parental leave, took 20 weeks off at full pay when her second child, Jack, was born in 2014.
Living in a three-bedroom apartment in the Marina district, Ms. Devlin said, she considered San Francisco a “phenomenal place to raise kids.”
But last July when the energetic Jack turned 2, she and her husband decided it was time to leave.
“In terms of cost of living, space and schools I think it’s definitely attractive for people to look outside the city,” said Ms. Devlin, who moved across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County.
Those who make it work in San Francisco speak of the compromises.
Jean Covington, a San Francisco resident who works as a public defender in Contra Costa County, said she noticed a “pilgrimage” of her friends out of the city when children reached school age. When she decided to stick it out, she was confronted with what she described as a bewildering public school selection system governed by an algorithm that determines where children in the city are placed — sometimes miles from home.
When her daughter turned 5, Ms. Covington applied to 14 public kindergartens, but her child ended up being placed in another. She chose a private school instead, along with the strain on the family budget that it entailed.
“Everyone starts off with the same dreams: ‘I’m going to make it work in the city, and I’m going to be the family that sticks it out,’” Ms. Covington said of her friends. “And suddenly the one bathroom in their flat becomes two or three too few. And the school system is too daunting.”
San Francisco’s public school system has around 53,000 students, a sharp drop from 90,000 in 1970.
The decline is a reflection both of families leaving the city and wealthier parents sending their children to private schools. Around 30 percent of San Francisco children attend private school, the highest rate among large American cities.
More than 10 private schools have opened in San Francisco since 2009, according to a tally by Elizabeth Weise, a journalist who writes a blog on the subject.
Opinion is divided on whether having fewer children in the city is something San Francisco should worry about.
Mr. Florida, the expert in urban demographics, said a lack of children made a city “a little bit more of a colder or harder place.”
Mr. Lee, the software engineer, said he loved San Francisco — the weather, the food, the friends he has made. But the city, he said, feels somewhat detached from the life cycle.
“It’s similar to when you go to college and you are surrounded by people who are in the same life stage or who have the same attitude about what their priorities are,” Mr. Lee said. “That’s all you see: people who are exactly like you.”
That acronym stood for Double Income No Kids and that is the largest cohort in most of the "it" cities of Seattle and San Francisco.