Are there too many young people in the world? Report in NY Times raises troubling questions…

While it may be interesting for us to kick around the behavioral differences between Boomers and Millennials, there is a deeper problem unfolding — the sheet numbers of younger people and where they are concentrated.

According to this interesting report that appeared recently in the New York Times, “At no point in recorded history has our world been so demographically lopsided, with old people concentrated in rich countries and the young in not-so-rich countries.”

A quarter of the earth’s population are now between the ages of 10 and 24 — and the majority live in the developing world.

Result? Youth unemployment, social unrest, and a likelihood of disruptive mass migration. Meanwhile, in the more developed countries, an eventual shortage of labor.

Here are some of the key stats:

  • While the world average is 25% in the 10-24 age bracket, it’s only 17% in the most developed countries and 32% in the least developed countries
  • It’s 18% in Canada and 20% in the USA
  • It’s over 30% in Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Bangladesh, and 28% in Egypt

The countries with high rates also have underdeveloped economies with a lack of job opportunities, compounded by weak educational systems and poor skills training. It’s an explosive combination, because it means that migration alone isn’t the cure — if people are untrained, they won’t get a job simply by moving to a new location.

Now throw into the mix the current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment we see in Europe and emerging in the USA.

The net result doesn’t add up to a pretty picture. We should be thankful we can debate the nuances of marketing to Millennials, and we should hope this continues to be the kind of problem we’re worrying about.

It’s come to this: 5’9″ white guy tells U of Washington students he identifies as a 6’5″ Chinese woman and their reaction is…

I keep thinking this is finally it – the topic of university goofiness must be exhausted; there can’t be anything sillier left to see. Then along comes a video like this.

I’m really beginning to think that, in cold-blooded marketing terms, a whole new cohort is emerging — not Millennials in general, but Millennials who were liberal arts undergrads in the USA between 2012 and 2016. There must be a lot of them – and they will definitely need a whole different approach to marketing communications.

Watch here as they struggle to tell a 5′ 9″ white guy that he isn’t a 6′ 5″ Chinese woman. After all, if he identifies as a 6′ 5″ Chinese woman, who are they to say he’s wrong? Yes – “identify as” has come to this.

I think this has all kinds of marketing potential for a whole new generation of consumers. I identify as a Porsche driver even though I can only afford a Honda Civic. I identify as a new parent even though I’m childless (maybe I even buy diapers and baby food). I identify as a wine connoisseur even as I sip Two Buck Chuck…

All it needs is a name and it could become a whole new school of thought. Maybe Delusional Marketing. I think it could have a real future


“The Chalkening” Part 2 – Now DePaul University bans all political chalking

I suppose it was inevitable. After all, someone’s got to protect the poor dears.

Source: DePaul says no more political chalking in response to pro-Trump messages

The school decided that some pro-Trump chalk messages were “offensive, hurtful and divisive.” So now all chalk messaging is banned. Read the full article and see the tortuous, legalistic hairsplitting through which the university justifies this decision.

Sample: “As a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization, the university is significantly limited in the types of political activities it can promote or support. In accordance with federal regulations, DePaul may not engage in any activity in support of or opposition to any candidate for public office, federal, state or local. In practice, this means no partisan political advertising may be conducted on campus that could in any way be attributed to DePaul University.”

Federal regulations? Are they serious? Evidently so.

It would be interesting to learn what the DePaul administration thinks is going to happen to its grads once they hit the real world.

“The Chalkening” stalks US campuses in backlash against terrified anti-Trump students

OK – we need a disclaimer right off the top: this is not – I repeat, not – in support of Donald Trump.

But, really — can the presence of TRUMP 2016 scrawled, in chalk, on a stairway on an university campus be construed as an act of violence? As an act of intimidation so dire that it requires the protective intervention of the university authorities?

At Emory University in Atlanta, evidently, the answer is “Yes.” A group of students professed themselves to be so threatened by this deed, that they went crying to the administration, which — at first — promised to help by reviewing security cameras to see if the identify of the Mad Chalker  could be determined.

I say “at first” because of what ensued: an immediate backlash of anger, scorn, and ridicule — from other students, from commentators and (most importantly, if you’re the admin) alumni. In the end, the president was forced to write – in chalk – that Emory believes in free speech. How reassuring.

In a further demo of the law of unintended consequences, the episode provoked an onslaught of TRUMP 2016 messages — collectively, The Chalkening – at campuses across the country.

It really seems as if there’s no upper limit to the childishness of a meaningful segment of Millennial snowflakes still in university. They need protection — from ideas that contradict theirs, from harsh language, from tasteless humor, from cultural appropriation and micro-aggression and a seemingly endless list of offensive words and phrases. It’s good to know that many other Millennials, also in university, refuse to let themselves be identified under the same branding.

A quarter of UK men over 85 had sex in the last year

…but only 10 percent of women did.

That’s one of the interesting findings in a new study released by the International Longevity Centre, and reported here by the Daily Mail online.

The problem for women is that they live longer than men, and as they continue to age they have fewer potential partners to choose from.

Some other data:

  • 60 per cent of men age 65 and 37 per cent of women engaged in sexual activity in the past year. Among them, half reported having sex in the past month.

  • Men think about sex more than women. More than 30 percent of men aged 76-80 said they thought about sex at least once a week, compared to just 7 percent of women.
More than 30 per cent of men aged 76 - 80 thought about sex at least once a week, the study found. Graph shows how often older men thought about sex during the past month - from never to at daily

Graph shows how often older women thought about sex during the past month. Only 7 per cent of women aged 76 - 80  thought about intercourse once a week

What I find interesting here is not the percentages but the absolute numbers.  The total 65+ population in North America is close to 50 million. If even a third of them are thinking about sex regularly and engaging in regularly or occasionally (and I’m averaging downward by understating men), this  throws off a market of more than 15 million people. Is anybody watching this?

Pitt Students ‘In Tears’ and Feeling ‘Unsafe’ After Milo Yiannopoulos Event – Breitbart

Milo Yiannopoulos is Tech Editor of Breitbart News Network, and famous as outspoken and politically incorrect. He’s gay,  Catholic and conservative — an unlikely combination on today’s media landscape. In January, he gained even more fame (or notoriety, if you prefer) when Twitter removed its blue “verification” checkmark from his account, provoking charges that it was targeting conservatives and trying to censor free speech.

So when Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at the University of Pittsburgh, it would have come as no surprise that fireworks might follow.

Yiannopoulos unloaded a number of observations that were unpalatable, to put it mildly, to many students. According to the student newspaper, he said people who believe there is a gender wage gap are “idiots.” He described the Black Lives Matter movement as a “supremacy” group. He called feminists “man-haters.”

Strong stuff. But, hey — free speech, right? And besides, attendance wasn’t compulsory. It was just a campus event that students  could go to, or not.

Ah, but this today’s American campus, and nothing is that simple.

Apparently, the talk was so “traumatizing” that the it literally drove students to tears. Many felt…you know what word is coming…”unsafe.” So the Student Government Board convened a meeting the very next day.

Marcus Robinson, student and president of the Pittsburgh Rainbow Alliance, said, “I felt I was in danger, and I felt so many people in that room were in danger.” He said the school should have made counselors available, in another room, to “protect” students felt “traumatized” by the opinions offered by Yiannopoulos.

Another student, social work and urban studies major Claire Matway, said, “This is more than hurt feelings, this is about real violence. We know that violence against marginalized groups happens every day in this country. That so many people walked out that event feeling in literal physical danger is not alright.”

Literal physical danger?

The answer, of course, was to create a “safe space” – and a coalition of campus organizations promptly convened a meeting to do just that.

You can read all the details here.

The universities, it seems, are producing a distressingly high number of people who seem to have no ability to cope with contrary opinions. If they feel “unsafe” — to the point of “literal, physical danger” – by some opinions delivered at an event they were under no obligation to attend in the first place, can you imagine the meltdown that await them in the real world?


New research suggests “older” means “happier” — will marketers get the message?

New research from the UK supports the idea that “older” people are happier than “younger” people. According to this study, one’s sense of happiness or well-being drops from age 20 to about age 50, then rises steadily to age 70, where it levels off.

This adds yet another complication for youth-obsessed marketers. Not only are they over-spending against people with less disposable income, those people are not as happy as the older folks  (who do have the disposable income) that the marketers are ignoring.

It’s not a matter of zeroing out the marketing dollars allocated to the younger age groups. Of course these groups must be pursued, and significant dollars spent against them. The problem is under-allocation against the older groups. The blunt truth is that marketers have lucked into twenty or thirty man-years of consumer spending by people who, in previous generations, would have literally been dead by this age, and yet are not only still alive but still active…and spending.

Is this overwhelming reality reflected in marketing budgets? Not even close.