Generations and life goals

The other day Dad was trying to tell me that young people today don’t care as much about politics and social causes. I wasn’t sure whether I agreed or not but I did take umbrage at his example of a dad who drove a pinto and whose son drove an SUV.  Dad seemed to think that was a good example of how the child didn’t believe in social causes.  I didn’t get it.  How did having a nice car relate with not believing in social causes?

Well, this morning in the New York Times I read a stat that seemed to imply that young people are focusing on money at the expense of philosophy.  Who Americans Are and What They Do, in Census Data – New York Times:

In 1970, 79 percent said their goal was developing a meaningful philosophy of life. By 2005, 75 percent said their primary objective was to be financially very well off.

So there you go, Dad.  Your argument holds because the time invested to earn an SUV is replacing the time spent on social issues.  (Assuming people spend time on their primary goals!)