The Not-So-Ethical Young

You expect young folks to be more indulgent than their elders about such characteristically youthful practices as smoking marijuana. Indeed, a Harris Poll finds everyone playing to form on that issue, with about four in 10 of those under age 30 condemning the vice, while outright majorities of the older groups do so. It turns out, though, that lax views on illicit drugs are just the tip of the iceberg that is young-adult depravity. Despite their supposed concern for the environment, for instance, the 18-24s are (as you can see from the chart) more likely than people of their parents’ generation to toss trash around. As for taking pens home, one could argue that older people have had decades to do their pilfering and can now afford to hold stricter views. But it’s harder to explain away the younger respondents’ willingness to leave store cashiers short at the end of the day. By the way, beware of young adults bearing résumés. A bare majority of 18-24s said it’s wrong to exaggerate one’s credentials on a résumé or job application, versus two-thirds or more of folks in the other age brackets.