Regarding Alexandra Petri's Feb. 22 column, "OK, we whine a lot. But no one cares about us millennials":

I care. As a successful 60-year-old man, I have come to empathize with the millennials' plight.

I watch as the immigrants of the country have watered down the labor market and the ability for young people to find employment in the trades.

I have watched as overly generous pension packages have caused financial hardship for cities. I have watched as cities, in an attempt to assuage their budget issues, hire retired former city employees on a part-time basis to avoid paying benefits, thus removing that job from the pool of possible jobs for young people.

I have watched as hard-working young men in business in the trades are bombarded with ever more government requirements, taxes, insurance and excessive licensing.

You would think that a stodgy old guy like me would just say, "Stop whining." But I know if I were starting my career again, the bricks that would be placed on my back by all of these factors would possibly make me say, "Is it worth it?"

When are we going to recognize that paying people to not work - pensions, excessive unemployment, multigenerational welfare - is a disease that will kill the enthusiasm of those who want to work. As Italian journalist Corrado Alvaro has said, "The blackest despair that can take hold of any society is the fear that living honestly is futile." I believe that our younger people may start to believe that their plight is futile.

JOHN REGINA

Northfield