Well, I too, am one of those old timers that faced tough times, for me it was almost 10 years ago I lost my great job, the difference is I chose to stay in the field for the experience instead of claiming unemplyment or flipping burgers, the down side, was I was paid about the same as a burger jockey. About a year ago, I finally got the oppertunity for another great job that landed in my career path, and am now reaping the benefits.
My point to this story, while it may sound like gloating (its not), is that I believe its about the choices we make durning the difficult times. History has proven that NO job is stable, plan ahead and dont rely on anyone else!
I'm absolutly with you on the cheap fodder being produced now days (I work with too many of them), and they just dont have the attitude of creating their career, they do what they can to get by, and thats about it. But that is their choice, they will have to deal with their consequences down the road.