The actual reason why young people are the poorest generation ever

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The millennial generation is now reaching the age of 30. Many of these 80’s and 90’s kids are having children of their own, and recent surveys show that one in five millennial parents is living in poverty. Primarily, this is a result of rising costs for raising children, declining wages, high levels of unemployment, and high debt-mostly college related. But the boomer generation doesn’t seem to think so: Millennials are to blame for their own financial status, thanks to wasting time on the Internet and being too lazy to find jobs. [1]

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It is true that millennials are under dire financial situations, but it is not because of how they spend their money, nor is it the result of how many Facebook quizzes they take or BuzzFeed listicles they read. It has more to do with the financial legacy left to them by their predecessors, ie. the boomers.

There is a lot of hate towards the millenials. Patricia Sellers at Fortune writes: “While we Baby Boomers typically place high value on pay, benefits, stability and prestige, Gen Y cares most about fun, innovation, social responsibility, and time off.” Charles M. Blow at the New York Times wrote witheringly of the “selfiegeneration” that: “All in all, we seem to be experiencing a wave of liberal-minded detach-ees, a generation in which institutions are subordinate to the individual and social networks are digitally generated rather than interpersonally accrued.”

Sherri Elliott-Yeary, a workplace consultant, says, “Millennials are not willing to make work the central focus of their lives as Baby Boomers have.” Millennials are all too busy looking for fun to buckle down and work—which is why companies have to resort to juvenile features like slides and ball-pits to attract millennial workers, and why millennials flock to the Internet. Millennials believe in YOLO, FOMO, and #picsoritdidnthappen.
Majority of the reasoning is as follows: Young people are wasting too much time doing unproductive things on the internet. They are lazy and grab every opportunity to waste time. They aren’t even trying hard enough to find jobs. No wonder, they’re poor!

But this generation is an unlucky one. They were handed every possible disadvantage by the previous generation. Boomers created a social, economic, and environmental mess that will take decades—if not centuries—to clean up, gifting millennials with war, climate change, a recession, runaway inflation, and an absurdly competitive job market.

The millennials were told that if they followed the American “prescription for success”, which began with a nice college degree, they would be successful in the American society. They listened to their advice. But unfortunately, they entered college precisely at the moment tuition was skyrocketing, endowments were falling, and interest on student loans was climbing. College loans are a major contributor to millennial debt, so much so that there are legitimate fears of a college debt bubble that could be as devastating as the tech bubble of the 1990s (boomers) or the recession (boomers again).

At Medium, Hanna Brooks Olsen writes of the myth served to millennials:
I went to a university (something that neither of my parents did, through choice and circumstance and a systemic series of beliefs about who college is for) to no longer be poor, because I believed, as I was told by guidance counselors and the media and many adults and colleges themselves, that that was the only way to be not-poor. And yet, going to college made me, at least in the years since I’ve graduated, more poor.

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There is also the belief that the poor should not have fun. And that if a person is technologically engaged, he/she cannot be poor.The internet is definitely more than just Instant messaging and Snapchat. It is about networking, and making and maintaining relations efficiently…which can further lead to a job.

SE Smith, writing for The Daily Dot rightly says, “We shouldn’t be shocked that millennial parents are the poorest generation in 25 years, nor should we be blaming it on the baby pictures they’re posting on Facebook. Instead, we should be placing the responsibility where it really lies: on the generation that set millennials up for failure and their determination to continue arguing that millennials brought this upon themselves.”

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/millennial-parents-poverty-internet-scapegoat/?fb=dd


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41 COMMENTS

  1. fucking thank you. so tired of hearing “adults” tell me that it’s my fault i can’t get a good job. no, i’ve done everything right, taken every tip, read every article on successful interviews, spent 20+ hours making my resume perfect, went to college, worked my way up to management at places like mcdonalds. no, it’s about time we stop letting them tell us this is our fault. they’re the ones that fucked us over and they don’t want to admit it. what kind of a world do we live in where at age 30 you’re still making less than 10 bucks an hour? that’s fine for teenagers, but we need fucking careers.
    there’s one thing that i noticed wasn’t mentioned in this article either, because nobody wants to talk about it. baby boomers were called baby boomers because there were so goddamn many of them. thanks to modern medicine and scientific advances they are also living longer, healthier lives. so most of them keep their jobs for far longer than people did back in the day. so we have to basically wait for them all to die off before any of us can start taking their jobs. if all the assholes that blame us for being “too lazy” would just retire rather than saving up more money to buy expensive cars and shit they don’t need then we’d all be able to get a career started already.
    buckle in everyone, we’re gonna be making shit pay for awhile.

    • I Do understand and agree with this article. I’m in the generation ahead but when I graduated the dot.com bust hit. The last 10 years has been financially unstable for everyone. We are competing with jobs globally and in our country we are competing with H1-Bs. Nothing is stable anymore. We are growing backwards and are creating billionaires and welfare babies. When America is no longer the great nation where is there to go???

      • Yes. Like outsource.com. Want to hire an ENGINEER for less then 8 dollars an hour? An ENGINEER??? Some shlub in India makes 5 dollars an hour as an engineer…and he’s freaking rich!!! He even has a bachelors degree…and get this…he doesn’t have to pay 50,000+ for college tuition. He has little, if any student debt…and his parents didn’t pay his way thru college either. HOW THE HELL ARE WE SUPPOSED TO COMPETE AGAINST HIM????

        • They have either loans to pay off or their parents paid for it or their parents took a loan for them. The kid in India I mean

  2. Sorry but this is ridiculous. I am a generation Xer and most of environmental issues were actually worse when I was a kid you couldn’t even see the LA skyline for example. The environmental movement came to be under OUR generation’s watch. Mind you this was before emerging economies based all their economic growth on power consumption which has effected global environmental conditions. Likewise, socially things have improved – and you would know this if you didn’t spend all your time crying on the internet. I do agree about cost of college, but it STILL pays off even at a the higher cost. Such a generation of victims – start a movement like we did. at least do something rather than sniping anonymously on the internet.

    • the only movement you started was “moving machines”. you moved your asses from the field on the couch.

      • What generation created the machine you’re typing on?

        The error here is thinking that one generation is as fault while the other is as clean as the driven snow. The boomers have created a society which is not so much fun to live in, because it requires education and hard work to prosper in. There’s good and bad in there. Learn to pick the seeds out of the watermelon before you eat it.

        • You can’t legitimately say “The baby boomer GENERATION in GENERAL designed and built computing hardware and software.” It’s basically an intellectual elite that did this, and even they were just building on math concepts and understanding that has been in human grasp since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Most of the baby boomer generation sat around hating on computers, then had kids, then complained that their kids could use computers but they couldn’t. Finally, they attend shitty community center classes on how to use outdated versions of internet explorer in order to apply for sup-par jobs they are not even qualified for, at an age where they should just retire and leave some space in the (inadequate) job market.

    • You cleaned up the environment!? What a joke! You created the environmental movement that has and is depressing the economy. It is the goal of this movement. There are a lot of economic factors that stem from this. Moat are underlying, so they are hard to see.

    • Ridiculous you say? It seems to me what is ridiculous is the assertion that Boomers have done anything but decimate the environment. Just because you’ve exported the pollution along with the jobs, doesn’t mean you’ve had any inclination towards stewardship. Remember your decadent silence as NAFTA & KAFTA stripped the manufacturing base from this country? Remember how you praised trickle down economics long after it was demonstrably terrible. Remember how you kept voting for politicians you knew to be corrupt. Remember when they murdered your President for fighting the Fed.Reserve and you did nothing. Remember how your parents had a 90% tax rate for the wealthiest 10%. That’s how the greatest generation did it, that’s how they were able to pass along to you the greatest economy the world had ever seen. Unfortunately they were not able to pass on to you the lessons they had learned in the depression (laz e faire capitalism collapses under the weight of it’s own fuzzy math). You just had to show up and you’d make money, now half the “jobs” are scams. Because you guys apparently thought you could buy everything on credit, so here we are paying off your debts, whilst you spend 80% of your life savings in the last 3 months of your lives (on drugs). Ridiculous indeed.

  3. I agree that in part it’s not their fault but how can you find a job when all they do is be in Facebook, Instagram, reading emails, news, messenger, twitter and god knows what else is out there? They spend their time entertaining themselves and don’t care about anything else not even caring for their children

    • Such a general statement as if you consider all of us to be one single mind. We’re all different.
      It’s the labels you create for us that destroys our image. Those you are capable of changing this world do not get a chance to hit because we’ve all been putted in the same basket. Stop watching the goddamn TV and realize life is elsewhere. My best advice is believe in yourself regardless of your surrounding’s thoughts about it. Truth is most of us are blind to what’s hidden in plain sight, the truth. Totally agree with social media being the source feeding their ego and preventing them to be alive.
      Grow up, meditate, judge by yourself because no-one else can do it better.
      Peace.

  4. It is kind of true, most of my friends who don’t have jobs just sit around and complain about how their Centrelink came two days late. They don’t even go out of the house to look for jobs. Then they get too depressed to leave the house because they feel like they’ve failed. And then the whole thing becomes a viscous cycle and before you know it they haven’t had a job for 3 years.

    And then they say ‘No one will hire someone who hasn’t had a job for 3 years’.

  5. What utter ignorance to try and blame a generation for who they are – they are a product of the previous generation and molded by society. Do baby-boomers not think before acting in hypocrisy, that their parents also looked down on the baby-boomer generation and said similar things? “you lot are too focused on your liberation and technology”. I do admit that there is perhaps change in the work-ethic and hedonism factors – but this is only because we now have a greater awareness for what people are doing, the media is constantly telling people what people are doing. There has always been people in society with bad work-ethics and hedonism… particularly among many baby-boomers. Stop blaming people for being people and look at who influenced them. The only real question here to think about is: Who raised and influenced ‘Millenials’ to make them what they are?

  6. Saying from experience as a millenial the baby boomers took what they had for granted and abused the system long before my generation even had a chance. I’m not saying my generation doesnt have its well pointed out lazy tech junkies but when you see people startup a youtube channel and make 40,000+ a month who can blame them for at least trying in their state of perpetual depression from being jobless or trying to find a job with a degree to eventually become a burger flipper? My sister and brother in law both have masters in teaching and they work as a dance instructor and he works as an administrative assistant. Isnt there something wrong with that?

  7. Capitalism is in the age of it’s senile decay. The jobs that exist today are worse on all accounts than the jobs in the past. Less union representation, lower wages, etc. Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars and not investing in more jobs because of over-production, since workers are paid so little they cannot buy back the products of their labor. The means of production are no longer developing, as corporations ship jobs to countries there they can exploit the workers the worst, creating a race to the bottom in wages and labor conditions. The only solution is to end capitalism’s “production for profit” motive and transition into socialism: the production for the satisfaction of human needs. Then we can have full employment without loss of pay, by removing the parasitic CEOs from the equation and running all workplaces democratically by the workers themselves.

    • Capitalism hasn’t exhisted in America since the very early 1800’s…please stop using it as your out. We are experiencing Corporatism…i.e. Nationalism.

      • I would love to have you point to an example of “capitalism” somewhere in the world that isn’t “corporatism.” The age of monopoly capitalism that we live in is the final stage of capitalism. The golden age you dream of will never return in any country because there is no material basis for it.

        • What you spout PVL is 19th century socialist propaganda. In the modern era the socialists were correct since Corporatism and Monopoly Capitalism were part and parcel of each other. The 20th and 21st century are different.

          This idea of linear or progressive stages of consecutive governments came from Marx and was proven by the late 19th to be incorrect. It was born out of the same stupid notion of evolution being linear which isn’t true either.

          These outdated false 19th century memes had a resurgence with the 1960s baby boomers. Some of them became professors spouting this BS. Now we have another generation of useful idiots who would be crying for their mommy and daddy if an actual socialist revolution broke out.

  8. If we want change, we need to rise above the banks and government. If we dont we will continue beeing sheeple….. rats locked up in a cage… bitching and complaining about issue we choose not to change…we arethe future. Notthe rich. Know your worth rise up…

  9. I think that ‘needing a job’ needs to change,
    Look outside the box for a moment,
    We dont get a job for progress or knowledge, no, most of us now work because we ‘need to’ we ‘need money’
    Working is fine,
    But not when it becomes a redundant circle of trying to make money that in the end is destined to perish,

    I think this new gen holds small handfulls of people that actually have some sort of brains and see right through society and norms,
    We need to re think the systems at hand and abolish our currency systems,
    Do more productive things like eat and grow organic,
    Explore our minds.

    I think that nobody should be made to feel like they need a job, and only take a benificial job that doesn’t only get introduced just because for some reason we all need this money shit,
    First step is stop living by these pre-set conditions

  10. I think the real problem is the education you get in college is substandard these days, completely focused on social issues rather than objective studies. That goes for elementary and high school as well. Additionally, I know way too many younger people going to college for liberal arts…yeah, that dead end major. Stop watching movies where everyone is a liberal arts major with rich parents and a guaranteed job…only happens in Hollywood.

    It’s true that your elders (and mine…Gen X here) have failed us, but not for the reasons you might think. They failed us because they’ve played the game just like their elders did. Vote Republican or Democrat, let them accrue more debt, use a currency based on world power rather than actual worth. You’d be smart to not follow in their footsteps. Or ignore me so I can blame you next.

    I never went to college…felt it was a waste. I know how to read and analyze and am completely self-taught and make well above the poverty line after several years of hard work and proving myself. My brother did the same as me and is in the same good shape financially.

    There is no excuse, college teaches you how to work in a working environment, it doesn’t teach you how to do your job. Get certificates, read books, understand everything about your job. stop worrying about how pretty your resume is, and realize that your understanding of the job is way more important to interviewers than anything else. If that’s not the case, than the job isn’t for you. It’s for those that think college is good enough.

    Lastly, stop doing what everyone tells you to do. Do what you know you are good at and like. It’s the only way to be successful.

  11. You all need to chill out. Each generation is completely different with unique experiences. All we can do is learn from each other and grow.

    Its ignorant to judge an entire generation based on rising trends. People older than me are guilty of doing stupid internet stuff that even I have no experience with. To be honest, the generation under mine is far worse. I am 27 and kids that are 18 or under have less of a concept of reality than I did at that age. I am a manager at my job of almost 8 years and even I have a difficult time getting my employees to look at their schedules and actually make it to work… Or at least have a voicemail set up.

    If we chose to not educate the upcoming generations, then humanity is screwed. Focus on that.

  12. In a country full of idiots these generations can fight over who is to “blame” forever.

    And it doesn’t matter one bit. Who is fixing it? What are we doing to make our future better?

    Bitching at each other.

    This country sucks. It has gone full capitalist. Never go full capitalist.

  13. Why would anyone human being want to make work the central focus of their life!!! You get one chance on this amazing planet, im an 80’s gen and work my ass off when i have to otherwise im having as much fun and enjoyment as possible. Get off the couch and do something!

  14. “While we Baby Boomers typically place high value on pay, benefits, stability and prestige, Gen Y cares most about fun, innovation, social responsibility, and time off.”
    I’d say time away from wage slavery has produced a pragmatic approach to high unemployment and the crippling debt of the current education system.
    The Punk Generation have let the Kids down so badly..

    • Thank u for saying that. Im only 18, just realized what i want to do in live beside having fun and socializing.
      I’ve lost 3 jobs because i was to busy with finding myself.
      When did this world forget that life aint about making money? I just want to live, love and learn.
      I don’t like to work at a job for $4-6 but i have to eat ya know.

  15. I’m pretty sure the main reason our country has turned shitty is of course WAR and everyone caring about “feelings”. Bullying in schools, sexting, and the correction of other’s peoples spelling to make themselves feel good is all anyone worries about these days. YOUR all a bunch a pussies to be honest. Get a boo boo and claim ptsd or racism. My grandfather’s age lied about their ages to go to WAR. Children fighting for their country, where ptsd didn’t even EXIST because at that time they were MEN THAT COULD HANDLE THIER SHIT. My father’s age opened the door for free thinking and rebelled against the social norm to provide a country for EVERYONE to live in. The greatest music and greatest scientific discoveries, including NASA, were born in this era. My generation excelled where my parents couldn’t. Computers, video games, and all electronics have NEVER been the same. Harmful toxins have been removed from damn near everything from paint to baby toys. Pretty much everything you see that’s awesome…YOUR ducking welcome. YOUR welcome for also going to Mars in the 2 yrs. I can honestly say I have no idea what the generation after me will bring to the table. S ok far it’s just playing with the inventions all the other generations made…like this phone…or YOUR computer. The tv YOUR watching…the facebook you post your ugly mug on…and so on. Idiots. And btw…real men…CANT SQUEEZE THIER DICKS INTO LEGGINGS and DONT wear pink. Cut your hair you look like beiber maggots. You’ll regret it all when your 30. Trust me, backstreet boys and Nsync once wore trashbags and white boy cornrows and dreads. And it was actually cool to tape a bandaid under your eye…

  16. I had to rewrite my comment because I didn’t know they must be “approved” first and I know you KIDS these days are extra sensitive…So here we go…a child friendly post: I’m pretty sure the main reason our country has turned TO POOP is of course the fact were at war and everyone caring about “feelings”. Bullying in schools, sexting, and the correction of other’s peoples spelling to make themselves feel good is all anyone worries about these days. And the simple fact I can’t give my own opinion without it being filtered is a prime example of how biased this article is. YOUR all a bunch of KITTY CATS to be honest. Get a boo boo and claim ptsd or racism. My grandfather’s age lied about their ages to go to WAR. Children fighting for their country, where ptsd didn’t even EXIST because at that time they were MEN THAT COULD HANDLE THIER OWN. My father’s age opened the door for free thinking and rebelled against the social norm to provide a country for EVERYONE to live in. The greatest music and greatest scientific discoveries, including NASA, were born in this era. My generation excelled where my parents couldn’t. Computers, video games, and all electronics have NEVER been the same. Harmful toxins have been removed from damn near everything from paint to baby toys. Pretty much everything you see that’s awesome…YOUR FREAKING welcome. Your welcome for also going to Mars in the 2 yrs and discovering black holes. I can honestly say I have no idea what the generation after me will bring to the table. So far it’s just playing with the inventions all the other generations made…like this phone…or YOUR computer. The tv YOUR watching…the facebook you post your mug on…and so on. And of course complaining about other’s and not yourselves because of course they are the reason your failing. Which by the way was also Hitler’s reasoning…it couldn’t of been them…had to be the Jews. Ok I’m done now. And though it’s wrong, I do still hope the author of this article still gets a A in their highschool creative writing class. But before I go a little message to this new failing generation: Real men…CANT SQUEEZE THIER MAN BODY PARTS INTO LEGGINGS and DONT wear pink. Cut your hair you look like a bunch of greasy beibers. Trust me you’ll regret it all when your 30. Backstreet boys and Nsync once wore trashbags, overalls with no shirts underneath, and white boy cornrows and dreads. And it was actually cool to tape a bandaid under your eye…

  17. There is no happiness today…they expect you to pick a major in high school and bet the rest of your life on that subject! All I knew was that I liked girls and cars; still do. Then you have to study hard to get into a good college which you can’t afford! If you’re lucky to get accepted then you have to keep studying hard to get a good job! If you’re lucky enough to land a good job then you have to keep working hard to keep it because there are people waiting at the door to do your job for half the price! You want to move up the ladder but you either have to make the right connections ( because hard work alone won’t get you that corner office) or wait until some old fart dies to maybe get their job! What a pathetic existence without any happiness! And don’t think that voting some doush bag into office will help anything, they are all crooked and on the same team, they just pretend that we have a democracy and that your vote counts! BTW, there is nothing we can do to fix any of this, it’s too late, all is lost, the end is near…

  18. This generation is nothing more than lazy shit talkin punks who think they are entitled to Eveything for free they are hopeless lazy fucksz!

    • Wow lazy fucks huh? I’m a part of this generation, I’m a physical therapist, my husband works in construction management. We both work WAY more than 40 hours a week and at almost 30 we are unable to purchase a home or start a family because of the student loan debt that we are in. Since I have graduated with my degree we have lived off my husband’s income and my ENTIRE income has gone towards getting us out of debt. So please, tell me again that I think I am entitled to having everything given to me for free.

      • The big question for the US is why (good) education is left to private institutions and why it is generally so expensive. In Europe (except UK) higher education costs tend to be a tiny percentage of the US one. Education should be a right and not a privilege.

    • This made me LOL. As a 26-year-old millennial who has managed both hotel and retail establishments, I would like to know where you can come off with your better-than-everyone-else attitude. Also, please actually go back to college and learn how to write instead of your, to quote yourself, hopeless entitled lazy shit talkin self.

    • Not exactly I’m 25. I was willing to do any job and got rejected because my resume. I’m going to be sooo happy when I actually get it all fixed because my current part time job is so sad they can’t have me longer and I do office work for 11 something an hour granted it’s two hours but they love me and wish they could give me more hours.

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