Chieftain Press

The Problem with Millennials

Brittany Cormier

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The problem with baby boomers is that they were given everything, and now after 40 years of making sure no one else after them could have anything, they blame millennials.

In a way, it’s their own fault. They call us lazy, hedonistic, some will even go so far as accusing us of choosing to be poor. And yet, they were the ones that caused the worst recession since the Great Depression, not us. They’re the ones that destroyed the job market and elected Reagan.

I googled Reagan to understand what he did a little better, and one quote floating out there was “When we had heavily regulated and taxed capitalism in the post-war era, the largest employer in America was General Motors, and they paid working people what would be, in today’s dollars, about $50 an hour with benefits. Reagan began deregulating and cutting taxes on capitalism in 1981, and today, with more classical “raw capitalism,” what we call “Reaganomics,” or “supply side economics,” our nation’s largest employer is WalMart and they pay around $10 an hour.” (alternet.org)

Apparently, capitalism doesn’t naturally have a middle class. It’s more of a 1% of the super-rich on top, still small but also pretty rich in the middle, and then about 90% of the population at the bottom, who are likely to remain in debt for their entire lives. A middle class will only appear after a heavy social upheaval; like the Black Plague, or the rich being heavily taxed in the 14th century.

And so with that, in just 35 years, they’ve cultivated a society that attacks the victims of a twisted economic system with no way out.

Millennials are bombarded with messages of being “stupid” and “entitled” and accused of being “The Cheapest Generation”, when in reality, we have no disposable income to just spend all willy nilly on a nice car or new house.

Back in the mid-70’s, a new house could be bought with a 15-year mortgage for 35,000 smackers. In this day and age, a home in the same area costs $190,000.

In addition prices have gone up, along with bills that just didn’t exist 30 years ago.

Along with home and auto price hike, there’s food, energy, rent… Education has gone up so high some don’t even bother, and health care has gone way up.

And now we have cell phone bills, internet bills, subscriptions for radio, television and internet services, none of these existed before WWII.

Back in the day (1981 to be exact), a college tuition could be paid for by only working summer jobs. The University of Washington only charged $1,029 a year for Med school. Today, that’ll cost you a whopping $28,040. You see, back then, 90% of the cost of college tuition was paid for by taxpayers.

With all this debt, we can’t pay for bills, let alone material goods. No new house, no new car, no big, fancy “traditional” wedding, and children have to be planned for rather than just “happening”. Not only that, but instead of going to see a movie with friends or going out for supper, it’s cheaper to stay home and text someone or chat over Facebook. And yet the big thing to poke fun at about millennials is how often they’re on their phones. It’s all we have left, let us have it. The quality of life that the baby boomer generation judges millennials on is almost impossible to achieve because of the utter lack of any spending money that living in America has caused.

And they have the gall to tell us we want to be poor? With about 50% of college students jobless and with the heftiest student loans in American history. We’re broke and can’t pay for anything.

It’ll be a sad day for them when their internet stops working and one of us has to fix it.

 

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