financially struggling younger generation - Politics | PoFo

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Hmm, isn't it interesting we weren't hearing any complaints at all about this while Obama was president?
This has been going on for a while, and is a long-term trend.

article from Vox: The record-low birthrate offers yet another sign that millennials are economically screwed ... ls-economy

Especially interesting in that article was this segment:

The ethical concern is that the number of women who want children but aren’t having them is growing. As Lyman Stone wrote in the New York Times, “the gap between the number of children that women say they want to have (2.7) and the number of children they will probably actually have (1.8 ) has risen to the highest level in 40 years.” Rather than a “natural” reflection of a changing society, this is a political problem that needs to be addressed.

- Millennials kill industries because they're poor
- Millennials are "dramatically financially worse off" than older generations were at similar ages, a new study by Deloitte has found.
- Millennials' spending is the same as their parents' when they were young when it comes to the proportion of their income going to things such as food, restaurants, and alcohol — they just have less money to spend.
- The study cited Census data indicating that the net worth of American consumers under the age of 35 had fallen by more than a third since 1996.

A new study argues that millennials aren't actually different from Gen Xers or baby boomers in how they spend their money — they just have less money to spend.

Millennials have been blamed for the murder of industries as varied as golf-equipment makers and razor manufacturers, as sales have tumbled in recent years.

"They are often branded as being more narcissistic, more idealistic, more socially-conscious, and more experience-oriented than any of their preceding generations," a Deloitte study published this week said. "They have even been blamed for ruining everything from movies to marriage!"

The study - written by Kasey Lobaugh, Bobby Stephens, and Jeff Simpson - contradicts many of the narratives about millennial consumers.

Deloitte's survey of more than 4,000 consumers, 450 billion points of location data, more than 200 billion credit-card transactions, and government data concludes that millennials spend their money on roughly the same things that their parents did 30 years ago.

Millennials, however, are "dramatically financially worse off" than older generations were at similar ages, the study said. The study cited Census data indicating that the net worth of American consumers under the age of 35 had fallen by more than a third since 1996.


A really cynical bitter article here:

(Why Millennials are) America’s First Poor Generation
The First Generation in America to Live in Poverty and Precarity Since the Great Depression

by Umair Haque
November 25, 2019

I read a truly shocking statistic today. Boomers held 21% of American wealth at age 35. Gen X, 8%. Millennials? Just 3%. Think about that for a second. 3%. They’re 25% of the total population. Maybe you’re not surprised. But aren’t you alarmed? You should be. Those are the numbers of social collapse. They’re Soviet numbers. What do they say?

Millennials have borne the brunt of America’s imploded economy and failing society. It’s true that it’s bad for everyone who’s not a Bezos or a Gates — but it’s also true that it’s especially, surreally, unbelievably bad for millennials. America’s failed in three key ways.

First, incomes haven’t risen in half a century. But costs have been skyrocketing since about the late 1980s. Millennials are caught in the pincers of that trap hardest. They earn less, in real terms, than their grandparents did — but somehow, they are asked to pay for education, healthcare, housing, and bills that cost somewhere between 5, 10, or maybe 100 times as much.

The truth is that nobody — nobody can afford to live a decent life on an average American income anymore. $60K doesn’t buy you healthcare, housing, childcare, elderly care, education, bills — it barely even buys you maybe two or three of those things. But millennials aren’t even earning that much. Their average income is $30K, maybe $35K. How are they to afford all those things? Any of them? It’s laughable, isn’t it?

Hence, millennial culture is one of a kind of cynical, ironic fatalism. I don’t mean that in a mean or judgmental way. I mean it only in an explanatory one. You’d be bitter and fatalistic, too, if your society paid you $35K per year — if you were lucky — but only by indebting you to the point that you’d spend much of your life paying it off to begin with. That’s something more like indentured servitude with a polite name than it is freedom. Yes, really. What else does it mean when you spend most of your life paying back debt you incurred just to…live? You’d have to make everything a kind of joke about powerlessness, too.

Second, the economy offers people no upward mobility anymore — no real shot at a better life. The average American will live a worse life than his or her grandparents — no matter what they do, how hard they work, whatever they try. That is because upward mobility has all but vanished. That, in turn, is because the middle class imploded. America is now something very much like a caste society of a tiny number of ultra rich, a very large number of new poor, and a smaller number of old poor. The average person lives right at the edge, paycheck to paycheck. What social position or stratum you were born into largely determines your chances and outcomes in life. Born rich? You might become super rich. Born middle class? Welcome to the new poor. Born poor? Welcome to the very bottom.

The disappearance of upward mobility hits millennials hardest. Because there is almost nothing they can do, whatsoever, period, to improve their situations. They are the ones who have had to work “unpaid internships” and take “entry level jobs” that never turn into anything else — just to get a foothold on the ladder. Only there is no ladder anymore. There’s just a foothold, that you cling to, in the desperate hope of not falling off entirely. Maybe it’s no surprise then that millennials are so depressed. Their potential, squandered, sent up in smoke, has been the real price of a society in which snakes have replaced ladders.

Second, real living standards get worse every day. Life expectancy falls. Real income falls. Savings fall — past the zero point. Happiness falls. Anxiety rises. Depression soars. Suicide surges. I could go on, but that’s already a horrifying list — which, though we’ve grown accustomed to, we shouldn’t accept as normal. It’s not. It reflects vast multitudes of lives simply withering away and declining.

The rapid, stunning decline of living standards hits millennials hardest. They’re the ones without anything to cushion them. They don’t have savings or accomplishments or careers yet. They haven’t even forged their relationships yet. Hence, they have no real professional, social. or personal safety nets. Maybe it’s no surprise that so many of them are living in their parents’ homes. Maybe it’s no surprise they’re having less sex, fewer relationships, and putting off getting married and having kids.

If your life seems to be falling apart — no matter what you do, how hard you try — how are you going to have a marriage? Won’t you end up taking some of that despair and rage out on your partner? And who can even think of having kids when nothing you do ever seems to earn you a decent life anyways? Maybe you’d hate to take three anti-depressants, too. Maybe you’d be addicted to your phone, too, if “real” life was that bleak.

Third, the middle class careers and industries of the past have been utterly destroyed, and there’s no real way to make an honest living anymore. What there is is a casino economy — where you either join the house, or take your chances playing the game. Let me explain what I mean. What career options does a millennial really have? One, do a simple, humble, everyday job — be a teacher, farmer, small-town lawyer, accountant, plumber…and watch your life slowly implode, never make ends meet. Two, join the tiny number of massive winners of this economy — angle for a job at a Google, Amazon, or Facebook. But that’s joining the house, because the third choice is the weird panoply of non-careers open to millennials.

Hey! Don’t worry about so much about the future! Just become a YouTube star! Go become an Instafluencer! Maybe you can make a living off those funny, cynical, ironic tweets! Maybe one day you can own your own fleet of Ubers, or become an AirBnB landlord! Do you see what I mean a little? This weird, bizarre collection of not-quite-careers are the only real opportunities for upward mobility millennials really have.

But they are more like winning the lottery than devoting yourself to a career with a stable, secure payoff. Sure, you can try to become a YouTube star or an Influencer or what have you — but the chances of succeeding are exactly like playing the lottery. A tiny, tiny number of people win very, very big — and everybody else is essentially subsidizing them, earning nothing, or maybe a pittance every now and then. And furthermore, none of these are really “careers” in the sense that they don’t come with any kind of security or benefits whatsoever. Even if you do make it big on YouTube…what happens when the algorithm changes?

Consultant-types call these “portfolio careers” or maybe “entrepreneurship.” And don’t get me wrong. It’s nice that these new options exist. But not at the expense of the old ones. It should be not just possible but probable to make a good living as a teacher, civil servant, plumber, accountant, by doing simple, humble work — not just to strike it temporarily and precariously rich by becoming internet famous. A casino is seductive and glamorous — but it’s not a replacement for a functioning economy.

Now there’s a simpler way to put all that. Millennials are America’s first truly poor generation. They are the ones living at the inflection point of American decline and collapse, and so they are its first poor generation, too. Previous generations have had it tough, sure — but they’ve never really lived in the bizarre, gruesome poverty that millennials do. All the things I’ve described to you above are simply the realities of poverty, and that is what millennials really are: poor.

They don’t have money. They don’t have opportunities. They don’t have safety nets. They don’t have cushions. They don’t have mobility. They have to rely on their parents — if they’re lucky — and maybe live at home well into their middle age. They can’t afford things like healthcare, education, housing, and bills — they simply don’t earn enough money, never have, and never will. They can’t even afford to have basic relationships and marriages and partnerships anymore — one of the truest signs of real poverty. What they do have is debt, decline, stagnation, and despair.

Millennials are learning what it means to be poor — and teaching it, too. Genuinely, truly poor. To not be able to afford basics. A house, healthcare, paying off one’s debt, transport, savings, being able to pay the bills on time, a cushion for emergencies, a present or vacation for the loved ones so that relationships stay happy, stable things. Millennials can’t really afford any of those things. And so mostly, they don’t have them.

Now, nobody’s saying millennials live like the Congolese — like old, global poverty. But the deprivation of the basics is what poverty really is —and that applies to modern, stable, middle-class societies, too. Millennials are the first generation whose fortunes have declined in America — and they have declined so sharply and swiftly that millennials are effectively poor, even if their parents might have been prosperous.

So millennials live in a new, weird kind of poverty — the poverty of decline, of downward mobility, of stagnation. They are like the Soviet Union’s last generation, in a sense — only the mirror image: American collapse’s first truly poor generation. The first generation to have to lived in a formerly wealthy country which now has an imploded middle class, no functioning social systems, predatory institutions, failed elites, and broken dream. They are deprived of the things, material and immaterial, of a decent life. And so they make do, with what they can have, which isn’t much — mostly, digital things, that are free, like memes and jokes and tweets and whatnot. (There are other groups of long-standing poor, of course. Blacks, minorities, many kinds of marginalized people. But other generations? Not really — at least for a very, very long time now.)

There are many, many people who’ll find that uncomfortable, or maybe impossible to accept. Older folks will say: “we had it tougher!” Maybe. But they also had it easier, in key ways, too. There were bouts of inflation and unemployment, sure — but the economy hadn’t failed. Politics might not have been stable — but it hadn’t been taken over by extremists, either. Life might have been a struggle — but the dream hadn’t been shattered into pieces yet, either. Millennials are America’s first truly poor generation — or at least it’s first in a very long time, in modern times, since the Great Depression.

Am I asking you to cry for millennials? Not really. I’m asking you to see a cold, hard, brutal truth.

America is the world’s first poor rich country. And millennials are the first generation of new poor in it, the first full generation to experience the terrible, swift, shocking decline from prosperity to precarity. Young people without opportunities, chances, savings, incomes, safety nets, relationships, a future, the dream. They don’t know it perhaps, and no one seems to talk about — but they are learning what it means to live in poverty. And in that way, they are teaching the world, too, about what it really means to be a failed society.

Eudaimonia & Co

They took down this article and it is no longer available (which is why I had to post it here)

Remember, it's the younger generation where babies come from, so if the Millennial generation is financially struggling the birth rates for the society are going to be way down.
(Let's face it, those in the age range over 40 do not really have many children)

This could have long-term ramifications for the future.
I'd guess most of this is coming from the rising Income Inequality. The Corona bailout package is going to make that worse.

The situation is actually worse than what the numbers say, most of the super-rich hide money offshore.

And until we get a Progressive movement in control of the government, it will keep getting worse.

Rancid wrote:I clearly recall people complaining about this during OBama's time.

The voices were more silent, and not very loud coming from the mainstream media.
Especially during his second term.

If I didn't know better, I would say the media doesn't really care all that much about the issue of financial struggling of low level workers, and is just using it for political purposes, depending on who is president at the time.

I really wish we could have an honest discussion about the issue without automatic implications about who is president at the time. Because I really think that makes the arguments disingenuous, and is a massive deflect from the core issues.
Raise minimum wage to $20 an hour. Just don't do it in a slow way, like taking 10 years, when the $20 is worth $10.


Unionize. A lot of goodies every one enjoys came through unions
Stormsmith wrote:Raise minimum wage to $20 an hour. Just don't do it in a slow way, like taking 10 years, when the $20 is worth $10.


Unionize. A lot of goodies every one enjoys came through unions

The unions have absolutely proved their relevance with this whole corona thing. If it weren’t for them, millions of casual and insecure workers in Australia would have been done over. Did not see that coming.
Last edited by ness31 on 06 Apr 2020 07:57, edited 2 times in total.
late wrote:And until we get a Progressive movement in control of the government, it will keep getting worse.

Don't hold your breath Mr. Tardy...
Interesting read @Puffer Fish. These statistics have been around for quite sometime and may I add have been mentioned even during Obamas time, but the reason they seem more prominent today is the wealth divide keeps growing wider and wider. And now we have the Coronavirus meaning these statistics are even more important now as very soon the shit is going to hit the fan and this might snap the system into reset altogether. Yet it wasn't always that way.

Looking back in history the significance of the wealth divide started with Reaganomics and was made worse when industry was sent abroad giving the bourgeois greater profits and the proletariat weaker or no wages. The fix to keep people spending was credit but that created huge debt. When debt became unsustainable bailouts were required. And today we are printing bonds to pay income for low paid jobs that have now been lost over night and this will likely cause inflation and higher taxes in the future. The answer for the millennials is to stand up...


..they have the numbers but so far have not had the means or the will due to lack of significant hardship. But this is changing. Should we be heading for a depression, I suspect most, if not all, will want more of the pie that the 1% eat to themselves. People aren't going to eat crumbs when their bosses are eating steak.

I suspect things are changing. We just aren't there yet. But I don't see it being that long away now.

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