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It's seems genuinely incredible that we are STILL awash in articles about "Millennials" as though they're some kind of mysterious, elusive subset of humanity, when all it means is "People under 40 but older than 25." Basically, older than a tween but younger than a middle-aged person who's about ready to admit they're old. That's a vast group of people, and the only thing that actually ties them together is a very broad date of birth range. It ignores class, race, income level, geography, political affiliation, interests, and basically anything you would actually need to consider in order to lump a group of people together in a way that holds any meaning at all.
But old people love being mad at people younger than them and trying to understand why avocados are so darn expensive, so the "Millennial" articles continue. Thankfully, it seems like most of the internet has moved on from "MILLENNIALS ARE KILLING [X INDUSTRY]" posts, but only to a degree. Millennials are no longer exclusively stabbing and dismembering the fancy cloth napkin industry - they're doing all sorts of things, none of which the older generation can even begin to comprehend, for some inexplicable reason.
1. Millennials not starting families at age 18, in order to be rude to baby boomers who want to sell their McMansions
The most baffling thing about baby boomers' utter destruction of the economy and refusal to commit to any meaningful work protections for younger generations is that THEIR RETIREMENT DEPENDS ON DOING THE OPPOSITE. Millennials have inherited an economy that's mostly gig stuff like Uber (with no real protections and constant exploitation), low pay, and suffering obscene work conditions so billionaires can get fluff pieces written about how cool and rich they are. But the way an economy is SUPPOSED to work is that the younger generation pays for the older generation's retirement so they can stop working. Young people pay taxes into social security for the CURRENT generation receiving those benefits, and so on and so on. But what happens when the current young generation is too poor, tired, and exploited - and have decided against having kids?
Having kids is an expensive proposition, and it's only getting worse as Millennials face a future with less job security, less real income, and higher costs of living. Adding a baby into the picture is a pretty massive financial drain that too many people simply cannot afford - let alone for the purpose of helping baby boomer's sell their shitty houses (buying houses AT ALL is an incredibly difficult thing for most Millennials - especially after, uh, the last time the economy imploded because of people buying too many houses). The problem is that baby boomers' are - in large part - staking their retirement plans on being able to unload their crummy oversized houses out in the middle of nowhere to younger people for a premium price, and that proposition is OBVIOUSLY AN INCREDIBLY STUPID ONE. These houses are overpriced, far away from where jobs actually are (largely in the suburbs or more rural areas),
Maybe make the minimum wage high enough that someone can afford to pay RENT, and THEN we'll talk about PURCHASING HOMES.
"A minimum-wage worker would have to put in lots of overtime to be able to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country. And downsizing to a one-bedroom pad barely helps." https://t.co/k8LErEL3rk-- Central Outreach and Advocacy Center (@CentralOAC) July 4, 2018
2. Millennials have no work ethic! Oh and by the way you guys are cool with working until you're 90, right? You don't need concepts like "retirement" or "pensions", do you?
Analysis: Millennials should be willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did https://t.co/NiWsxQY7SW-- POLITICO (@politico) June 7, 2018
Here's the basic premise of the article - Millennials need to work longer, save more, and spend less. There are a few problems with this statement - one, "saving more and spending less" is a difficult proposition when MOST of us are deeply in debt, wages have fallen far behind inflation, housing costs have skyrocketed, the cost of higher education exploding, and actual decent-paying jobs (with benefits and some level of security) are becoming harder and harder to find. Oh, and the economy exploded like 10 years ago (right as the Millennial generation was entering the job market) and that probably hasn't helped things.
The article acknowledges all of this, but somehow doesn't come to the conclusion that the issue is systemic corruption, wealth hoarding, and anti-labor practices that have shifted the ground so immensely since previous generations that the Millennial generation is just boned completely. Instead, they decide Millennials should just be willing to never retire and keep on working for Jeff Bezos and Uber until they die on the job and their corpses shoved into a dumpster (much more affordable than an actual funeral).
At least they did the decent thing of having a featured image that looks like Thanos halved all decent wages with the snap of his fingers. If we have to be condescended to by bad faith arguments about how it's up to us to figure out what to do with the raw deal baby boomers left us with, at least we can have fun Avengers references.
3. Why don't Millennials want to be the bad guys from Caddyshack?
Ahhh jeez, why don't Millennials want to throw away a bunch of money every month to be able to hang out with the oldest, shittiest, most racist people imaginable, where they can also play the lamest, slowest, most resource-intensive sport? Oohh boy this is a toughie. Hmmm. Maybe because?
- Country clubs are basically shorthand for class and racial exclusion, very famously not allowing anyone in who wasn't rich, white, and Christian?
- Exclusively filled with old people and their gross old person smell?
- "Paying money every month to have the privilege to hang out in a building" is the dumbest goddamn shit imaginable. I can hang out with my friends basically anywhere, and for no additional cost! And I won't be expected to dress up like a golf goon to do so.
The article, of course, acknowledges most of this, but still thinks it's a question worth asking? They even come out and say this early on, regarding the cost of joining a country club:
(Annual country-club dues run several thousand dollars on average, plus an initiation fee that's usually no less than $5,000.)
SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS EVERY YEAR, in addition to an upfront cost of $5,000 (or more)? And what do you get out of it? A place to play golf with other people who are wildly older than you and share nothing in common with you? A crummy restaurant where everything is overpriced? A pool? A place where you HAVE to dress up to be allowed in?
That's okay. I'll keep my money and be the bad guy from a movie where their habits are a little less expensive.
4. Should America continue exclusively electing insanely old people who have no ability to relate to anyone under 60 years old?
Hmmm, this is a tough one - should people in their mid-30s have any say in the future of their country and the world, or should we continue entrusting that task to a bunch of extremely old rich people who have done just SUCH a bang-up job so far? Of course, what set this off was the shocking primary win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, beating longtime Democrat mainstay / old man Joe Crowley - and with Ocasio-Cortez being 28, a lot of the old people in Congress who hold all of the power are SCARED. What if THEY get run out by young people who actually care about their constituency and want to make changes that would improve people's lives, instead of doing nothing and constantly going on vacation?
Oh, right - here's the Congressional schedule. Note that they get THE ENTIRE MONTH OF AUGUST OFF, and usually at least a full week off once a month.
That's sorta besides the point - the point is that a bunch of old rich people MAY not have the best interest of the majority of Americans at heart, which would help explain why Congress mostly can never get anything done and why their approval rating (for both Democrats and Republicans) is miserably low. If they don't actually CARE about Millennials, how are they supposed to meaningfully represent them? The article in question even points this out - saying that "Congress is currently dominated by baby boomers who likely won't live to see the consequences of the legislation they pass" and that Millennials represent a massive voting bloc:
It's refreshing to see a Millennial headed to Congress -- a body dominated by Baby Boomers. At 28, Ocasio-Cortzez will be only the 6th Millennial in D.C. (out of 535). By the way, Millennial are also the largest voting block in the country.-- Mateusz 'Mat' Tomkowiak (@MatForAll2018) June 27, 2018
But then it goes on to question this logic as only one side of the coin - saying that experience is very important, even though it doesn't take much effort to find examples of the most "experienced" representatives taking extraordinarily dumb / backwards positions, because they also tend to be old, rich, and disconnected from the reality of not being old and rich. Diversity of thought in terms of age range seems like it would naturally be an obvious good thing - younger people will bring fresher ideas and be more connected to the people they actually represent. And none of this is to say we should get rid of ALL of the old, experienced people.
...although, looking at the state of things currently, we should 100% get rid of all of the old, experienced people. They're always saying Millennials won't work hard - but I believe we can work as hard as the baby boomers in Congress (who - reminder - take vacations every single month and almost never accomplish anything good in the rare instances they DO show up for work).