The proverbial excrement is already smeared across each blade of the ceiling fan for most people under 30. If these numbers have any legitimacy — 55.3 percent of folks 16 to 29 have jobs right now. Yeah, yeah, they’re derived from government research, but let’s assume that they’re actually at least kinda accurate. For those of us who spent (probably wasted) our time going to college , 85% of Millenials are moving back home after graduating. Some of us are ’employed’ to the extent that we have jobs, but that doesn’t mean we are bringing in enough to pay the bills.
Our standard of living is significantly lower than that of the generations that came before us. A few days of hard work may have paid Dick Cheney’s apartment rent, back when he was a kid with some hair— but this is 2011. A month’s worth of labor these days will cover some rent and a few groceries for most. It’s not building anyone a nest egg. And, if you’re like me, you still have to call family for bailouts…
I might soon execute the Boomerang strategy myself to shave $800-900 a month off of my living expenses (unfortunately, I could not find Mr. Cheney’s $45 dollar rent rate, go figure). I am seeing little in the way of decently-paying jobs in the Beltway right now (I guess we can’t all take government contracts for the Pentagon), and it seems a redundancy to take labor jobs to pay rent and utilities when I can live under my parents roof for free, right? Basement-dweller stigma be damned, it’s smarter than doing the debt dance and getting obese on a sodium-laden ramen diet.
Essentially, our lives are being put in a kind of purgatory that no one anticipated. We were told if we worked hard, we’d attain the American Dream. We aren’t seeing that. It is bound to take an emotional, and psychological toll on most. Moreover, the whole ‘get a job and quit whining’ bit that some Baby Boomers and Gen Xers spew out isn’t quite right either. This little piece , written in 2006 by Daniel Gross (born in 1967 — NOT a Millennial), clearly didn’t see the hurricane of the 2008 crash that was fast-approaching, did it?
The Baby Boomers inherited a land of prosperity from the greatest generation, and squandered it.
The grievances of young people are legit. This isn’t just another recession. The economists might not be saying it on the airwaves, but for many people it’s very much a depression, and the Federal Reserve is hiding it with a ballroom masquerade of money printing.
I’m working on a piece over at The American Conservative that will attempt to asses the political ramifications of the Millennial crisis in the context of the larger global shitstorm the entire world is now swept up in (it should run in January). But this crisis goes much, much deeper than politics.
The crisis runs far deeper than just finances or ballot boxes. I go so far as to say it is a crisis of culture and morality by no stretch of the imagination. It’s multifaceted, inflicting troubles emotional, spiritual, psychological, and even sexual. It’s a big-ass can of worms. I can’t cover the scope of it in one or even 10 blog entries. It’s not a simple quarter-life crisis, though it certainly intersects and compounds with Millennial woes.
We face nothing short of being America’s next ‘Lost Generation‘.
Pardon the horribly trite cliche, but “we are all on this together.”
Some of us will make it, many will not.
So given that — how are you surviving?
What lengths have you gone to in order to get by?
What lengths are you willing to go to still?
I want to hear your stories — more importantly, what’s your plan to get ahead?