A Gen Z woman explained why her and other people in her generation aren't exactly stoked about going to work and it has nothing to do with laziness.
Mike (@thatginger457) explains in a viral TikTok that the current state of the economy with its rapidly increasing inflation rate that's spiked since 2021, and subsequent high cost of living, has made the prospect of working for the American dream doomed from the start.
With a staggering number of Americans in debt and living paycheck to paycheck, not to mention the surge in investment corporations buying up residential home units and the Biden administration having yet to deliver on its promise of curbing the mounting foundation of an entirely corporate-owned housing network in America, it's no wonder there are tons of people feeling hopeless about their futures.
Mike explains that all of this hopelessness is putting her in a place of mental ennui when it comes to her job and that she loves going to work, but that, like many Americans, she simply doesn't earn enough from her job in order to afford a place to live or food to feed herself.
"I don't want to work anymore," she says at the top of the video, but soon reveals that this was a fake out for folks who are quick to grab their pitch forks and decry Gen-Z'ers as being lazy ne'er do wells. She then explains the context of her opening statement further in the video.
"Now everyone who's not going to watch the full video can go comment about how lazy I am, how lazy my generation is and how we just don't want to work anymore." She inflects the last portion of her sentence with a sarcastic, mocking tone.
"And now for those that are still here: I will explain what we mean by that. I do want to work, if I didn't work I think I would honestly probably get so bored that I would just wanna off myself."
The TikToker continued, "Like most of us want to work. It helps give you purpose, it helps give you something to do, hopefully you do something you're passionate about, luckily for me I do do something I'm passionate about, so I genuinely like my job."
So if she enjoys doing her job, then what's the issue? Mike explains: "But the problem is the purpose of a job is to supposed to pay for your to be able to afford to live."
Mik says that under recent financial failings of the US government, which were disproportionately exacerbated in 2021 and onward, that it's "just not the case anymore. People in my generation who went to college who did everything they were supposed to do, worked hard in school, went to a good college, graduated with their degree, yadda yadda, got their first job and they can't afford to live."
After highlighting how folks are over-educated and underemployed, she goes on to say: "and we're working 40-60 hours a week like on average and we cannot afford to live. Like we just do not make enough to pay rent, to pay for food, everything is so expensive right now and wages are not keeping up with the cost of living. So we are working full-time, giving up a huge portion of our lives to work and we can't even afford to live."
Mik highlights how salary and hourly wage increases aren't keeping up with inflation at a high enough rate that allows full-time employees to be able to afford basic necessities, like food and housing, which is a fact of life for many Americans.
"That is why my generation is frustrated. That is why we don't want to work anymore because we work really hard and we still can't afford to even get by so what's the point? We can't afford to save, we can't afford to buy things we want. We can't afford to go out and do fun things, we can barely afford to pay our rent and buy food."
Mik's dismal depiction of the state of the US economy, especially when it pertains to food also has truth in it: food inflation has reached staggering new heights under President Joe Biden's administration, with USDA analysts projecting that number to increase into 2024.
She goes onto say that folks have had to resort to having multiple jobs in order to help make ends meet: "A lot of us have like 2 or 3 jobs or like work a full-time job and have several side hustles that is the case for me, and then older generations just look at us and they're like you're not working hard enough. This is your fault, like you're not working hard enough that's why you can't get —"
Mik says that this last statement is simply not the case: "The reason we can't get by is because the cost of living since the '90s has gone up 67% while the wages have only gone up 18%. So wages have not kept up with the cost of living. That is why we can't afford to live, not because we're lazy, not because we don't work, not because we don't want to work anymore, that is why."
Mik's assertions that there is a massive discrepancy in the buying power of money in the '90s compared to today, in 2023, is also correct, however, there are variances in the types of jobs and vocations. Those earning towards the lower end of salary pools, however, are most adversely affected by wage stagnation.
"We're also in extreme debt because everything is so much more expensive than it used to be, college is way more expensive than it used to be, cars are way more expensive than they used to be. Housing, way more expensive than it used to be. And on top of all that, politicians and older generations are destroying our environment, not doing anything to protect it so we don't even know that there'll be a habitable earth when we're older, to live in."
Mike also said that due to the fiscal catastrophes enacted by politicians, worrying about the future of the earth's environment has instilled a sense of dread among other folks of her generation: "So yeah, that makes us pretty pessimistic and nihilistic and not wanna work."
Numerous TikTokers agreed with her sentiment, stating that they, too, feel like they are in dire straits, with others urging folks to look at the last four years of US governance as a sign that leadership at the top needs to change.