Pretty much everything costs more now. I'm not just talking about inflation, I'm talking value.
Want to own a home? Well it's exponentially more expensive today than it was in the past. Pay for college? While it was possible to work summer jobs back in the '70s and '80s to pay for a year of tuition, that's not happening today.
It also doesn't help that property and income taxes are increasing, and if you want health insurance for you and your family — a portion of your salary's going to get deducted for that. In many cases, you're still going to front a percentage of the costs, which are insanely high compared to the rest of the civilized world. So what's the average person who doesn't happen to be rich do when they finally want to retire?
Apparently, according to this Politico article, you're expected to just work longer, instead of, you know, affecting laws to make sure that the top 1 percent doesn't horde even more of the wealth that they already control.
The gut reaction many people had to the article was a simple one:
People weren't buying the whole "suck it up" and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" argument.
Probably because the bootstraps are exorbitantly overpriced and you need to finance a pair to own that incurs impossible interest rates designed to keep you in economic slavery forever.
Some people suspect a "baby boomer" wrote the article. You know, someone from a generation where working a single job (no side hustles required) was enough to purchase a home and have a spouse live at that home and take care of the kids.
The article had people responding with all sorts of dark jokes.
While others broke down what the writer's argument was, in its essence.
But then there those who started serving up facts - and it's that millennials, despite being ridiculously educated, knowledgeable, and skilled, are underpaid when compared to previous generations.
Never mind the fact that many basic tasks can be solved (and usually are) with computer automation. So you have people sitting around at jobs, who could be innovating, performing mindless tasks.
The fact that it's "normal" for students to be tens, and in some instances, hundreds of thousands in dollars of debt for majors and professions that don't pay (adjusted for inflation) as much as they did a generation ago, is absolutely insane.
It's enough to make people feel all sorts of hopeless.
I mean I've come across my fair share of defeatist millennials who don't hold themselves to the fire and hustle to go after their dreams. But for the ones who are, there's no question that the economic ads are stacked against them today.
And we're already seeing the effects of it now.
My own father is 65 years old and he's hustling now just to hold on to a property that his family has owned for decades.
But that's just the way things are now, I guess!
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