All that’s to say I’m tired of “It sucks to be a Millennial; let’s keep talking about it.” It’s old news. Let’s move on to something else.
Mr. Thompson had an interesting factoid in his article: “Consumers ages 25 to 34 are spending less at traditional grocers than their parents’ generation did in 1990.” But he didn’t mention what I suspect is the main driving factor behind Millennials spending less at grocery stores: They aren’t having children.
I read your article and feel it articulates the current condition of the Millennial generation as far as their ability to have and grow their share of the economic pie goes. I would like to suggest that it is time for the Millennial generation to find its voice in the economy by reinventing what it means to unionize in a capitalistic environment.
Using social media, emails, and live gatherings, Millennials could create union-like groups without paid representatives or representative heads, staying a truly democratic voting group on issues that include wages and management decisions. They need only figure out how to create the organization that can pose the questions before the entire workforce, and point out peaceful action to achieve their goals.
I think it is the duty of journalists to remind this new generation that there is strength in finding your voice in a group and as a group. Otherwise, the disparity in the economy is going to keep growing, and the future for most will be, at best, one of just getting by, with more people giving up on their dreams.
If it is wrong to simplistically blame Millennials for sabotaging our economy, it is also wrong to take responsibility away from them as they abandon historic American institutions. The truth is somewhere in between. The promise was never, If you go to college, you will get a good job. The promise was, If you go to college and work your derriere off, you might get a good job, if you are content to patiently parlay weaker jobs into better jobs, as has been done by all generations since time immemorial.
Millennials are not being forced into parents’ basements. Millennials lack the outlook that such lagging aspiration is unacceptable.
I agree with the author that the American system has thrown us Millennials into debt, depressed our wages, kept us from buying our own homes, and then blamed us for everything. As a Millennial myself, I deal with these particular issues almost every day. I go to college to earn myself a degree, yet my paycheck is nothing like it had been for previous generations. To be able to afford going to college, I had to take out student loans, ultimately leading me into debt. As much as I would love to have my own apartment, I simply can’t afford it due to the real-estate market prices being so out of reach and unaffordable. If that is not simply enough, when interacting with certain individuals of previous generations I receive comments such as, Oh, it’s because of those pesky iPhones. This article has truly been very accurate.
Camila Elizabeth Rose
Student, Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Fla.