This Good Friday, Christians celebrate the murder of Jesus for the sins of the world as foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament, fulfilling the great promise by God to reconcile the world to Himself and open the way for those who believe in Him to get to Heaven. It is the day when the crucifixion brought new life to the world, and hence why it is called good.
However, there is another crucifixion which is pending at the moment, which is that of the Boomer generation by the Millennials and Gen Z. The hatred of both groups for each other is palpable in online discussions and worsens with each year. The older generations accuse the younger generations of a lack of work ethic, laziness, and docility, while the younger generations say that the Boomer generation is callous, immature, and ignorant of economic realities.
Both groups have a point to be made in varying degrees. However, and I speak of this not as a millennial myself but as one who has observed and experienced for some years the economic changes that began in 2007, the younger generations are more correct than their older counterparts because many of the issues which Millennials and Gen Z continue to face are long-term systemic problems in their ability to grow into society directly related to policies instituted by the Silent Generation and the Boomers for their direct benefit and whose long term consequences were ignored out of selfishness. This is not to say that Millennials or Gen Z do not have their own problems which are self-inflicted, or that there is not other paths they could traverse (which is a very important discussion for another time), but that the pathologies they have developed to a large extent are rooted in the fact that they are faced with problems in scale and intensity that the Boomers never had to and are for the most part being left to fight for themselves and when they ask for help, many of them only give snippets of worthless advice followed by outright contempt from the older generations.
It is the responsibility of every generation to prepare the way for the success of the next one in every way. Certainly fiscal or social gain is not the most important focus of life, but the ability to provide is a responsibility of parents. Sometimes children do not take the steps to care for themselves by their own choices, but even then parents have a job to try to help as they can. Even in the Bible, the father of the prodigal son took him in after he returned having squandered his inheritance, and while he will certainly not receive what his brother in the story will, at least he will be able to have a home and a hope of getting married and having a family which he can pass on something of spiritual and material value to.
This is not so with the Boomer generation and their parents, who sold the wealth earned by previous generations that they might party throughout their lives in a tremendous orgy of self-indulgence. The Millennials were for the most part raised by Boomer parents, and they did experience good things as children. However, children being who they are, do not always know how things get from one point to another. In the case of their parents, they do not know where the good things they enjoyed came from, just that they were there because that is what they were shown, yet not knowing that it was mostly from money that was either borrowed on the expectation of a perpetual increase in values of assets driven by inflation and money-printing, or through the evisceration of small and medium-size businesses and asset classes being sold to foreign or trans-national corporate interests to get quick money.
All the while the Millennials’ parents were earning more with less effort at many of the same jobs done today with more effort and less benefits and far less income, they also consented to many legal changes that made it difficult for people younger than them to get ahead. One of the worst of these laws was the change to the bankruptcy code which states that debt incurred by student loans cannot be discharged by a bankruptcy court, thus reviving the 19th century burden of debt slavery, and then to than advocating for changes to the laws that allow for loans to be given to all people without discriminating between those who would likely be able to pay back such a loan versus those who likely could not. This drove up the price of education drastically as colleges saw students as milk cows for cash, and the Boomer parents then encouraged their children to take out said non-dischargable loans to pay for college. During this same time their parents also bought larger and larger homes, and encouraged their children to do the same.
When the 2007 economic crash happened, all generations were severely affected. However, the Boomers were able to best handle it because having been in the work force for so long, many of them had either substantial asset holdings, savings, or jobs which could offset the tremendous amount of debt they put themselves into so they could at least service debts month-to-month without having to seriously change their lifestyle. The Millennials, as they were just coming into the workforce and had little in savings but were strapped with tremendous debt and now little to no serious job prospects, and those with prospects generally had situations incredibly more precarious than that of their parents, they were not able to withstand the tremendous economic changes. Gen Z, while they came much later, have started to feel the “pinch” the Millenials have for over a decade because the fundamental problems that exposed themselves fully in 2007 were never treated, leading to a continual long-term decline interspersed by periodic and continually lessening “spikes” of economic prosperity, also known as the “dead cat bounce.”
The oldest of the Millennials is 38 this year, and the youngest is 25. These are not “young people” any more, but people who should be getting married, buying homes, and having families. However, this is not happening save for exceptional cases. Home ownership is declining, and many Millennials have already “accepted” that they will forever rent because they simply cannot afford a home. Few are getting married, simply because due to many laws installed during the Silent and Boomer generations’ prime years, it has made getting married a hazardous business for a man because divorce laws legally allow a woman to strip a man of not only assets he possesses, but assets which he currently does not have or is projected to earn, and if he does not pay, he can be thrown into prison. Children only make this situation more intense, because of the ability it has to divide families and create tension within families. Those who do get married, if they do have children, increasingly are having only a single child, as the “2.5” children” has become a relic of the past, remembering that the current US fertility rate of 1.8 births per woman is driven largely by immigration and immigrant women who have children as opposed to the American women who are choosing to be sterile.
It is true that Millennials are to be blamed for many things, including a rise in paganism and a decline in Christian practice, as well as a support or deviant practices such as sodomy and now outright socialism. But before one blames them completely, where does one suspect they either learned or had the desire grown within them for such things? It came from their parents, who supported socialist policies for many decades beginning with the Social Security system and the legal subjugation of the churches by the Supreme Court from assisting the poor and needy in the ways they traditionally did. Neither generation worked to improve the problems that existed, but only made them worse out of self-interest while continuing with many ideas that previous generations of people had because of culture and not principle.
The problems that built for a long time reached a breaking point with the Millennials, as it was under them that the ugliness of past decisions finally began to be exposed because it could not be hidden any longer. The Millennials, lacking knowledge or direction generally from those entrusted to give direction to them, attempted through a variety of ways to deal the situation, which gave rise to various forms of pathological and anti-social behavior that are but coping mechanisms for a screwed up world. After all, why not travel or go to a fancy restaurant more so if one cannot afford it, since there is no hope anyways of paying off one’s student loans ever?
Now some of the Boomers have relaxed their criticism of the Millennials. Many have not done this, but only intensified their criticism. This was exemplified in an article published by the Daily Stormer and went viral on 4Chan and 8Chan, which had a Boomer business owner in Colorado ranting about Millennials and Gen Z, how they don’t want to work for example at his shop for the wages he offers (I believe the video said $9.50 an hour), and how they are losers.
He later deleted the video and most of his channel after 4Chan people harassed him and eventually doxxed him. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a copy of the video saved online.
What was most interesting to me were the comments he received from the people, which the ones on the video were deleted, but the essence was preserved in the online discussions as well as on the Daily Stormer:
Again, I want to add that every generation must take responsibility for themselves, but that one must also take a careful look at circumstances and how they became what they are.
As a Millennial, I look around at my own high school classmates, and my wife to hers, and we see that so few have gotten married, or even had children. Most do not own homes, save for a few who in most cases were very fortunate to get certain jobs right out of college. Even for those people, many of them are struggling financially.
I can think of countless examples of such incidents. There was the couple with three children who lost their home because of the debt and had to declare bankruptcy, only to move to a slum in a major city, and only in the last several years were able to recover by moving across country to a much poorer area to start their lives over, albeit both parents have to work now as they work towards the future. I think of a pair of brothers who were laid off and could not find work again, and so have been struggling to support their parents and themselves in a poor area. I am reminded of another woman who is single and burdened with over $100K in student loans that she will likely never be able to pay off.
The list goes on in my own mind from experiences, but these are all real people. Certainly one cannot say that they are absolved from their actions, as the same applies to myself and anybody. It is not good to simply blame others for one’s problems, but to do something about them. It is the job of the elders to help, and there are many which have, or those who did not but now are helping.
What needs to happen here is the opposite of what took place in this online discussion that is reflective of the popular sentiments right now. The rhetoric from BOTH sides- Boomers and Millennials/GenZ -needs to calm down a lot, and I would add in particular from the Boomer side because of the above reasons, and I should add to that the fact that the Millennials are taking power as part of the natural cycle of generations.
The Millennials are frustrated, but many of them and Gen Z harbor murderous desires, and they do not have the restraint on them as older generations did because they are non-religious and so go by their own ideas of right and wrong, which always leads to a moralization of one’s own impulses.
These people are angry enough they may murder their own parents. They rightly feel they have been left to swim in a burning river, because they have, and things are not getting better. However, their anger is going to likely come out at their parents, and this is not good. It is a dangerous trend, and Boomers in particular should pay attention because there are no signs of this getting better.
The Millennials are more inclined to call each other out if they act in ways that are disordered. What they need to do is to return to Christ, and to disavow all false idols in the form of political ideologies that are set up to perpetuate the worsening conditions, which means a firm break from, resolve from, and action against all forms of socialism being offered as answers, be it the economic internationalism of the Democrats and Andrew Yang or the blood-and-soil, nationallism of Steve Bannon and his deviants, and then to work in ways directed at improving themselves and their economic situation with those close to them.
If you are a Boomer and you are reading this, as far as corporeal actions are concerned, one of the best things you can to is to help a Millennial or Gen Zer you know or have direct contact with, as much as possible, to better himself. This can take a variety of forms, and I speak not of money, but specifically of experiences or other acquired things of value. For example, helping such a person get into a job, or learn a skill, or even just giving him (if he is poor or seems to be poor) some canned food and maybe some old tools so he can help himself.
Don’t do it just to anybody, and certainly one does not need to be fancy or excessive. It is about showing care for such an individual and trying to do something within one’s capacity. To exercise compassion and the corporeal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy, as the Catholic Church teaches.
Some may not care, and that is a sad reality. However, most of them will care, as there are many who feel abandoned, isolated, and depressed at what has become the general inability to better themselves no matter what many of them try to do, which has direct affects on their ability to form a household and their future.
I speak because I know from experience. I remember well those of the older generation who helped me get through the difficult times and get to where I am. I have not forgotten, and I am still greatly appreciative today of those who helped me.
The intergenerational hatred needs to stop on both sides. This is a serious social bomb that those who would encourage social disarray are banging on in the hope that it will explode. The hatred is already being practiced, such as one example from 4Chan below:
Christ died for the human race to save us from our sins today. Perhaps it is time that both sides likewise put to death many of the legitimate grievances currently and in the past concerning the generational destruction of wealth, and as they are able to, to work together for a better tomorrow. This is something that will hurt, and most likely will be done on an individual or local level.
But it can be done, and it must. The elders have much they can offer, and the younger have much of the same. Forgiveness followed by reconciliation must take place lest in pursuit of justice one sins against charity and mercy by using this conflict to justify violence that will lead to bloodshed of the innocent on all sides.