Millennials are largely the children of the Boomers, but unlike the Boomers, the Millennials came of age starting around 2007, the year of the great economic crash and into an eviscerated job market that continues to worsen with few prospects for future improvement. While it has been popular to blame Millennials for “destroying” various industries, the hard data shows that the industries were “destroyed” because the people who they would theoretically pass to lack the physical capital or the ability to earn said capital not because of a lack of industry or desire, but because the money is not there. It would be akin to attempting to draw blood out of a stone- one cannot take what is not there.
The Boomers incurred high amounts of debt, but they were more easily able to pay it off or at least, control it due to economic conditions around them. Millennials do not have this luxury, and with more debt than their parents ever had largely driven by student loans and with little hope of paying them back for decades as well as with lower paying jobs and higher cost for products due to inflation, the wealth of Millennials has declined by 34% on average from that of their parents according to a report:
Millennials are doing far worse financially than generations before them, with student loans, rising rents and higher health care costs pushing the average net worth below $8,000, a new study shows.
The net worth of Americans aged 18 to 35 has dropped 34 percent since 1996, according to research released Thursday by Deloitte, the accounting and professional services giant. This demographic is paying more for education and such basics as food and transportation while incomes have largely flatlined.
“The vast majority of consumers are under tremendous financial pressure,” said Kasey Lobaugh, Deloitte’s chief retail innovation officer and lead author of the study. “That is particularly true for low-income Americans and millennials.”
The growing gap between the nation’s wealthiest residents and everybody else, he said, is affecting the way consumers spend.
Education expenses have climbed 65 percent in the past decade. Food costs have jumped 26 percent, health care is up 21 percent, housing jumped 16
Today’s 20- and 30-somethings spend about 17 percent of their incomes on education, health care and rent, compared with 12 percent a decade ago, the study found. Discretionary spending, which includes dining out, alcohol and furniture, has remained largely flat, at about 11 percent of total income.
“Only 20 percent of consumers were meaningfully better off in 2017 than they were in 2007, with precious little income left to spend on discretionary retail,” the study found.
The findings, researchers say, “debunk many conventional wisdoms about the new-age consumer.” Millennials, they contend, are putting off home-buying and marriage not because they want to, but because rising costs are making it difficult for them to afford down payments and weddings.
“The narrative out there is that millennials are ruining everything, from breakfast cereal to weddings, but what matters to consumers today isn’t much different than it was 50 years ago,” Lobaugh said. “Generally speaking, there have not been dramatic changes in how consumers spend their money.”
Overall, U.S. retail spending has grown about 13 percent since 2005, to roughly $3 trillion a year, but researchers say much of that growth is tied to population growth, not consumers spending more.
In the past decade, the nation’s highest earners – households making $100,000 or more – watched their incomes rise 1,305 percent more than those in households making less than $50,000 a year.
There is one area, though, where consumers are spending less than they once did: Clothing. Shoppers are spending half as much on apparel as they did a decade ago, even as they buy more items, the study found.
Lobaugh said the reasons for that shift are both economic and cultural. Retailers are churning out cheaper clothing and selling it at lower prices as they try to compete with fast-fashion chains like H&M and Zara. At the same time, American are buying more casual and athletic wear, which tends to be cheaper than business suits and formal wear. (source, source)
What would be interesting to compare would be the distribution of wealth. There are some Millennials who are doing very well, and are living a lifestyle similar to the Boomers. However, this is a very small group, and yet, they are also the group that has been able to save money. Most Millennials have been unable to not because they do not desire to, but because most of their expenses are consumed by the basic costs of living. That is to say, there seems to be a small group of Millennials who have what would be considered “normal” savings accounts, and a majority who have nothing whatsoever.
Shoebat.com reported that according to a recent study, one-quarter of Millennials are using credit card debt to pay for basic expenses. This is a sign of serious financial trouble, because people cannot expect to spend money that must be paid back to pay for living costs as it creates a cycle of perpetual indebtedness. It is a guaranteed disaster.
Make no mistake, there is much blame that can be placed on the Millennials, the most obvious of which is the abundance of information make available by the Internet and how too few have availed themselves of it, choosing entertainment and selfishness over making themselves aware of what is happening around them. The Boomers made the same error, but lacked the instant availability to acquire said information as their children have. But having said this, the suffering of the Millennials must not be underlooked or disregarded because many of them are, as they want to live dignified lives but cannot pay for basic necessities and so are forced into a cycle of poverty similar to peoples who live in inner-city areas today or the historic ravages of poverty in the American countryside.
The term “white trash” is commonly applied to poor people of mixed Anglo-Saxon origins in the regions of Appalachia throughout the south and sometimes Midwest. While many do engage in behaviors that are degenerate or dangerous, the origins of their poverty are not simply due to a lack of industry,but to a crushing combination of debt, a lack of serious and well-paying work, high prices, and a general ignorance of knowledge combined with less of a lack of will power but the lack of physical energy on account of the systematic enervation of trying to survive daily life that keeps many trapped in their state. What people once laughed at is now becoming for the Millennial and Zoomer generations a way of life not limited to a few areas in a number of states, but throughout the whole country.
The future of the US is going to be with diminished wealth and prosperity. To those who are wise, it would be to get what wealth one can at the moment and save it, as economic conditions are likely not going to improve in the long-term and one must prepare himself for what lays ahead.