Poverty among Millennials and the Zoomers is a very serious problem that is ignored or seriously misunderstood by generally Boomers and and lot of GenX. While the latter two generations fared much better, although Boomers did significantly better than GenX, the Millennials and Zoomers have been left with practically nothing except piles of debt, a declining economy, and no mathematical way, no matter how hard they work, to pay the debts, let alone basic bills for living. This is causing a lot of sadness and anger among them, including them having to resort to desperate means, such as scraping for a few dollars, or selling softcore porn to pay for rent as the New York Times reports.
The 2008 crisis made young Americans then more reluctant to invest in the stock market. Millennials today have, on average, only a third of the stock market holdings that Generation X did before the 2008 financial crisis, according to the data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.
That means that young households have not enjoyed the market gains that came over the last decade. Today, the average member of Generation X has 10 times more wealth from the stock market then millennials.
Jack Ankenbruck, 25, who until last month made a living playing drums in a band in Nashville, began putting money into an investment account with the start-up Acorns last year and had gotten it up to $2,000 by February. The value of the account plunged by almost half in recent weeks, making him question his decision to put it there in the first place.
“I’m thinking, ‘What if I’d just kept that $30 a week — I’d still have that money,’ and I could use it now,” said Mr. Ankenbruck, who has been trying to make some money playing concerts online. (source)
I am not usually touched by news stories because I see so much. As much as I have written about this topic before, this story touched me because I understand on a deeply personal way what these people are experiencing.
It cannot be said enough that while there is much the Millennials are responsible for, they and the Zoomers inherited a dung pile of Boomer and to a lesser extent, GenXer waste from decades ago that they are being told is their responsibility.
I do not want to define this as a generational struggle between people. Rather, this is a question of responsibility. The fact is that the Boomers were in charge of the organs of society for a long time, and instead of being responsible, they squandered their wealth and borrowed against the future using credit that future generations would have to pay back, and the Millennials are paying it back right now by having their wealth expropriated from them in the form of significantly more work for significantly less pay, reduced benefits, and the end of job security.
This is not a question of a lack of motivation. It is a question of (a) a declining job pool, (b) a drastically expanding labor pool, (c) policies that favor the exploitation of the working man in the name of excessive profits, (d) the application of usury on the money supply, and (e) the devaluation of the currency itself by debt to socialize corporate losses while privatizing gains and inflating stock prices so to drive the perception of value.
Most of this is a policy issue, and a lot of it happened on the watch of the Boomer generation. Those who are most responsible are those in positions of major power in business and finance, but it is also bad to support such policies since it is equivalent to supporting the abuse of a man by the abuser without even any attempts to stand against it.
This is why Millennials and Zoomers are suffering. Even those who want to work hard, who are motivated, are unable to gain a return from their work to a point that their efforts are not worth what is being invested, especially as they age and the stress begins to affect their health and mental capabilities. It is why there are estimates showing that Millennials are likely going to die at younger ages than the Boomers by comparison, because they are being destroyed from the stress of the economic situation. It is also why the Millennials are turning to ideas such as socialism or other forms of violence, because they are so frustrated with the current radical imbalances of power they are seeking out solutions that are equally radical and dangerous, just as a pendulum swings from one side to the other.
The virus situation has just exposed the rot that has existed for a decade but has been politically covered up because if the full nature of the damage was exposed, it could cause a revolution because of how many people have been affected. Now that it has come out, there will likely be calls from impoverished, frustrated, confused Millennials and Zoomers for something to be done, and encouraging them will be the same over-wealthy individuals who created the situation in the first place so that they can eventually create in America what exists in Russia- a small class of super wealthy individuals, and then a mass of people who are completely impoverished with no hope for the future.
If this continues, not only may there be socialism in the future, but the past will become the present, lest we fail to learn from it.