What Hope for the Millennial Generation in Politics?

Yves here. We are a bit leery of overdoing generational memes in politics, since as Lambert and I stress, cohorts defined by marketers don’t have agency. Please tell us where to find a Boomers’ lobbyist. Mark Zuckerberg has more in common with much older tech squillionaires than he does with proles ordinary people his own age. The 0.1% and 1.0% have been wining the class war, and getting everyone else pitted against each other on various identity lines like age cohort is a great way to keep the opposition divided and weak.

Having said that, successful political and economic action requires recognizing the different perspectives and priorities of various groups in communicating with them and building support.

By Oliver Ward, a freelance journalist and the political editor of ASEAN Today. His work has been featured in The London Economic, International Policy Digest, The Duran and The East Asia Gazette among other places. Originally published at openDemocracy

Millennials have faced a litany of charges in the media from displaying traits of narcissism, self-entitlement and laziness to killing off traditional attitudes to marriagevacations, and even causing the future demise of Home Depot. They are infantilised and derided, branded as a generation of “Peter Pans” who shun responsibility and fear growing up.

But unlike the baby boomers before them, millennials have not had the opportunity to step out of their parent’s shadow and flourish. The economic climate of the 21st century has produced a generation of overworked and underpaid employees living through a rise in right-wing thought that is testing the resilience of the political system on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the US, the average millennial enters the workforce with more than $37,000 of student debt. Millennial unemployment is more than double the national average, and those who do find work are paid salaries that are 20 per cent lower than those the baby boomers received when they were the same age. Between 2008 and 2013, millennials were the only section of the workforce who saw their real wages fall.

With real wages sinking and student debt climbing, economic circumstances are causing millennials to postpone taking on financial responsibilities. In 1985, the 21-34 demographic accounted for 38 per cent of America’s car sales, a figure that had fallen to 27 per cent by 2010. Between 2008 and 2011, half as many young people took out a mortgage than between 1998 and 2001. Despite falling prices for food and clothing, younger generations trail their parents’ wealth at the equivalent age by seven percentage points.

The decision to put off marriage, children, and purchasing a home is not borne out of some  “Peter Pan syndrome;” it’s a product of the economic uncertainty that faces most millennials, who havn’t been fed the same economic nourishment that promoted maturity, self-sufficiency and independence among their parents. Instead, economic malnourishment has left many craving the financial safety and security of the nest. More than a third of 25-29-year-olds report moving back into the family home at some point.

Millennials grew up with the mantra that a college degree guarantees a better life, but after graduating into a recession they are discovering that this is an illusion. Education-inflation has eroded the value of an undergraduate degree even though employers now expect undergraduate studies for even the most rudimentary positions.

Once entering employment, millennials are facing longer workdays. Rather than a lazy generation fused to their iPads, they work longer hours than their parents’ generation. ‘Manpower Group’ found that millennials in the US shun the 40-hour working week, with the average young worker putting in 45 hours a week and 21 per cent of the survey’s millennial respondentsworking more than one job to make ends meet. A ‘Project:Time Off’ survey also found that millennials are more likely to forfeit paid vacation (24 per centcompared to 17 per cent of baby boomers among respondents).

How does this feed through into politics?

Millennials are confronted by a two-party political system that doesn’t look like them, speak like them, reflect their political views or address their core concerns about precarity. The under-30 demographic is the most ethnically diverse in American history, but the 115thCongress that took office in January 2016 was made up of just 19 per cent women, nine per cent African-Americans, seven per cent Hispanic members, three per cent Asian-Americans, and one per cent openly gay members.

That’s one reason why young voters are disenchanted with politics. Baby boomers now outvote millennials by some 30 per cent and voting among the under-30 demographic in non-presidential elections is at its lowest rate in 50 years. This means that millennial concerns are often overlooked in favour of themes that resonate with a candidate’s older core voters. But without candidates that inspire them, a growing number of young people are turning their backs on the traditional political system.

A growing majority of 18-35 year old voters reject the core values of both the Democrats and the Republicans. A Reuters/IPSOS poll showed that the Democrats have lost nine percentage points of support among voters aged 18-35 in the last two years. But this support is not going to the Republican Party. Only 28 per cent of 18-35 votersexpressed support for the Republicans, the same figure as two-years ago.

These unaffiliated voters are politically receptive and ready to put their support behind a candidate or a party that speaks for them. But neither of the established parties have offered much to excite the millennial generation. However, when millennials do mobilise behind a candidate they become a powerful voting bloc. Bernie Sanders attracted more than 80 per cent of the under-30 vote in key states like Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and partly as a result was able to mount a coherent campaign in the Democratic presidential primaries.

Most recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezhas emerged as a beacon for millennial voters. A 28-year-old community activist and former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer, Ocasio-Cortez defeated the incumbent and senior leader of the House, Joseph Crowley, in New York’s 14th Congressional District Democratic primary in June 2018.

Ocasio-Cortez is running on a Democratic platform, but she doesn’t fit the Democratic mould. On paper, she is even further to the left than Sanders, and supports the abolition of ICE (America’s immigration enforcement agency), free college tuition, and universal healthcare. Her off-the-script running campaign acknowledged her break from the Democratic faithful. Rather than targeting Democratic voters she went after the unaffiliated, persuading them to register as Democrats to vote in the primary, which they did in overwhelming numbers.

The Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez campaigns have shed some light on what it might take to bring millennial voters back into the political fold, and what the future of American politics could look like if they did.

Firstly, millennials don’t subscribe to the current two-party model. Although Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez emerged from within the Democratic Party they occupy the fringes, living in a political River Styx with one foot in the Democratic camp and the other in a political world of their own making.

Secondly, millennial voters are not single-issue voters. Unlike their parent’s generation, just because a candidate aligns with them on one core issue doesn’t mean that they will feel sufficiently inspired to head to the polls and vote. This was evident in the 2016 presidential election, when Donald Trump ran on a platform to reduce the influence of established economic and political interests in politics—a message that is often promoted in millennial circles—but he still lost the youth vote to Hilary Clinton.

Finally, young people are acutely aware of the limitations of the four-year-democratic-cycle. They crave solutions to problems that transcend such cycles like climate change and racial injustice. Neither problem has a solution which can demonstrate results within a single term. These issues consistently rank at the top of millennial voter agendas but are rarely priorities for established political candidates, who prefer to channel resources into issues which have quick solutions and produce tangible results that they can call on to drive their re-election campaigns.

But as generational shifts reduce the political influence of the baby boomers, millennials have the opportunity to transform American politics. They have the chance to break up the two-party system, perhaps introducing new parties founded on millennial values or pushing the Democratic Party to the left. Millennial voters could also force both parties to confront the limitations of the current political system. Revitalising democracy to tackle the problems of the modern world would inspire millennial voters and could lead to the emergence of grassroots movements campaigning for reform within the American political system.

Ocasio-Cortez was recently quoted in the left-wing magazine ‘In These Times’ as saying this: “the only time we create any kind of substantive change is when we reach out to a disaffected electorate and inspire and motivate them to vote.”

In millennials she has found a whole generation of disaffected voters—disaffected by an economy that has left them working longer hours for less pay than their parents’ generation; disaffected by the pursuit of education and a better life that has left them saddled with debt; and disaffected by a political system that has pushed them and their left-leaning beliefs into the margins.

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders are showing that millennial voters carry political clout, and that it is perfectly possible to bring them back into the political fold. The Democrats and Republicans can ill-afford to dismiss them as non-voters in the future. Whether or not the two party system survives, the millennial generation will be a force to be reckoned with in the future of American politics.

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  1. NJ

    Firstly, millennials don’t subscribe to the current two-party model. Although Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez emerged from within the Democratic Party they occupy the fringes, living in a political River Styx with one foot in the Democratic camp and the other in a political world of their own making.

    Ocasio-Cortez did not make the political world she inhabits. It’s more accurate to say the the American political spectrum has seemingly long forgotten that there is such a thing as truly left wing, and the Millennials figure (perhaps correctly) that if the hard right GOP and centre-right Democrats are unwilling and unable to help them, then perhaps it’s time to give the left a chance. This also explains why among Millennials Socialism is no longer the dirty word it once was a generation ago.

    Sadly, it doesn’t take much research into the diabolically complex laws governing minor political parties to realise that the USA isn’t going to have a third party any time soon.

    Not too long ago Jacobin released a good article on the mechanics of trying to form a third political party, the problems with the system, and an interesting proposed workaround:


      1. Shane Mage

        “the two-parties are at base associations of office-holders with weak/no structures for accountability” This is rather precisely what Madison called the “permanent factions” that he thought constituted the greatest threat to republican government.

    1. Carolinian

      That’s an important article.

      “One of the best-kept secrets in American politics,” the eminent political scientist Theodore Lowi has written, “is that the two-party system has long been brain dead — kept alive by support systems like state electoral laws that protect the established parties from rivals and by federal subsidies and so-called campaign reform. The two-party system would collapse in an instant if the tubes were pulled and the IVs were cut.”[…]

      electing individual progressives does little to change the broad dynamics of American politics or American capitalism. In fact, it can create a kind of placebo effect: sustaining the illusion of forward motion while obscuring the fact that neither party is structurally built to reflect working-class interests.[…]

      In this “party-less” model of politics, it’s the Democratic politician who goes about trying to recruit a base, rather than the other way around. The politician’s platform and message are devised by her and her alone. They can be changed on a whim. And there is no mechanism by which the politician can be held accountable to the (fairly nebulous) progressive constituency she has recruited to her cause.[…]

      In a genuinely democratic party, the organization’s membership, program, and leadership are bound together tightly by a powerful, mutually reinforcing connection. The party’s members are its sovereign power; they come together through a sense of shared interest or principle. Through deliberation, the members establish a program to advance those interests. The party educates the public around the program, and it serves, in effect, as the lodestar by which the party is guided. Finally, the members choose a party leadership — including electoral candidates — who are accountable to the membership and bound by the program.

      It might seem obvious that those are the characteristics of a truly democratic party. Yet the Democratic Party has none of them.

      All of these shots at the target are bullseyes. There’s much more at the link but the main point is that to gain political power the left must first have a vibrant political movement. And it goes without saying that–at least at first–it should be independent of the Democrats since they are little more than an employment agency for ambitious politicians marking time before moving on to more lucrative employment. Sanders supposedly wrestled over whether to run as an independent or Democrat and given the result many of us would argue he made the wrong decision–not sheepdog but certainly co-opted.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Every ballot is a bullet on the field of electoral combat. What if that could really be made really true if enough people proceeded for long enough in that spirit?


        I would argue that Sanders made the correct choice as to how to run. He threatened to upset the Clinton Coronation plans badly enough that the Inner DemParty was forced to rig the primary process against him in the broad light of day. I would argue that if he had run as Green or whatever, he would have sunk into the La Brea Tarpits of political irrelevancy. But an argument could be made either way, to be sure.

        As it is, we could see a whole crop of young SanderSocial Democrats begin growing itself into hands-on-the-levers positions.

        1. Carolinian

          we could see

          Then again we could not. I believe the point of the Jacobin article is that this nibbling at the edges of the Democratic party is too weak an assault to succeed and they must be challenged frontally by a full scale left movement that is initially divorced from ballot access due to those blocking rules it mentions. Think the Civil Rights movement against the reluctant Dems of the 60s. Johnson had to twist arms to get those bills passed.

          After all has anything the Dem party has done after 2016 shown that they are going to change their ways? Or just the opposite? One could argue Russiagate is a ploy to make sure Dem reform doesn’t take place.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It sounds like we have two different theories-of-approach here. There may be enough people overall to support two different TAGs ( Theory Action Groups) for the two theories.

            Since people will do their best work on what they believe in, people should sort themselves out by which TAG ( if any) they want to believe in, join, and work through.

            Of course Russiagate is a Dollar-Democrat ploy to derail and delay any effort by SanderSocial Democrats to conquer their party and displace them from it. Such a conquest would take many election cycles working from local on upward. If it could be done at all.

    2. JBird

      It’s more accurate to say the the American political spectrum has seemingly long forgotten that there is such a thing as truly left wing,…

      Slight quibble here. It was not forgotten as much as deliberately distorted and then erased from politics as well as business, economics, and religion. Actually from society in general. Only in civil rights, and that only as it relates to identity politics, has leftist thought retain any real power.

      To a lesser extent the same has happened to American Conservatism. Simplify and restrict what you want leftism and conservatism, or even liberalism and libertarianism to be, then you can dictate what can be debated and changed. It has been a very successful deliberate multi decade strategy.

  2. Disturbed Voter

    It would help, for politically active people, to stop supporting political machines that work against their interests.

  3. Doug

    Look again at this paragraph:

    “Finally, young people are acutely aware of the limitations of the four-year-democratic-cycle. They crave solutions to problems that transcend such cycles like climate change and racial injustice. Neither problem has a solution which can demonstrate results within a single term. These issues consistently rank at the top of millennial voter agendas but are rarely priorities for established political candidates, who prefer to channel resources into issues which have quick solutions and produce tangible results that they can call on to drive their re-election campaigns.”

    A question for NC readers: What examples exist to support the claim that established political candidates channel resources into ‘issues which have quick solutions and produce tangible results’?

    The Trump tax cuts are an example, whether one agrees or not

    Perhaps Obamacare was another example, again regardless of one’s position.

    But what else?

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Since the Federal government has done very, very little since …uh….before I was born (early 70’s)…I have to suggest that the author is talking about sloganeering and virtue signaling, not actual policy and legislation.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The Federal Government can only do what the people who staff all its command and control centers decide to do with the knobs and levers of Federal Government.

        The International Free Trade Conspiracy certainly got a lot done by taking over the Federal Government and instituting Forced Free Trade. I would argue that that was a Bad Thing. But I would hardly argue that it is not EVen a “thing”.

  4. Steve

    I feel very sorry for them. They are what we have made them and they are growing up in a world where we have devastated the environment. Our current grifting financial system has gamed the system to the point where it would take decades to ever unravel the fraud even if it can be done. No generation has ever been subjected to so much media, advertising and technical manipulation. At least many of them are aware enough to know the Republican and Democratic Parties have no answers for them. I cut them a lot of slack!

    1. Heather

      Good comment. I feel the same way. I stay awake nights worried about the hot, on fire world my beloved grandchildren will be growing up in. I feel as if we have created a hell on earth for them.

      1. Jason Boxman

        I worry about burning to death in my lifetime. It’s a great time to be alive and relatively young!

        I have the option to signup for green energy here in MA, which I did last week. I opted to pay more to support wind power, for what it’s worth.

        1. Arizona Slim

          I just had solar installed at my place. It’s fun to use the monitoring software, which shows that the lion’s share of my power consumption is made possible by those panels on the roof.

          Take that, electric company!

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            Do you have a solar-assisted water heater? One can save quite a bit there as well especially where you live.

            1. Arizona Slim

              No, but I did get a quote. It was way more than what I wanted to pay for hot water.

              At the price I was given, I wanted steam! And a turbine!

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Its certainly worth something. And the more people who do the same, the more worth it adds up to becoming. In part because as more people sign up to pay more for cleaner greener electricity, they may try finding eachother and find/share information together on how to use less and less electricity in their daily lives . . . . attacking the problem from the usage side.

          Eventually, enough such people could become a commanding majority in one, or another, or even several jurisdictions . . . and take power to engineer efficiency at the community level within their jurisdictions.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      The problem is . . . . is that we are what our predecessors made us. And so on down the line of falling dominoes.

      So . . . is there a way for those of all ages who want something different than what we have to all make the dominoes fall our way together?

  5. perpetualWAR

    “Between 2008 and 2013, millennials were the only section of the workforce who saw their real wages fall.” Uh, no. I’m living proof that boomers who once earned 6-figures were reduced to earning NOTHING for years during 2008-2013. So, since one of the very first premises of this article is incorrect, it’s hard to read further.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      My real wages have gone up slightly since the 90’s, but my costs have all gone up at a rate that my real wages have in no way kept up with. For example, my health insurance contribution has gone up from ~33 dollars a week in 1998 ($51 today) to ~130 dollars a week today. My real housing costs also have increased from ~$480/month in 2018 dollars to ~$600/month (that is without maintenance costs, as I only took account of mortgage, insurance, and taxes per month and divided it by the number of people in my household). I cannot imagine having to start today with the wages that are being offered for starting salaries when the costs to live have increased tremendously.

    2. Wyoming

      I understand you suffered and sympathize, but your conclusion is simply completely and totally incorrect.

      I’m sure you know this….right?

      To be simplistic. Aggregate data and individual data are not equivalent and cannot be compared to each other. Step aside from yourself and examine the numbers for ‘your’ segment (boomers?) and then compare that number to the millennials. Now, is the articles point correct or not?

      1. jrs

        that’s true of course but it hides unspeakable suffering, the young person that has it hard now might have a chance of having it less hard later (at least if they have the degree etc. so not everyone but some). The unemployed 50 something that loses it all (actually Gen X) is just completely screwed and knows it and hence middle age suicides etc..

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps there is a golden mean between over-dis-aggregation and over-aggregation. Several million ( at least) boomers had their jobs exterminated and their wage levels shrunk or vaporised in the
        IFTC’s Bonfire of the Good Jobs.

        Several million is not the same as the whole generation-load, but it is more than a few random individuals.

        So that there might be several million boomers right there who may well understand very clearly the pain of the economic cinder block ceiling.

    3. Yassine

      Yves often writes that the plural of anecdote is not data, but I have never seen her write that the singular of anecdote is not data. Using this loophole you have found, we could save a lot of money by firing all the government statisticians. I am even ready to go as far as providing for free my formula for the calculation of the unemployment rate : 0% when I work, 100% when I don’t.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps one could speak of the anecdatum (singular) or of anecdata ( plural) for those observations made by layfolk who lack the Sanctification of the White Coat Clipboard.

    4. anon

      I hear ya, I’m an under retirement age Boomer™ (hate that word, and not a one of my closest Boomer™ loved ones are doing well at all, particularly the single, divorced, or widowed females) and similar happened to me. And, of course I received the gift of cancer sans insurance, after the gift of unemployment. And the hits just keep coming, closer and closer together, now my rent is set to increase 60% in January, with the very possible result of homelessness, as Senior Housing has years long waiting lists, particularly the ones someone might want to live in. There are some real horrid ones out there, which at the end of the day are extremely pricey to live in per square foot, with insane $200 per person Mandatory Meals fees, which mean that two people could end up in a tiny300 square foot ‘Studio’ Apartment paying $2,000 a month, as there is no cap on the 30% of income paid for rent (most of the senior housing waiting lists don’t have separate lists so a couple wanting to remain together could at least have a one bedroom apartment, versus a 300 square foot Studio). Then there is the problem of not qualifying for that housing if you earn too much money in order to pay the increasingly unaffordable rent while you wait for that housing list to open up.

      That being said I really fear for the younger generations, the increasing inability for most to afford even a small home is criminal. Equally criminal is that they will have invested a million or more in apartments over their life times with no return on that investment. Just one of thousands of reasons why Capitalism is evil.

      1. RMO

        “But unlike the baby boomers before them”

        But rather like Generation X… Though the Millennial generation certainly got screwed much worse than mine did. As I get older I find myself regarding the generation younger than me in the opposite way of the stereotypical manner I’m supposed to embody. Instead of “You young spoiled brats don’t know how good you have it, why in my day…” I’m usually commiserating and telling them “Yeah you got totally (family blog)ed. You have a right to be angry!”

    5. alan2102

      If you earned 6 figures (for, say, more than 10 years) then, unless you are a wastrel, you have very large savings and could easily cruise through 2008-2013, or even a decade more than that, or perhaps even go forever, with zero income.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If you made that 6 figure income while living in Blodgett Mills, New York, or in Buck Snort, Tennessee, or some equally affordable place, that would be true.

        If you made that 6 figure income while living in the Savage Heart of Darkest Manhattan, or in the highest-priced depths of San Fran Silicon Sh*thole, saving may not have been possible.

        And of course, a whole lotta buncha boomers never did make a 6 figure income.

        1. anon

          Thanks for that, I didn’t have the energy. And yeah, that Boomer Mythology, which our Technocracy loves using to its profit. Never any acknowledgement of how many did not make 6 figure incomes (and most of those made those salaries in stunningly high cost of living metro areas); and, when they did make them, many only made those salaries for very few years, leaving them with a possible foreclosure on their home, along with a highly disproportionate tax bill, which used to be at least mitigated by Federal 1040 (and State, in many instances) Income Averaging. That’s not to even mention the costs associated with both their kids and elder parents’ well being.

          Further, the Boomer™ Mythology never discusses the millions of historically wage/hiring/housing discriminated against: blacks and hispanics; single, divorced and widowed females; and the disabled (that disabled link is a ‘must’ read) Boomers™.

      2. False Solace

        Well, there’s a huge difference between 100k “six figures” and 900k “six figures”. Figure 40% of that goes to taxes. Expecting someone who made 120k pretax for a decade to subsist indefinitely after that with zero income (and calling them a wastrel otherwise) reflects a degree of smugness my mind has difficulty encompassing. And that’s completely ignoring the issue of health insurance.

        1. alan2102

          Imagining that someone who made 100K/year for a decade has any right whatsoever to complain about their material status reflects a degree of privileged blindness my mind has difficulty encompassing. But encompass it I must, because this is America — land of the spoiled.

          1. alan2102

            PS regarding health insurance:

            1) as a society, it is outrageous that we do not have universal health insurance, medicare for all or equivalent. Outrageous and unacceptable.

            2) as an individual, it does not make much difference, barring catastrophic accidents. I did not have health insurance for 50 years. Then I had it for a few years. Now I don’t have it anymore. No big deal. I’ve learned to take care of my health, and that is far more important than having access to medical care. The fundaments are simple and available to all.

            Doctors make very little contribution to the health of most people most of the time. They occasionally (rarely) make a great contribution to health, at great cost — ruinous cost to individuals — which is why we need universal health care.

            1. alan2102

              And one more thing: though I’ve not needed any medical care (knock on wood), I had/have a great need for dental care — advanced stuff, like multiple implants and the like. I am in the process of getting the work done in Costa Rica. It will cost me ~$11,000, for work quoted in the U.S. at $55,000. $55K is crushing; $11K is affordable, and I was able to save it up in 3 years on an income of ~$25K/year. And no, I do not live in Bumfuck, Alabama. I live in Ann Arbor, MI, a notably-expensive place to live. Saving money on a modest income is mostly just a matter of not being a spoiled brat.

              Going overseas has the great advantage, in addition to being vastly cheaper, of denying a large chunk of income to some complacent 10%er who does not deserve it, and who would spend it on destructive bullshit (bigger house, more cars, etc.; $55K buys a lot of bullshit!). This should be done on principle, even if one can afford the domestic prices.

              It is possible to go overseas for many medical procedures, though not all. Major elective (non-emergency) surgeries, for example. If I came down with a serious condition, I would without doubt be entrusting my health to Mexicare in Tijuana, Los Algodones, whatever. And since my income is so high at $25K/year, I will have the savings to afford it. :-)

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      Would you feel any better if the post claimed that “Between 2008 and 2013, millennials were one section of the workforce who saw their real wages fall, along with many other who lost their jobs and never recovered.”? I think the point you want to make with your comment is that the claim that — “Between 2008 and 2013, millennials were the only section of the workforce who saw their real wages fall.” — is immaterial to the argument that millennials have almost no one to speak to their political views. Further that claim serves to isolate the troubles of that one generation in a way that undermines the general suffering experienced by the broad American public. I would also question the implicit argument that the views of boomers and other-gens are somehow represented by either party, based on the implicit warrant that they more often vote. I believe the difference in voting patterns can be explained by examining the differences in opinions regarding the doctine of voting “lesser-evilism”.

  6. jfleni

    Millennials want and need to get around: Answer; just another shi#box. They look at housing, and think: Just another rental shack. Small wonder they move back home!

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If moving back home can be negotiated in such a way that the young returner and the aging parents can stay out of eachothers’ face except when they want to be in eachothers’ face; then the return back home could be used by the young returner as an opportunity for a very slow careful “gathering of the grubstake”
      for a very careful economically non-suicidal foray into a very carefully chosen and targeted niche in the outside world.

      This would require the aging parents to understand that ” its not their Fathers’ country” anymore. And that we may be returning to the Medieval Peasant approach of two or several or many generations under one roof. The future ideal may become Entrenchment instead of Mobility.

  7. Newton Finn

    Millennials provide the best opportunity for moving all of us toward a better, more beautiful world. But first they must close ranks against the totalitarianism of the fanatic SJWs in their midst. Totalitarianism is the traditional scourge of the left, as fascism is of the right.

    1. Shane Mage

      What in the name of Satan, “Newton Finn,” do you have against Single Jewish Women?

      1. Massinissa

        I think this is a joke but I’m not sure. He is referring to what are popularly known on the internet as ‘Social Justice Warriors’.

    2. Louis Fyne

      >>>>Having said that, successful political and economic action requires recognizing the different perspectives and priorities of various groups in communicating with them and building support.

      Yup, that totally describes Twitter, TV pundits, SJWs and the partisan blog-osphere :)

      [hopefully obvious sarcasm]

    3. False Solace

      Beware of people who kick down at those with no money and no power.

      No money and no power describes pretty much all the SJWs I’ve heard of. It also describes the working class — white, brown or otherwise.

      Mass media corporations have a keen interest in selling the same product to every demographic group. That makes them outwardly appear to share some SJW traits, but their goal is to sell homogenized product to indistinguishable audience-units. Meanwhile, all elements of the political and corporate class benefit from dividing the People into groups who fight with each other instead of their masters.

  8. juliania

    How about we just say ‘young people’? There’s a big bunch of those pre -2000 – I’d say going back to born in the late ’70s that are severely impacted by what happened to the country as they became young adults – education being a major factor, credit card chicanery, all the woes that were inflicted upon their choices – military is another. Maybe the climate change dilemma wasn’t looming large then, but they are more akin to millenials than they are to ‘our parents generation’ or the boomers or whatever you want to call the society before them. It’s not just one generation, it’s two that are afflicted by finance rearing its ugly head.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Voting patterns that emerge around the year 2000. Besides the obvious economic implications, I think the process of information gathering is different for millennials than previous generations. Don’t get me wrong, there are always exceptions and small non-zero percentages out there.

      Take a candidate like Hillary Clinton. She had virtually no support in the primaries in 2008 from the 30 and under crowd no support in the primaries in 2016 from the 38 and under crowd. There are a few things to link this to: access to the world wide web, the shelf life of politicians (1992 to 2016 is a long time), whether a person was old enough to vote in 1996 (her support was pretty stable with this age group and older in both sets of primaries). Is it really Bill Clinton’s promise to reinvent government doesn’t hold up to a non-sound byte review? People who have had access to non-traditional reporting outlets or the ability to read the comments and see context that might not be accessible on CNN’s Crossfire have been trained to see it.

      Inevitably, those “young people” won’t be so young, and like Napoleon noted, a person’s value in their lives are shaped by the world they were in when they were 21.

  9. Carolinian

    As a Boomer I certainly agree that my generation had it easy compared to the ones that preceded and followed (assuming you didn’t get drafted to Vietnam). Still, while the millennials are having a harder time it’s not as though they live in Bangladesh. This is still a very wealthy country and that probably accounts for the torpor of political change. The new is “not yet ready to be born” as the popular saying around here goes and the old order has learned to camouflage itself through Fed bailouts and a foreign policy that relies on robot killers and working class volunteers. The media and the nominal left party channel revolutionary energy into a war against Trump, as though removing him would change anything. Indeed, Trump’s vulgarity may even serve as a spanner in the works for this world of illusion.

    Meanwhile we will probably have to wait for a millennial political hero. Sanders, IMHO, is not nearly bold enough.

  10. funemployed

    “The average millennial enters the workforce with more than $37,000 in student debt.”

    No, the “average millennial” does not have a bachelor’s degree (which is what that figure represents – the average debt held upon earning a 4 year degree). And most of us need to work to support ourselves even if we are trying to get one.

    Also, a decent hunk of those of us who do earn the bachelors go to grad school. And then “enter the workforce” with a lot more debt than that.

    I guess you aren’t actually a human being if you don’t have an undergrad education – seems to be the underlying assumption that would allow such a nonsensical sentence to be written.

    1. jrs


      That’s true, more and more people are getting bachelors degrees but it’s still under 40% is my understanding. However one can enter the workforce with debt just from vocational training, even the better examples that actually lead to work like say beautician school or CNA training etc., and the worst examples, every fly by night for-profit trade school where almost noone gets a job using their training. Of course there are also those who take out debt and never graduate as well.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Yes. And to be picky, the figure is not even right for college graduates. It is the publicized figure for college graduates that graduate with student debt. Many college graduates, of course, come from wealthy households and graduate with no debt – according to MarketWatch, 30%. (The link in the article links to a Forbes article that links to the now discredited “studentloanhero” website, which it turns out was set up by a company that makes money off student loan refinancing.)

      None of which alters the general sentiment or tone of the piece. What is does suggest is that there is a fraction of millennials with degrees and without student loans who are way ahead of their peers. (If 50% go to college and 30% of them graduate with no debt, that is about 15% of the cohort.)

    3. False Solace

      The millennials are the best educated population cohort. Plenty of millennials have student debt and no bachelor’s degree. They leave school with 1 or 2 years of college and still have loans to pay off.

  11. Oregoncharles

    ” successful political and economic action requires recognizing the different perspectives and priorities of various groups in communicating with them and building support.”

    There is a further reason for looking at generations: the cycle of life. Regardless, each in turn will have its time on the stage. And although they don’t have agency, they do have common influences and experience that can be very important. So it’s worthwhile to look at the commonalities of the next generation; it’s a hint of what’s coming.

    However, a generation is really too large a unit. That’s 20 years, based directly on the human reproductive cycle – demographics, not marketing. But in our society, that’s a long time; people from either end of it will not have common experiences. For instance, the last boomers came of age AFTER the Viet Nam War, not during it. That, trust me, is a big difference. “Cohort”, which can be anything from one year to ten, is really more useful, if defined.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      AARP already existed when Boomers were still young. A lot of Boomers have aged into it more recently. I would imagine some of the oldest Gen Xers are in it now.

    2. Beth

      During the Obama years and before Bernie, the President of AARP, led the charge to explain why seniors needed take money out of Medicare (to assist Obama). I read the AARP literature enough to know whose side they were on. It was nauseating.

  12. Oregoncharles

    “just 19 per cent women, nine per cent African-Americans, seven per cent Hispanic members, three per cent Asian-Americans, and one per cent openly gay members”

    Since women are just over 50%, 19% is embarrassingly low. OTOH, 9% is pretty close to the percentage of African Americans that I’ve heard, and the other three numbers are at least in the ballpark (I don’t know the actual numbers for those – and the number of “openly gay” people is at best controversial.) So what he’s really said is that women are drastically under-represented, as if the franchise never quite took effect.

  13. Susan the other

    This generational divide is evidence of our misguided politics/economics. Not of the laziness of the millenials. Every generation has its imperfections. The WW2 generation named themselves “The Greatest Generation”. Some disagree. The next generation was merely named the “Boomers”. It simply implies that the greatest generation really liked to reproduce themselves. And now the millenials can’t find jobs and are being screwed by the system. And at the same time there are too many boomers to live off SS and pension funds. Well duh. If we only ask the right questions we can usually find some answers.

  14. Hepativore

    I alluded to some of what my situation is at age 34 on the 7/29/18 Links comments section. Basically, I am stuck in a dead-end retail job despite having two degrees and I do not see this changing for the foreseeable future as age 35 is the new “over-the-hill” for many employers in the STEM fields. The problem affecting many millennials like me are systemic flaws in our economic and political system that have been there since the 1970s and are only getting worse. While many people in my generation as well as on the blogosphere are talking about what needs to change, these are things that will probably take decades to fix provided that our society is actually serious about doing so. I just have a fear that the people that are paying attention and do realize the serious flaws in our system represent an almost infinitesimal fraction of the public at large. I just want to be sure all of this energy and desire to correct our econopolitical issues will lose steam and fizzle out in the next five years or so and things will go back to uninterrupted looting by the neoliberal kleptocracy.

    Sadly, I think millennials like me that have been left behind will be in our 70s and 80s if and when reform ever comes due to the monumental reversals of our current course that need to happen.

  15. Phil in KC

    No, it was the so-called “silent generation” in the form of Tom Brokaw that came up with the “greatest generation” stuff.

  16. Elex Chicago

    Hmm. Makes no mention of Generation X so as to bolster the idea the Millennials are the only generation to ever get a raw deal. Yup, it was all unicorns and rainbow farts for Gen X which is why they’re not even referenced. Reagan. Bush. 1987 stock market crash. None of those ever happened nor had any impact on my life. Millennial suffering becomes much, much more apparent if you simply skip an entire generation. Anyway, here’s a Participation Trophy award ribbon for Mr. Ward and his “highly researched” axe grinding though I’m 100-percent certain he would prefer Reddit Karma.

    1. jrs

      Yea I’m Gen X but in 1987 wasn’t even of legal working age, that would have been child labor. But I remember the dot bomb crash, lost my first real job then. It’s worse now.

      1. savedbyirony

        And the pressures WE have seen from the get go of our working careers to either behave as psychopaths or get out/be forced out…. How many gen xers of pro-community economic and social practices have been able to succeed to positions of strong community influence and power. If you were not one of “Reagon’s children” you were not likely to “succeed”.

  17. Jeremy Grimm

    Sorry — your comment confuses me: ” I just want to be sure all of this energy and desire to correct our econopolitical issues will lose steam and fizzle out in the next five years or so and things will go back to uninterrupted looting by the neoliberal kleptocracy.” Does that read as you intended?

    Based on the demographics of the attendees at past meet-ups I feel that millennials like you are under-represented in comments. So — please elaborate what systemic flaws in our economic and political system trouble you? What talk do you hear about what needs to change? I am a boomer deeply troubled by the uninterrupted looting by the neoliberal kleptocracy not only for the harsh conditions it forces to varying extents on us all but also for the way it hollows out our economy leaving nothing behind for my children and their children if I should be so fortunate.

    1. Hepativore

      No, that should read that should read “I am afraid that all of this energy and desire to correct our econopolitical issues will lose steam and fizzle out in the next five years or so and things will go back to uninterrupted looting by the neoliberal kleptocracy.”

      I was in a hurry to type this out as my break was ending and could not wait to edit it. If somebody wants to edit that sentence for me, I would be much obliged.

      In terms of the things that bother me the most, are the fact that I heard all of the propaganda about STEM jobs and the Horatio Alger maxims of the value of doing well in school and hard work will eventually lead to stability and a promising career. People of my parent’s generation were quick to admonish people like myself growing up that if they did not take school seriously, they would end up in a job flipping burgers or working in retail.

      My histology degree has caused me to be forced to take a series of low-paying hourly positions in retail and elsewhere just to pay the bills and make ends meet because of the fact that STEM fields in the private sector are very unstable and companies routinely fire everybody associated with the project you were working on as soon as it is over and hire a new batch of people to work on the next one and then fire them ad nauseam. Offshoring to China has also destroyed a large number of STEM positions in the biotech sector, and many private research and engineering companies also make heavy usage of H1Bs, not just the IT field. This is why there is actually a huge STEM glut in a large number of private research and engineering areas, not a shortage. It has been this way in increasing amounts since the 1980’s, yet the STEM cheerleaders in both the private sector and academia fail to mention this fact.

      The things that trouble me the most are the fact that I am barely scraping by on the retail wages I am being paid, and the costs of housing for both renting and buying a house are well out of reach of people like me, even though I work full-time. There is also the fact that I will probably never have the same degree of financial stability as my parents did, even though I did very well in high school and college. The growth of credentialism has caused many employers to require idiotic and expensive certifications for the most basic of positions in many professional fields, and wages have not kept up with inflation. We are basically expected to somehow afford the same cost of living with the obscene increases in the costs of housing, tuition, and healthcare on the same wages as those seen in 1971.

      I am bitter of the fact that the same prosperity and stability that my parents and grandparents enjoyed has been long gone and is not coming back in the lifetime of people in my generation. Basically, I think that the millennial generation is stuck with a similar situation to arriving late to a party that was very great, except most of the great people have left, most of the kegs are near empty, and most of the snacks have been eaten. The people that are still left have been relegated to fighting viciously over what few scraps are left.

      1. anon

        Your comment reminds me of the fact that a lack of particular certifications, college degrees (particularly Ivy League Degrees; I mean why not shut most colleges down if they’re not ‘good enough,’ which has never been the case), and even resumes (for jobs like waitressing and waitering) didn’t used to have such a devastating effect on a person’s ability to prove themselves and attain a decent job and affordable, dignified life.

        In the pre Boomer™ periods, on the job training — including training manuals — and promotions were standard for many who sometimes weren’t even able to finish high school. Many attained positions they could never, ever, attain today. I’ll never forget, during a period of unemployment, my dismay and shock at a resume request for a waitressing job. I had waitressed, housecleaned, etcetera, my way through college on my own, without one resume request.

        I’m curious, Hepativore, if you had the resources to start a Third Party, what would be the three issues you would highlight first?

        For me, Housing as a right would be the first issue. It is one issue absolutely crucial to everyone.

        I wish you very, very well, it’s so very heart wrenching to have witnessed, for decades, a ‘Government’ that eats its own citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, for pre fea$t hors d’oeuvres.

        1. Hepativore

          I am sorry for the late reply. I have had to think about what issues matter the most in terms of things that require the most immediate attention.

          So, after some thought, here are the things that need to change the most.

          1. Promotion of a strong and stable economy through a mixture of both private and public institutions with all of the requisite regulations and their necessary ENFORCEMENT that would be required. This is to ensure the general welfare of the populace.

          Capitalism works very well for some things, but not for others and there is also the fact that in order for a market to work properly, you need some strong laws that are strictly enforced. Otherwise, it is like having a professional football game without referees.

          2. All elections for any governmental position at the municipal, state, and federal level should be completely publicly financed. Any qualified candidates running for office will be given a stipend to use strictly for campaign purposes and return any unused portion of it to the government. Donations both public and private or even personal money would be strictly prohibited.

          This is to ensure that lobbyists cannot influence candidates with soft money.

          3. Healthcare should be overhauled and replaced with a publicly subsidized single-payer system that would also cover mental health, dental health, and catastrophic care.

          This would be a no-brainer.

          1. anon

            Ditto on the late reply. (also, I think Skynet held up your comment for quite a while, thanks much for pulling it out from the black hole moderators!), and thanks for the response!

            Never been a Capitalism fan, so some reservations on number 1, but I loved 2, and 3, with these additional suggestions:

            1. I would add Housing as a Right — it’s insane that so many pay so much over their lifetimes when they can’t afford a home, with no meaningful return on their investments. For just one idea, tax policy could be used to highly reward those extra home and condo owners who allow a renter to rent to own. I would also add affordable legal services (by Lawyers who actually understand the laws surrounding any given issue). It’s ludicrous that a large portion of the United States cannot afford qualified legal assistance, as most lawyers are pretty much forced to serve the wealthy in order to make a living (just one of my issues with Capitalism).

            2. I would add that all Municipal politicians have to be elected by the populace, as that’s not the case for some cities. I would kill the life term for Federal Judges, also adding an ability for the public to impeach them.

            3 I would add affordable eye care.

            1. Hepativore

              Since you specified I only pick three, I really had to narrow things down.

              Anyway, the tax policy is a whole can of worms in of itself. How would you solve the problem of corporations moving their headquarters and operations overseas in order to evade taxes? Also, how would you go after them hiding money and assets in offshore accounts? I am not sure how you would be able to prevent that without cooperation from other nations, and even if you had some nations on board with going after tax shelters, other nations would be more than eager to step in and play host to the corporate shell game.

              I know that the popular opinion here on Naked Capitalism is against a basic income as opposed to a job guarantee, but I think that a mixture of both would be the best. I am not opposed to automation if implemented properly, and I do realize that there is going to come a time if there is simply not enough work for people to do if we are not there in some areas already. Instead, maybe we should use a job guarantee as a transitional program to help people learn to adjust to life without a job, and using their time to find meaning on their own and make themselves happy. What is your opinion on a “negative income tax” below a certain level of income?

              1. anon

                Just to let you know, Hepativore, I’ve read your comment (thank you much for the response!), but I don’t want to knee jerk respond to such searching and detailed questions; there’s way too much of that going on already 1. It’s my turn to cook dinner (homemade soup’s on the menu), then we spend much needed time with one another, then go to sleep, so I’ll probably not respond till around mid day, Pacific Daylight Time, tomorrow .

                I hope your day went as well as it could for you, and I very much appreciate our back and forth, thank you.

                1 I believe the elite class is currently, and has historically, literally stolen the time to think about what one really wants to say — before responding — let alone the time to fully spell it out (e.g. increasingly confusing acronyms, and twitter 140 characters limit, which so closely resembles the Boss Man’s: if you don’t describe the problem that’s been festering for decades, within one sentence, you’re fired), from the people at large.

              2. anon

                My thoughts on your excellent questions, Hepativore:

                Re the rampant, now legalized Corporate Tax Avoidance EVASION:

                Pull the political donations as you’ve already noted: Donations both public and private or even personal money would be strictly prohibited. Our dear [BIPARTISAN] legislators have repeatedly Legislated the ability for way too large, Multinational Corporations to protect their money from Federal Income Taxes, and State Sales Taxes (Amazon, most particularly).

                Break up The BIG Four Accounting Firms and similarly effect the Legal Industry, who both Lobby for Tax Legislation, and, due to Capitalism, both the Accounting and Legal Industries predominantly serve the wealthy and Multinational Corporations. Everyone should have affordable access to QUALIFIED, LEGAL EXPERTISE, otherwise,why even bother to have a Department of Justice™ — what a freeking joke.

                Anti-Monopoly Law Update and Enforcement, With Teeth in It, to break up many of the Multinationals which should never have become so large in the first place. The larger a Corporation becomes, the more destructive it is to society as a whole.

                Re The Average Citizen’s Means of Affording a Dignified Life:

                I’m not sure I agree that there will come a time that there is not enough to be done (meaningful work that is of value to society, and a source of both economic sustenance, and accomplishment for those who provide it) for US citizens, particularly when there are so many unmet: social; environmental; and, increasingly; infrastructure needs (e.g. what about that sure to come brutal, given way too much reliance on our Technocracy, Solar Storm Event?). I would add that the increasing unleashing of AI as a replacement for human discernment, should be utterly nipped in the bud, it’s particularly viciously brutal on the economically hindered and underserved in society.

                As to Basic Income™, Negative Taxes™, et al, none of these would be necessary if things had not been so screwed up to begin with. Those who do, and have done historically, the most good in society, have been historically spun off into poverty, when absent a wealthy spouse or family.

                By whatever fair means necessary, a country, sovereign in its own currency, needs to ensure that every single one of its citizens has the means to live a dignified life (which has never happened in the US, because Capitalism (no, I am not a Communist, I came to these conclusions all on my own, sigh, I am a human being, with common sense and empathy). Fair income, and a secure safety net for those unable — permanently, or temporarily unable. Profit off of another human being, needs to become the dirty word which it has historically been.

                Last, I wanted to add, and I suspect you wouldn’t disagree, that the US spends trillions killing — and making homeless — millions worldwide; while, simultaneously, vastly increasing suicide rates by traumatizing young people who join the military for absence of affordable living jawbs, and impoverishing and making homeless ever increasing amounts of its non vet citizens. Encompassed in the Housing as a Right Platform, would be setting about to undo the Military Industrial Complex.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Thanks for elaborating your comment. Before I ‘retired’ [got laid off at 63], I worked in a STEM field. I say the kinds of wholesale lay offs of entire departments that you described, but always managed to duck out just in time — lucky not prescient. I lucked into a security clearance early on and held onto it for dear life. Even back in my day it was plain to see that employment outside of work for the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) that required a security clearance was wide open to outsourcing and employee churning. I ended up working as a road shopper who traveled where the jobs were.

        The Reagan years were fat times for spending on the MIC and not a lot else. From before the time I began my first job firms were outsourcing work and fixed capital, and cutting back on benefits and overtime, which soon disappeared altogether, and extending the salary work week. I saw the devastation in the aftermath of the big lay offs in the Midwest at International Harvester and I say what remained of the mill buildings in Vermont. I worked briefly in Utica, New York and saw the gutted brick buildings from days before all the mill work moved to the right-to-work South, on its way to places across the seas. I worked on a contract at G.E. during the reign of Jack Welch — “Neutron Jack”. I just missed seeing the lay off of an entire department at AT&T because a bad management decision resulted in some losses attributed to that department.

        One of my last assignments required that I formulate a prediction of the availability of STEM personnel for future government programs. In the reading I did to make that report I ran across an effort to create a new category of security classification that would allow non-U.S. citizens to perform the work and read a portion of the immigration legislation in Congress that included a substantial section devoted to increasing the number of H1-B Visas and making it easier for foreign STEM students with Master Degrees or higher to get green cards. I read a PNAS report [Yes that is their acronym — Proceedings of the National Association of Scientists] crying crocodile tears for the Gathering Storm of a dearth of STEM graduates. At the same time this report came out Microsoft announced big lay offs of programmers and software engineers and times were not fat at the firm I worked for.

        They told you the same lies they told me and told to my father’s generation. But there are big differences between my times and yours. When I went to college the Federal government and my State still supported the state college and university systems. I could work a summer job and a part-time job during the school year, rent my own room with roomates, and pay my own fees without taking out any loans. Textbooks were pricey but not like they are now. When I got out of school we still had some industry and a little non-MIC development work in this country — although it was going away even as I started work. It wasn’t easy to find my first job but I found one and it paid enough for me to live on my own. I never could have bought a house in the area where I grew up but I could move to where I could both work and own a house in a decent school district. But I did need to combine my salary with my wife’s salary to make that possible and my commutes grew in distance and duration over time.

        I think you capture the biggest difference for your generation when you say “I am bitter of the fact that the same prosperity and stability that my parents and grandparents enjoyed has been long gone and is not coming back in the lifetime of people in my generation.” As a young adult I had reason to hope that things would get better. I could hold onto that hope when we still had some remnants of industry, research, and development in this country. And the declining power, prestige, social equity and economic prosperity of this country are only some of the worries I see for the future. We both face a world of rapidly growing populations, decreasing resources. especially water, food, and energy, and of course the manifold depredations of Climate Disruption.

        1. Hepativore

          My paternal grandfather just had a high school degree as he did not want to go to college after he came back from World War II, even if he could have taken advantage of the GI Bill. Yet, he managed to buy a small house in Cicero, Chicago, with a modest yard, raise my father, and support a stay-at-home wife and live comfortably working as a rail freight yard manager in Chicago. He was not wealthy, but he was not poor, and he was able to retire at 65 with a nice pension provided to him by the railroad.

          My father was a college professor at River Falls until Scott Walker got rid of tenure for all Wisconsin public professors retroactively in 2015. With my father’s tenure being removed, he was promptly laid off along with a whole bunch of other professors within the state and replaced with adjunct faculty. He was given an offer to be rehired at River Falls for one-fifth his salary and no benefits so he left in disgust, opting to retire early at 64.

          My parents coasted along on my mother’s salary as a toxicology consultant for four years until my mother retired. Their retirement took a huge hit, but they landed on their feet.

          Now here my generation is with a much higher level of education on average and much fewer job perks and more dismal workplace conditions in many cases compared with previous demographics, yet “millennials” are portrayed as slackers by the financial and corporate elite that made the working world what it is today.

          There is a meme called Old Economy Steven, encompassing the frustration that people like myself feel in this regard:


  18. Escierto

    I am an old white man who hates old white men. I think old white men have ruined America. On the other hand I am not sympathetic to any group that does not vote and then whines about the results. Personally I hope Trump destroys the country and all the things millennials take for granted like abortion rights. I hope he turns the country into a prison for them and minorities – maybe once they realize that they need to vote they will get up off their butts and do something. I am not optimistic however.

  19. JTMcPhee

    Touched a nerve here, Lambert. Amazing how us mopes will so happily and grimly choose up sides, maybe five of them, and go after each other with well-documented or deeply-held-belief baseball bats and verbal machetes. And actual physical violence, too.

    Who has all the marbles, again? “Of course there is class warfare. My class, the rich class, is waging it, and we are winning!” (Some reported versions of Warren Buffett’s infamous qoute end “and we have won!”).

    Meantime, the polar ice is melting, and us boiling frogs have discovered not only that there is no way out of the pot (maybe unless we do like ants, and link together in a living bridge) and the people who own the pot and to whom we pay over all our wealth are either dead and beyond retribution, or off to secure retreats with their pleasures intact and comfortably sure they too will die in the kindest way possible…

  20. alan2102

    Ah yes, the cost-of-living whine.

    “It is SO difficult sqeezing by on $100K anymore. The gym just raised its monthly from $500 to $600. Saving is just *impossible*!”

    Contemplate the human tragedy, having to leave Manhattan to live with the rabble in Brooklyn, the Bronx or, heaven forfend, with all those blacks in Harlem. Life just isn’t fair!

    Funny thing about the 6-column-income set: it somehow never crosses their mind that MOST people live on a fraction of their income. In NYC, half of households earn less than $50K. The black, hispanic and american indian median income in NYC is under $35K.

    1. alan2102

      Putting this in context: the 6-column-income set, the 10%ers, petite bourgeoisie, are the courtier class to the 1%, essential for their hegemony. The 1% could not make it without a large supportive class in thrall to them, and looking to ascend to their heights. The 10%ers are the foot-soldiers of empire, who make possible (and to a large extent actively foster) all the lies, thievery, looting, depredation. They are in a position to actually make a difference in society, and spearhead a reconstruction based on truth and justice. But they don’t. They’re busy seeking a raise, so as to spend an even-larger income on still more bullshit. And to add insult to injury, they think they are entitled to said bullshit. Their minds have been so colonized by neoliberalism that they cannot see the urgent need for radical change, much less their own responsibility to participate in it — for all reasons, from social justice to the survival of civilization (think: climate change, and nuclear war). They almost literally cannot see the precarity that surrounds them, and the masses of people who get by on a modest fraction of their incomes, (or, globally, on a tiny fraction of their incomes), as they whine about how it is just impossible to save on a mere 100K/year [sniffle sniffle]. This is the Democratic Party syndrome: the DP has been completely taken over by 10%ers who almost literally cannot see ordinary people, like they don’t exist. That’s one reason, of several good ones, why the DP has become useless and is in the process of being abandoned by anyone with a grain of moral sense.


      “Oh, it is SO difficult finding good help anymore!” [pout pout, wrist to forehead, pained expression]

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