Leave the Millenials Alone!

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The Millenials are those born between the early 1980’s and the early 2000’s.  Sort of.  These generational markers are usually pretty clearly delineated. Gen Xer’s are defined as having been born between 1965 and 1985 and Boomers between 1946 and 1964. The Millenials don’t even get an agreed upon span.  Maybe this was the first indicator that the world would not be a kind place for them.

Yes, Some of Them Are Terrible

Full disclosure, I’m not a Millennial, I’m Generation X.  I endured some down times as all generations do but also enjoyed those sweet, sweet Clinton years. Big Daddy Bill made it rain for us all, for awhile anyway.  And if I’m honest, there are Millenials that annoy me, the SJW (social justice warriors) Tumblrinas on Tumblr, the Hashtivism on Twitter.  I think this quote from Shonda Rhrimes sums this phenomenon up better and more pithily than I could:

“Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing on your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show. I do it all the time. For me, it’s Game of Thrones.”

Hipsters and Bobos don’t bother me, maybe because I’m in NYC so they’re just part of the scenery and honestly, I don’t see them much.  I live on the Upper West Side and they wouldn’t be caught dead above 14th St.

What Boomers Think Of Millenials

So why am I writing an article to defend them?  Well, to put in crudely, I’m sick to my back teeth of hearing the Boomers, the most naval gazing, self congratulatory generation of circle jerkers ever to exist on this planet in all of human history crapping all over them. Read any article about Millenials that allows reader comments and you’ll find vitriolic little gems like these:

“It’s funny how the illegals seem to have no trouble finding a job. oh wait, they are willing to actually get their hands dirty & break a sweat. Allow me to fill you guys in, NOBODY is going to pay you to sit around and play video games and look at your smartphone all day.”

“Laziness & entitlements. I was out there raking leaves, shoveling snow & cutting grass to earn a dollar when I was a kid. I was riding around on my bicycle & socializing with friends face to face. If you want it, go get it.”

“Go work at a deli or Burger King”

“You snot nosed punks want everything handed to you. If you want it, you can have it too. There’s jobs out there. May not be your dream job or what you went to school for, but set a goal and go get it.Time to get out of mommies basement.”

So in just four poorly worded comments containing appalling grammar and punctuation, let’s look at the key words and phrases that jump out.

Illegals. Ooh, the scary illegals all have jobs.  Why don’t you? As if the jobs they have to take would pay off $50,000 in student loan debt.  Also, the obligatory reference to video games and smart phones.  Because clearly this commentor is out making the world a better place in his spare time rather than watching Nascar and attending Promise Keepers Rallies.

Laziness and entitlements, which doesn’t even make sense.  We’ll give angry grandpa the benefit of our doubt and assume he meant entitled.  How cheeky that Millenials would feel entitled to a job that paid a living wage. The nerve!  If only they weren’t so lazy working two jobs to keep the lights on, they too could have an over mortgaged McMansion and sickening sense of unearned superiority.

Work a fast food job.  Well, they are.  That is their second job.  And it’s still not enough.  We’ve seen mass walkouts by fast food workers trying to get a little something more than the crumbs their social betters brush off the table and onto the floor for them.

Snot nosed punks (ooh, getting in the way back machine to bring the insults!).  There’s (sic) jobs.  Just go get one off the job tree you lazy hippy that lives in a filthy opium den!  Then you can have the crap spelling yet oddly incongruous superior tone that I have.

The Boomers had everything handed to them by the Greatest Generation on a silver platter so why they look down on the Millenials is a mystery.  I guess it goes back to not valuing what, through no merit of your own, you have managed to accumulate.

A week doesn’t go by where the Boomers aren’t featured in some fawning documentary about how they revolutionized the world, ended the Vietnam War, fought for Civil Rights, and changed the face of music.  And the Boomers did those things, full credit.  Although if I see Sir Paul McCartney trotted out as some fund raising concert in his New Balance sneakers one more time, I’m not responsible for my actions.

What they don’t like to talk about or have the National Geographic Channel wax rhapsodic over is how they created a national debt that will takes generations to pay off through their reliance on easy credit, government backed mortgages, and overvalued properties.

And the reason the Millenials can’t get a job is because the Boomers thought the gravy train would never end.  Until it did.  And when it did and they hadn’t saved anything for retirement in their mortgaged to the hilt lives, they won’t exit stage left so the Millineials can take the jobs they should no longer need had they had a modicum of foresight and planned for the future.

The reason Washington can’t create any long term debt reduction is because the Boomers represent a massive, active voting block.  And they love their free health care too via Medicare.  But when the rest of us would like to not go bankrupt if we get sick, the Boomers begrudge us the ACA.  They got theirs and the rest of us can fuck off.  And that seems to be their attitude overall.  I got mine, piss off.

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A Not Exhaustive List of the Sins of the Boomers

Do I dare thwack the hornet’s nest some more?  I do dare.  Let’s look at a few of the ways the Boomer’s have screwed all those who came after.

1.  Sold our robust manufacturing economy oversees to tighten up their balance sheets which decimated the middle class. Ross Perot was dead on when he talked about “that giant sucking sound.”

2.  You complain about the Millenials but they are yours. Claim them.  If you don’t like how they turned out, have a look in the mirror.  You brought them up, you taught them in school, you fed them a steady diet of crap fast food, you parked them in front of television where from the age of one they learned to covet all the things they saw advertised.  In fact you geared ads for crap food and crap toys directly to them and then complained when they grew up materialistic.  And you fueled that materialism by giving them things instead of time because you were too busy working and accumulating to spend any time with them.

3.  Under your watch, CEO compensation has risen 725% since 1978 while worker’s wages have risen a measly 5.7%.

4.  You loved cheap gas and big cars.  As a consequence, you burned up a whole lot of something that is finite, sending the cost soaring and then scored the perfecta by contributing so heavily to climate change that in a few generations humans will have to huddle in the fly over states because the coasts will be under water.

5.  Your greed caused the crash in 2008 and your political influence not only kept those responsible out of jail where they ought to be, but scored massive bailouts for yourselves and your cronies shortly to be followed by record bonuses.

6. You have allowed the cost of college to rise so much that your children will be dead before they pay back the entirety of their debt. And while doing so you robbed them and the community they may have served of the chance to do some good in the world through volunteering or making charitable donations. They don’t have the time to volunteer because they’re working two jobs to even stay afloat and all their “spare money” goes to frivolities like the roof over their heads.  What’s the last thing the Representatives you bought and paid for have done to address $1.2 TRILLION in student loan  debt floating around out there?  In 2005 they passed a law that no student loan could be dismissed in bankruptcy unless the borrower could prove “undue hardship.”  Congress’s definition of undue hardship apparently does not extend to ending your life because you are so consumed by the hopelessness of ever being out from under this debt because the families of people who have made this terrible, ultimate decision have been chased and harassed to pay back the loan.  The loan of their dead child.  If that doesn’t make you want to vomit than you have a stronger stomach than I do.   And I don’t know which one of you is responsible for the cost of college text books but there is a Circle of Hell waiting for you.  May you be condemned to an eternity of paper cuts under your finger nails for it.

7.  You have involved us in endless wars since 2001 costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives and made the rest of the world hate us to the point we pretend to be Canadian when abroad.

8.  You sold our freedom for your twisted version of security theater.  I give up my Fourth Amendment right if I want to do something as innocuous as get on the subway or fly on an airplane.  Your naked porno scanners operated by America’s D students are probably giving me cancer.  Only I won’t subject myself to them so instead I get sexually assaulted by said D students.  Also thanks to this, everyone at the NSA is personally acquainted with my Youporn viewing preferences.  This knowledge will surely prevent the next 9-11.  Well done.

9.  You made us all fat and diabetic.  Thanks to your reliance on fast and convenience foods to feed us and not teaching us good eating habits, Millenials will be the first generation IN HISTORY to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

10.  You’ve overseen reverse posse commitatus.  Rather than the military becoming the police, you’ve turned the police into the military.  You pepper spray non-violent protesters, you brutalize and terrorize citizens on a daily basis.  You’ve kitted out small town police forces with military grade weapons, even armored vehicles.

11.  Citizen’s United.  You sold our government and everything it entails to the highest bidder.  Who is always you.  Of all the nefarious shit you have done, this is probably the worst.  And it was a crowded field from which to choose.

The Millenials I Know

The Millenials I know are smart.  They are hard working.  They bought the bill of goods the Boomers sold them.  Go to college, get a good job and it all works out. No no, don’t look at the math. It just works out as if by magic.  Serve your country, the greatest country in the world.  And now they are coming to realize the enormity of your lies.

They are literally killing themselves over debt.  And it wasn’t debt accumulated through buying smart phones and fancy cars.  That is a fairy tale you Boomers tell yourselves so you can sleep at night.  And serving your country is your way of saying, “Go over where the brown people live and get your ass blown up so we can continue to profit off the military industrial complex that Eisenhower tried to warn the country about fifty years ago.”

The Millenials I know are the Occupy movement who are buying up and forgiving millions of dollars in student loan debt. The Millenials I know are not lazy and entitled, the Boomer’s favorite epithet.

And the Millenials I know see that they can’t win at your game.  So they’re changing the rules.  They’ve started their own sharing economies, they’ve started building and living in tiny houses because they don’t buy into your demented idea of the American dream of an ugly pre-fab McMansion filled with crap on a mortgage they can’t afford.

They don’t own cars and contribute to global warming by burning fossil fuels the way the Boomers burned the middle class. They ride bikes.

They are moving into the cities you washed your hands of like Detroit and New Orleans and bringing them back from the brink with hard work, cooperation and ingenuity.  Urban farms where you left a foreclosed house to rot. Small businesses in a city you left, to quite literally drown.

The Reckoning Is Coming

I could go on.  Your lousy generation has pissed me off.  But let me send you off to sleep with this thought: You can’t and won’t live forever.  Oh you’ve tried.  You won’t go quietly into that good night.  But so far your quest for eternal youth and life has only netted Botox treatments and silicone fillers.  And when you’re drooling into your incontinence pan, it will be a Millennial, forced to take a second job as a nursing home assistant to pay off the remaining eleventy billion dollars they still have left on their student loan who will be looking after you.  And they know.  We’ll see how insufferably superior you’re feeling then.  So on behalf of the Millenials, in the words of my generation, Up Yours.

If you did not like this article, don’t hate on a truth teller.

Candice Elliott - Editor-in-Chief Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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