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Leave the Millenials Alone!

millenial-boomer

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.

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.

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  • Great post! I don’t want to hate on the boomers entirely, but the nastiness being hurled relentlessly at millennials is seriously misplaced. I graduated college in 2008. Having the economy and job market go to hell a few months later was jarring to say the least. Not just for me, but for all of my incredibly talented, smart, hard working, and debt ridden peers. But they didn’t play victim- they got more skills training, kept pounding the pavement, and took on survival jobs in the meantime. Even now, at 28, many of my peers are still struggling to find a modicum of job security and sustainability.

  • Billiam

    Wow – nice rant Candice!

    GenXer here, but I graduated in 2012 with a half-mortgage worth of student loans, so that part resonates.

    #6 – wow.

    And I loved your NASCAR / Promise Keepers jab.

    So, I’m not sure how much I can participate in the generational blame game (I’m not good at firing a blame thrower), but your points are definitely valid and well anchored to reality. You did a splendid job of encapsulating the frustration points here.

    • Andrew

      Hear Hear to Candice!

      I’m with you on the student loans there Billiam. I have a solid plan on how to deal with it, but it involved a little bit of unlearning what my parents taught me. My parents version of teaching money management was either wrong or simply narrow. “Don’t get a credit card” comes to mind.

      Though hindsight is 20/20, I can’t say if I’d do any better then them. Remember the past and learn so not to repeat the future comes to mind. Sometimes you need to break a few eggs, and I feel thoroughly cracked!

  • Candice Elliott

    Thanks everyone. I’m glad you liked it. I felt purged after I wrote it.

    • Nick

      I just recently stumbled upon this site. You bring out points which I have saying for a couple years now and its refreshing to see that others also see what hardships millennials are faced with.

  • joebee78

    In professional wrestling, the term “cheap heat” means getting a reaction from the crowd that doesn’t require much thought or work – like when the” bad guy” insults the city in which they’re wrestling because he knows it will get a pop from the crowd. This post is not much more than cheap heat. Listen Money Matters is clearly geared towards a younger demographic, so a post extolling the virtues of that crowd is probably going to be met with overwhelming support, regardless of its validity.

    I’m not sure where to begin, but let’s start with the irony of you making fun of “poorly worded comments containing appalling grammar and punctuation” when your posts are littered with typos. What’s the old saying about people living in glass houses? “Boomer’s” implies ownership and is not the plural form of Boomer. “Urban farms where you left a foreclosed house to rot. Small businesses in a city you left, to quite literally drown.” are not complete sentences.

    If your first point talks about how Ross Perot was dead on about the giant sucking sound of jobs being sent out of the country, you might not want to also wax nostalgic about the sweet, sweet Clinton years. Perot, after all, was talking about NAFTA when he made his famous comment and Clinton was the President who supported NAFTA and signed it into law. And while we’re on the topic of Big Daddy Bill, if you’re so concerned about the militarization of the police force and the government terroizing its citizens, how do you feel about Janet Reno’s little bar-b-que down in Waco? Or was that okay since Bill Clinton was supposedly making it rain?

    In your eighth bullet point, you discuss about freedom being lost (and I actually agree with you on this point), but you earlier criticized those who did not a support the Affordable Care Act. How much freedom is lost when the government mandates that its citizens must buy a product?

    You chide Boomers for being “insufferably superior”, acting like “social betters” and stereotyping Millenials . . . and then proceed to do those exact same things in your discussion of the TSA. Again, I’m no fan of the Patriot Act or the establishment of more lumbering government bureaucracies, but you’re guilty of the exact things you accuse others of doing. Unless you meant “America’s D students” as a term of endearment And your jab about watching NASCAR and attending Promise Keeper Rallies is cut from the same cloth.

    I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. If you don’t like my comments don’t hate the truth teller.

    • Guest

      This is disgusting. The writer has a right to her personal opinions but not on what is supposed to be a finance website that provides money management information. What the hell does this have to do with personal finance? She said she felt “purged” after writing it. I didn’t realize this site was to be used as a journal for her to vent her feelings.

      More important, why did the founders allow her to post this op-ed-like journal entry here? You are supposed to be providing support and information to people who are struggling, not cutting them down. This vitriol has lost LLM a lot if credibility. The post shows incredibly bad judgement on the part of the writer and the organization. You have lost a fan, and I’m sure many more who aren’t speaking up.

  • Grace Villafuerte

    The only point for this post seems only to be to rant and solidify for readers that this website is first and foremost for a very targeted age demographic. (Message rec’d, by the way, loud and clear.)

    I recognize that the show and posts are aimed for the 20-35 yr old crowd, which is fine! The biggest inspiration I’ve gotten from you guys is that any idea or project you have a passion for – just go for it, have fun, and do it your way. But to publish a post that expresses such anger and encourages such divisiveness makes me I realize that truly one side is being portrayed. It’s not just a 20/30 yr old perspective, but a non-inclusive-community, angry, and complaining perspective.

    This post felt like a reality or talk show in which only the extreme viewpoints of 2 demographics (in this case Boomers and Millenials) are portrayed, and the excitement is in watching them yell/complain/take shots about each other. (MMM’s word “Complainypants” comes to mind. Sorry McD’s was force fed to you.)

    I’ve always had tons of friends of all ages, and yet I know no one personally with these viewpoints. In fact, most of the boomers I know share a lot of your frustration with the political problems – because they are facing the same economic problems (but it must be their fault, according to you. I work in Social Services, and I could write novels about issues facing the Boomers who did everything right and are struggling through no fault of their own, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear it – it’s not as exciting as hateful sound bites.) You mentioned mostly political issues, misuse of power, poor decisions, etc. It sounds like universal discontent with policymaking, governmental decisions, and general institutionalized issues that promote larger gaps in the socioeconomic structure. But apparently it is easier for you to blame an all encompassing group, “Boomers,” like some conspiratorial plot where you are the victim. What you read online / in the media / Twitter / Facebook – or other one-sided, sensational, over simplification of larger issues – are not representative of “real people,” but only a tiny minority of the population at large.

    In my communities, Gen Xers and Millenials teach Boomers how to work those finagled gadgets, and Boomers teach the “young’uns” how to work on your house, fix your bike, garden, spend wisely. Matt, you’ve implied a few times that life seems to end at retirement age. I gotta say, 50+ and 60+ yr olds are the busiest, fittest, most active, most hardcore cyclists and backpackers I know.

    At political events, protests, or marches it’s folks of all ages on both sides of the issue. . It’s people of all ages wearing the 1% and OCCUPY shirts. In fact, it’s the older folks who have more reason than the “millennials” for wearing it. (The collective complainypants gasp!)

    And since you brought it up, two KEY LEADERS in the OWS movements were born in 1942 (Kalle Lasn) and 1961 (David Graeber) – they are your mentors, if you choose to open your mind. THIS is the real world.

    By the way – every generation gets yelled at for something, you’re not special (maybe more sensitive?). Millenials are certainly not the only group to graduate into bad economic times, just the first to have the internet to bitch about it. I’m just most surprised that a highly regarded, award winning website would end an article with

    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.”

    • Grace, you know we love you. We have quite a lot of people in our audience who wouldn’t identify themselves as Millennials and I’ve personally had quite a few awesome conversations with these people. While our audience definitely skews younger, quite a lot of meaningful ideas for the show have come from people like you. Perhaps the most telling part of this piece is that Candice herself is not a Millennial.

      This was our first attempt at a provocative piece and we’ll probably try a bit more. I will say that we must be doing something right to get you to write such a lengthy reply ;)

      For what it’s worth, we get lambasted every day in the emails the show receives – people don’t agree with what we say, positions we take, etc… Disagreement is a good thing as long as it’s part of a larger discussion. Perhaps the true worst thing ever is to stifle discussions before they begin.

      Matt, Candice and I create something every day but we don’t always hit the mark. That’s ok because we’ve learned it’s part of the process – it takes a lot to put yourself out there to be ridiculed on the internet.

  • dime21

    This is disgusting. The writer has a right to her personal opinions, but not on what is supposed to be a professional website that provides money management INFORMATION. What the hell does this have to do with personal finance?

    This “article” shows incredibly bad judgement on the part of the writer and the LLM founders who allowed it to be posted on their site. I thought LLM was about empowering people who are already feeling down because of money issues, and enabling them to get out of financial trouble, not cutting them down.

    LLM lost a lot of credibility with this site and I’m sure lost a lot of fans. They certainly lost one. Oh, and I’m a millennial.

    • dime21, I’m sorry you can’t appreciate Candice’s excellent article. She did an interesting thing where she took her thoughts, sat down and wrote them out into a compelling and controversial article.

      We are not afraid to share our opinions because discussions are what makes us smarter. We are also not afraid to take risks as you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

      Personally, I think this is great and while not everyone will agree, we only hope that it inspires thought. If you’re unable to see the spirit in which the article was written then you were likely never part of our core audience anyways. One of the biggest things you need to appreciate what we create is an open mind.

      • dime21

        Wow. I’m all about being smarter but how does this help me get smarter with personal finance? I don’t disagree with her points. I think her caustic tone and outright blame are disgusting.

        And you are wrong. I WAS a part of your core audience. Been listening forever. Take a look at the other comments. A couple other people have unliked your page.

        And thanks for implying I’m closed-minded for thinking the tone of this article is horrific. I appreciate you taking a listener’s feedback into consideration.

      • dime21

        And please don’t ask us for feedback if you are only going to tell us we are wrong, closed-minded or not part of your core audience. If our negative opinions don’t matter and you aren’t going to take action then don’t ask.

      • joebee78

        Did I read that right? The guy who rails against Dave Ramsey, then admits that he never actually read any of Dave’s books is preaching about needing an open mind . . .

        • Hah! Just because I’ve said something 200 episodes ago doesn’t mean I haven’t changed my mind although I don’t think I’ll budge on the ELP stuff.

          I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect although I DO think we’ve grown a lot since episode #1. If you’ve emailed me anything contentious then you’d know that I’m all about a healthy debate. There is however a difference between having a conversation and just being angry.

          • joebee78

            I’ll go back and listen to episode 186 again, where Matt reviews Total Money Makeover, but I’m pretty sure you said during that episode (which was not 200 episodes ago, more like 20) that you still hadn’t read the book. If you’re opposed to ELP’s, how do you feel about affiliate marketing where podcasters get paid a commission when someone clicks through a link to product or service that the hosts recommend?
            I too like have a healthy debate and conversation and not just being angry. How would you classify the tone of the original article? Do you think it would fall on the “healthy conversation” side of the spectrum; or is it more on the “just being angry” portion? As I pointed out below, the author resorts to the same name calling, stereotyping and painting with broad brushes that she is upset about.

          • Joe, the book actually gives the lightest of light touches on investing – it’s much more debt and behavior focused. I still haven’t read the book but Matt has and we have a divide and conquer approach where he may read that book but I’ll read stuff like GTD and Wildcat Currencies. It works well because our interests differ.

            My problem with the ELP program is well documented in two episodes: http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/matts-review-of-total-money-makeover-by-dave-ramsey/ and http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/breaking-down-the-dave-ramsey-investment-strategy/

            In short, a single person can cause a lot more damage to someone’s wealth when incentives are skewed as opposed to a program meant to simply execute upon a well documented investing strategy (that’s damn cheap). We also work really hard to educate on the fundamentals so that people will understand the decisions they are making. I mean, we brought on the CEO of the company and asked him questions sourced from our audience in addition to describing the service, plus we personally use the service ourselves. I doubt Dave uses all of the ELPs he recommends to manage his wealth.

            I will agree that the tone of the article got a bit rougher towards the end – what I’m trying to do is reel things back in. The article was very much meant to ruffle some feathers ;)

  • Hey guys. I love the podcast.

    I was born in 1964. My wife was born in 1965. I like to say I am the youngest boomer on the planet.

    I believe the boomer’s adult children are not afraid of work at all! I think they are afraid of getting a job. Why? Because jobs can be eliminated! That is all millennials
    have seen since the “go-go 90’s”. They have an entrepreneurial spirit that the boomers are envious of!

    Plus, we boomers have had to adapt to this cool new world full of technological “short-cuts”. So boomers are always using their history as “advice” on how things should be done.

    But Millennials are pioneers that have not had to adapt. They see opportunities that us “grown-ups” are blind to see!

    Matt and Andrew, y’all are excellent examples. Keep up the good work!

    -Chip

    • I absolutely agree on the whole job front. My wife’s father has been working the same job since he graduated college – loyalty on both sides of the table is much more rare these days!

      Couldn’t agree more on the technology front. I know quite a lot of boomers who go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to learning tech, it just isn’t the same as growing up with it though. It’s almost as if having the benefit of technology at such a young age has wired our brains differently :)

      Thanks for contributing to the conversation Chip!

  • dime21

    Ok, I’m done. I expressed my point of view and have been told by LLM that I’m closed-minded, not part of their “core” audience and that my decision to no longer listen to their podcast is “in bad taste.” Ending an article with “up yours” is in bad taste. No longer listening to you podcast is how fans vote.

    I see you have decided to focus on responding to the comments which praise the article and ignore my very valid question: What does this article have to do with personal finance and what action would you like me to take from it?

    I have never experienced such poor responses to a customer complaint. So, in words you and your author can appreciate “up yours.”