Why Some Millennials Think The Economy Sucks

Why Some Millennials Think The Economy Sucks
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#41

I’ve had this discussion before on other forums, and definitely the issue stems from the overly broad concept of generations. (typically 20 year blocks)

Even 10 year blocks are too broad to capture how quickly geopolitics and technology change, in terms of what a person grows up with during their formative years that shape their behaviors and worldviews.


#42

If that is a genuine quote, it is nice to see that even Socrates suffered from the selective memory that plagues the human condition, with respect to how we THINK we were, versus the present reality of the current generation reminding us of how we most likely really were.


#43

I think it is more about perception of the various generations by other generations more so that actual issues. I will say that I do think millennial have entered into a rough time to be employed and I think most of us here tend to not see the whole picture since we are achievers who have the discipline to make something of ourselves. I think if you took two average engineering graduates from both generations as they were entering the workforce, the older generations probably did have it better.

Older generations worked their butt off for a company that was somewhat loyal to them with good benefits and they had expectations of being with the company and promoting to the top. Nowadays, I think you get the similar motivations from millennials to work their butt off, but I believe they are asked to do more (companies not filling positions or employees basically do two jobs for the price of one) for about the same about of pay with less benefits. Also they have the added benefit of knowing they will be out in the street as soon as it is advantageous to the companies bottom line. Oh and you need a college or even graduate degree to get your foot in the door for positions that once required much less.

I think if you look at lower paying jobs/high school diploma type jobs, then the current generation is even worst off than the engineer above.

There are true slackers in every generation (hiding to sleep, two hour lunches, etc) and I still know people like that today who are genX’ers in higher level roles.

While the economy may be strong and people have jobs, it doesn’t mean everyone is sharing in the economy the same as they used to and that the jobs are even remotely the same effort/reward setup as in previous times.


#44

Eliminations of pensions were a big deal. After that, more recently is a severe incremental cut back on benefits. I had over a ~7% raise last year (over $5000), and my “take home pay” for 2017 looks like it will end up being only ~$1000 higher. Adjust for inflation, and it’s basically flat, meaning the average ~3% results in a 3% pay cut on average for employees at my company. There were also some other benefits cuts that don’t have immediate $ associated (time allowed on disability before termination/separation, sick leave accrual, etc). I don’t know if every company is chopping away benefits or just mine. “ACA” provides a good scapegoat for companies to cut since they assume few look at their actual $$ contributions going down or staying flat, which is still a decrease as a percentage of salary.

Flat or decreasing real wages and rising housing (and other costs) work together. Older generations are very poor at math when looking at rising real estate and other inflation costs, and the wages/salary number by itself is “bigger”, that’s all they look at.


#45

Which generations are you comparing?

I think it probably matters more looking at exactly what year you graduate and if you happen to step out into a recession.

Things have evolved in the job market over time. This is true. But its not really broken into generational steps, its a gradual evolution. Young baby boomers have it as bad/good as old Genx. etc.


#46

Several years ago, my husband’s company froze pensions. New employees weren’t eligible for pensions anymore at the same time. In 2009, they effectively eliminated them by offering the option to convert them to annuities at some yet-to-be-named insurance company (right after AIG nearly went bust) or take the net present value as a lump sum deposit into the 401k. Many chose the latter.

Company contribution to HSAs has been reduced and will probably continue to be over the coming years. Employee health insurance costs continue to rise, as with most people. Costs for other voluntary benefits continue to rise.

A long time ago, the company match on 401ks was cut in half. We’re glad there still is one.

The biggest detriment is the continued outsourcing. They haven’t hired any new engineers in years. A lot of work is now being done in India. Most of the team that my husband is on are actually in India. He still has some job security right now, because he has to fix the mistakes they make. He says that the people in India just do not care about doing quality work. They write software that doesn’t work and he fixes it. I’m not a business person, but I don’t see how such tactics save the company money.

Outsourcing is a huge issue that the older generations didn’t have to deal with.


#47

I was speaking broadly in general. Coming into a recession is the same as the comment earlier about slacker/complainers. Different cohorts in each generational band have entered into the workforce at different levels of economical prosperity.

My comments didn’t revolve around a specific generation being total better or total worst than any other. It was simply my personal/observational opinion that the gradual evolution has left the workplace people are entering into in the last decade (millennials and late genXers) worst off than the workplace of those entering 30-40 years ago (Boomers and GenXers).


#48

Yes the workplace / labor market in general has evolved over decades.

This pretty much a fact of life. We all deal with it regardless of age or generation.


#49

I guess I am arguing not only has it evolved, but that in real terms, it has devolved in many aspects. To say things change is correct, things have and will always change, but change is either positive and negative. I believe the workplace changes over the last few decades have been very negative from a workers point of view, but at the same time realize that they have been very positive for my portfolio.

So I sympathize with younger people today who got to see their parents/grandparents living different lives than they are able to or see themselves living. That said, they have the choice to whine or attempt to improve their situation. Where they end up is still up to them I just think it is more difficult to get there today.


#50

Several reasons that millennials feel the way they do:

  1. Most things haven’t gone up in price, but several important (and big) things have - housing and college. They are in more debt from college (by a lot) than any other generation. If they work in a city they don’t really see the how they can buy a nice home in a nice neighborhood with a reasonable commute before they turn 35. In some parts of the county, they don’t see how they can buy a home EVER!
  2. The media has told them this is how they should feel. I can’t count how many articles I’ve read about how things suck for millennials.
  3. Their social media has reinforced this feeling. They are more connected to their peers than you ever were. Their peers are whining about their financial prospects non-stop on social media. It’s almost impossible to ignore.

#51

And healthcare!

And the friends who aren’t whining are posting about their amazing trips to Ibiza and making everyone else feel bad about how they are doing.


#52

Millennials as a generation don’t really use healthcare (especially compared to other generations), so that’s why I left that one out.

Yes, 100% agree that the opposite facade of “Maui First Class 2017” and “Look at my new Bimmer” on social media makes it just as depressing for many millennials.


#53

Yes. That speaks to my point about the rich formerly being somewhat invisible. It must be awful to have to see everyone’s lavish vacations and other conspicuous consumption on Insta all the time.


#54

Especially when a huge chunk of them can’t even afford it and you think they are doing way better than you but in actuality, they have a ton of debt. Or… they have really generous parents that either help support them or let them live at home rent free with very few bills (but somehow they just don’t mention that part on facebook).


#55

While agreeing with this to a degree, I believe that the workplace has significantly improved in some areas, such as amount of time off, flex-time, work-from-home, lessening of standards, tolerance of almost everything, and some others that I can’t think of. :slight_smile:

Don’t get me wrong. Shrinking benefits are a fact and they affect everyone, including millennials. I feel sorrier for the older employees who show up on time, do their work at least half efficiently, don’t whine about everything, can take a joke without being offended, don’t think constructive criticism of their work stems from jealousy or profiling …
/rant off


#56

You’re correct. And that’s another recent cost shift. Most of the costs of healthcare for the current older generations has been shifted onto the younger people, and they’re also forced to purchase it at the now inflated prices. The currently old people have not seen much of the recent increases in costs (these increases have been shifted almost completely onto younger people), so they conveniently “leave that one out”.

*I’m not specifically saying the old people’s rates should or should not be subsidized by younger people in the pool, just that the recent years’ changes have dramatically shifted the costs relative to the prior setup.


#57

Old people have absolutely seen increases in their costs.

No the increases have not mostly been shifted to the young.

In group plans everyone pays the same and everyones rates have ballooned the same over the past couple decades.
In individual market plans (relatively small % of the whole) the rates for the old are 3x the young and they certainly have gone up.


#58

I think some frame of reference of a "typical Millen’ needs to take in how they view the world.

  1. they grew up being told by their parents they were God’s gift to the world

  2. they grew up “winning” for 4th 5th or even last place. Hey they showed-up, where’s the medal/trophy for being there?

  3. they tend to feel entitled. They’ve been raised to believe all should be handed to them and not earned. That management position their boss earned after 5 years, should be there job in 1-2yrs.

  4. they tend to be ‘more open’ in many things. More open to talking about what they earn, more equal in terms of how various groups should be treated, more open about sexual leanings, etc

  5. they have more ‘stuff’ than the older generations on most every level. And the cost of those items are a larger %age of household income (cell phones, game systems, over-priced headphones, jeans, shoes, etc)

  6. those items above, they get replaced every couple/few years, whereas the older generations held on to them for much longer

  7. they entered into a world where college cost a LOT more, in part b/c it was deemed everyone needed a college education to get ahead, which caused greater demand than supply which caused costs to rise ever higher, which brought out “online schools” and lower quality schools

  8. they were not given direction by their parents on what to do in college that would earn them a good living, Only that they were special and should follow their dreams/hearts/etc…and so you get a lot of worthless degrees that earn FAR less than it cost to obtain. Or they were coddled in learning and did try to pursue that quality degree, but were failing out b/c of --insert reason here-- and transferred to another discipline to finally graduate.

  9. They went into a world that was hit by a massive financial crisis, people with REAL skills were looking for jobs just as there were coming out w/ their freshly minted 2/4yr degree.

  10. The smarter / wealthier families had their kids continue on to obtain an MBA or Master’s degree, (they seemed to turn out fine, but still a lot more M.S. degrees out there than in prior years)

  11. Even though interest rates were at “historic lows” banks weren’t lending and hence stayed in their parent’s homes, hopefully paying down their loans

  12. Those whom weren’t as motivated to find a job (b/c it wasn’t being handed to them) sat and languished their skills and when interviewing, it never looks good to have that low-paying job for months/years on end

So, I get why their is disenfranchisement of the Millennials. The advent of social media shows “everyone” is having a blast (but is actually sad inside) eating at “THE BEST” (said in Trump voice) restaurants, or traveling to some far-flung destination, who is probably a person they barely know but friended on SM, and while their close circle of friends might only be getting by too, b/c of this MUCH larger social group to compare against, they strive to compare against those seen as doing better, when much is over-exaggerated.

As for SummerSoFar, your actions feel like what we’re dealing with with Trump “if you don’t like my way, FINE, I’m taking my toys and leaving…” but not before you give one last jab and saying you’re leaving, so don’t reply to my cutting remark…when you will probably ‘secretly’ come back to read the responses to feed into the thoughts in your head. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.


#59

Why would they? What anyone chooses to spend their money (or their credit) on is their business. No one is obligated to share how much they pay for their experiences and material items. I think you’re conflating “bragging” with “sharing.” Do people brag? Of course. Is insta/facebook/twitter a way to do that? Of course. But just because someone shares a selfie of them drinking mimosas in first class doesn’t mean they’re bragging to make anyone else feel bad. And it doesn’t matter if they paid cash or went into debt for it. They’re sharing their experience (and in some cases, yes, bragging).

I guess I don’t see the point of mentioning how they paid for it. If someone wants to live a lifestyle of luxury (or just, above their means) via going into debt–so be it. Who cares? If they are insecure, or just like finer things/experiences, it doesn’t matter. People spend money how they want, and that’s that. Judging them because they may or may not have went into debt for the Rolex before a $10k vacation to Fiji just makes you look jealous and/or resentful (the collective you, not you you).

You have to ask yourself this: why do I care how someone paid for the first class tickets they’re posting on instagram?


#60

As a millennial, here are my responses. No offense intended, just debating with you.

[quote=“dgoedken, post:58, topic:1920”]
they grew up being told by their parents they were God’s gift to the world[/quote]I was born in 1988. I sure as hell didn’t get a trophy when I lost a soccer game (didn’t play soccer, but it’s an example). I think you’re conflating “millennial” with “born in 2010 or later.” One is a subset of another.

[quote]they grew up “winning” for 4th 5th or even last place. Hey they showed-up, where’s the medal/trophy for being there?[/quote]Not true, see my above response. Don’t generalize due to a recent subset of the sample.

[quote]they tend to feel entitled. They’ve been raised to believe all should be handed to them and not earned. That management position their boss earned after 5 years, should be there job in 1-2yrs.[/quote]100% disagree. And nothing was handed to me. I grew up eating hot dogs and beans on one side, and having everything I wanted on another side of the family. I got a taste of “poor” and “rich” at the same time. Perhaps that’s why I disagree, because I have multiple perspectives. But again, I think you’re conflating recent history with the entire group of Millennials.

[quote]they tend to be ‘more open’ in many things. More open to talking about what they earn, more equal in terms of how various groups should be treated, more open about sexual leanings, etc[/quote]I have met numerous people, of all ages, that are open and tight about that stuff. I don’t think it’s unique to this group. Then again, why does this matter?

[quote]they have more ‘stuff’ than the older generations on most every level. And the cost of those items are a larger %age of household income (cell phones, game systems, over-priced headphones, jeans, shoes, etc)[/quote]Cell phones didn’t exist and weren’t as easy/cheap to come by as they are these days. This is just a fact of life. Millennials aren’t to “blame” for this really. It’s just everything is more accessible (a la amazon). But again, why does this matter? Plenty of people in previous generations had plenty of “stuff.” Are you just comparing yourself to Millennials? Perhaps you should compare yourself to everyone, no matter the generation. The fact of the matter is: “everyone” has a cell phone these days–including non-Millennials.

[quote]those items above, they get replaced every couple/few years, whereas the older generations held on to them for much longer[/quote]Plenty of people hold on to stuff a long time. There is an entire subreddit dedicated to this (/r/buyitforlife) and an entire way of life (hipsters) that are mostly Millennials.

[quote]they entered into a world where college cost a LOT more, in part b/c it was deemed everyone needed a college education to get ahead, which caused greater demand than supply which caused costs to rise ever higher, which brought out “online schools” and lower quality schools[/quote]No argument there. I did three semesters in a community college and called it a day. College is a scam these days–unless it’s a medical, law, or otherwise very “book” intensive area of study. Tech degrees are worthless, IMO (I’m an example).

[quote]they were not given direction by their parents on what to do in college that would earn them a good living, Only that they were special and should follow their dreams/hearts/etc…and so you get a lot of worthless degrees that earn FAR less than it cost to obtain. Or they were coddled in learning and did try to pursue that quality degree, but were failing out b/c of --insert reason here-- and transferred to another discipline to finally graduate.[/quote]I’m sensing some resentment on your part? You keep bringing up this topic of us all being so wimpy and nurtured. I think you’re seriously generalizing, and perhaps the [social]media has gotten to your head. But I’m not one of them, so perhaps that’s why I am a bit on the defense.

[quote]They went into a world that was hit by a massive financial crisis, people with REAL skills were looking for jobs just as there were coming out w/ their freshly minted 2/4yr degree.[/quote]Unsure how this pertains to Millennials directly.

[quote]The smarter / wealthier families had their kids continue on to obtain an MBA or Master’s degree, (they seemed to turn out fine, but still a lot more M.S. degrees out there than in prior years)[/quote]If you view MBA folks as “fine,” I think you’re mislead. In my experience with Millennial MBA folks, most of them are super entitled and arrogant, just because they have said degree. I’m not saying that out of jealousy at all, because I don’t care what degree anyone has or doesn’t have. It’s just a trend I’ve picked up on in my professional circles.

[quote]Even though interest rates were at “historic lows” banks weren’t lending and hence stayed in their parent’s homes, hopefully paying down their loans[/quote]What’s this have to do with any generation?

[quote]Those whom weren’t as motivated to find a job (b/c it wasn’t being handed to them) sat and languished their skills and when interviewing, it never looks good to have that low-paying job for months/years on end
[/quote]Don’t understand your first point, because there are plenty of folks that lived at home, not just Millennials. The second point, I agree with, but doesn’t only apply to Millennials.