Why Some Millennials Think The Economy Sucks

Why Some Millennials Think The Economy Sucks


It’s not about millennials judging their peers, it’s about millennials judging themselves against their peers when they don’t have the full story. They see the photo from their peer (someone they knew in college but now lives 1000 miles away and they aren’t really friends). In the photo the peer is drinking a Mojito on a beach outside their bungalo in the Carribean. While they themselves are wondering how they will ever be able to take a vacation like that that when they can barely save up enough for the transmission repair on their 2010 Camry. Little do they know that Ms. Carribean lives at home with no bills and no responsibility. But Ms. Carribean doesn’t allude to the fact that she would never have been able to take that vacation if she was out on her own while working at her lame entry level job.

Keeping up with the Joneses has always been hard. But before social media, the Joneses lived on your block and you knew what they drove and what their taxes were like - because you were neighbors. Sure, you didn’t know about their inheritance if they had one, but you knew enough to tell whether they were in over their heads or living within their means. Knowing that much now is nearly impossible when it comes to your old sorority sister you barely keep up with who lives across the country and puts up a great facade on facebook and instagram.


I don’t understand how. Unless you knew what their income was, you have no clue. That’s just a judgement/assumption you’re making.

Again, I ask you, how do you know it’s a facade? Also, again I ask, why do you care how they paid for it and/or if it’s a facade? One can argue that going into debt now to have experiences now is not always a bad choice, given life is sometimes taken away from people very early. In other words, YOLO. You never know when you’ll die or become incapacitated. If you’re comfortable with debt, what does it matter? And, why should it matter to anyone else?

To put it another way: you buy a term life insurance policy in case you die, right? You’re effectively betting that you’ll die within that term period (one way to look at it, of course). If you don’t die within that term period, you don’t get the payout, thus you’ve lost 100% of your wager. I see it the same way for people who go into debt for vacations. They want to experience it now because X, Y, Z reason. But one of those reasons could be because they don’t have kids yet, or don’t have much responsibility yet, or fear they won’t have the stamina to do a rain forest hike when they’re 50 and have the money saved to pay for the vacation outright.


It matters because millennials that can’t afford to do the things that a small subset of their peers can afford (or they allude to affording) think WRONGLY that the economy sucks and their lifestyle is worse than their parents. It doesn’t suck. And their lifestyle (except for college debt and homebuying) is better than their parents.


I would argue that a lot of young folks these days are probably more well off, earlier in life, than previous generations. Simply because of technology. So perhaps most Millennials really aren’t fronting.


Not only are college education tuitions a supply and demand issue, but IMHO, college is just another business that sells a product not everybody needs, but most people want. College is marketed just like any other product - to make you think it is necessarry, that you will be better off if you go, that you need to keep up with everyone else, blah, blah, blah.
They even sell add-on products that are in most cases not needed (required courses not closely related to major being studies). Not to mention that the millennials I work with 1) wish they were back in college, because this “adulting” thing isn’t fun, 2) want to go back for their own personal development, and 3) when I show them basic skills needed for the job they are doing, the have repeatedly told me, “why didn’t they teach me that in college?”


I agree completely that they are more well off then their previous generation counterparts (generally). But I have no idea how much fronting is going on. I was only referring to the anxiety the constant barrage of photos of fancy vacations and other luxurious experiences creates in millennials that are just treading water as they figure life out. But yeah, I think even those that fall in the treading water category are taking more fancy vacations than their parents did.

I personally have to catch myself when I see someone’s vacation post and instinctively think, “Damn, I wish I could do that!” I have to remind myself that I’ve been to Europe 3 times, on an African safari, and to Las Vegas more times than I can count. And I haven’t even come close to making 6 figures a six figure salary. This was all before I was 33.


It is what it is, right? There’s always someone richer, and always someone poorer. That’s life. I think what you’re touching on is that there are easier/faster ways to share such things/experiences with a wider audience than there once was. However, just because the media changed (photo album to "insta"gram), doesn’t necessarilly correlate to the “Millennials are fronting” idea.


These statments seems to contradict the trend. I hear from Millennials that the economy is bad, and previous comments provide numerous reasons why Millennials have it harder than past generations, but these comments seem to contradict these perceptions. I’m not saying anyone is wrong or right, just trying to get a different perspective so I understand the younger generation better. I guess it’s all ust a matter of personal experiences and perceptions.


It’s a misconception that I am ashamed to admit; most Millennials just don’t “get it.” They’re too concerned with the here and now, not the past or future. Relative to some past periods, we’re much better off. Relative to some others, we’re worse off. I think the key here is, there is a new “normal” that EVERYONE, regardless of generation, has gotten used to (or still are trying to get used to).


I feel like this belongs here:


Personal experiences are one thing, but facts are facts. The economy is doing really well right now. It wasn’t for a while, now it is. Millennials have such a short timeframe to base their experiences on that, like jaytrader said, they simply don’t “get it.”

But as for their lifestyle, they live better than their parents even with the increased student loan debt and housing cost (except for some extremely high cost of living areas where housing costs are through the roof). Their parents didn’t take overseas vacations in their 20s unless they were rich. Overseas vacations are attainable by lower middle class people today. Same with appliances and vehicles. Their parents cars had air conditioning, automatic transmissions, and power windows as expensive options. The long distance bill may not have been the same size as the cell phone bill, but the cell phone does a lot more for only a little bit more money. VHS vs. On Demand and DVR. The incomparable comparisons are endless.



Here’s another good one:


I indeed come back just now to read. For the most part everyone here – seems largely to be those I called out, gen x and baby boomers – still don’t get it. Okay, so what, you understand the disenchantment. Here’s your cookie. But what are you going to do to change that? The economic and political policies you are supporting largely fund your pocket books only, not younger generations. My guess that your response is that it isn’t your issue to resolve, and that is where your generation proves to be morally corrupt and selfish.


Millenials didn’t invent “keeping up with the Jonses”. But in the past teh Jonses where just your immediate neighbors, brother in law and coworkers, etc. Now the Jonses are the 300 friends on Facebook and their friends friends too.

Is there any actual evidence that Millennials as a whole have a worse opinion of the economy than any other age group? This seems to all just be anecdotal.


As the OP, I posted this based on hearing it from every Millennial I work with. They don’t speak for the group as a whole, but I’m interested in understanding things from their perspective.


And I appreciate you bringing this topic to light. I am a Millennial, not by choice (from a generalizing point of view). Most of my friends are in their 40s. I don’t think I’m better than other 29-year-olds, but I think a lot of us (my age group/generational mix) need to wake up and smell the roses. As I said, there’s always someone richer, always someone poorer.


[quote=“jerosen, post:74, topic:1920”]
Now the Jonses are the 300 friends on Facebook and their friends friends too.
[/quote]this reminds me why I’m not a fan of socmed and I intend to keep it that way even if family and friends tell me I’m the only one “left behind”. :stuck_out_tongue:


@Ma_Barker are you saying you’d brag or that you’d feel pressured into buying things you don’t need due to your peers posting things?


Completely different subject, and I cant speak for Ma_Barker, but I am not a fan because it seems predominantly superficial. I dont connect to someone unless I know them personally and consider them a friend.


Ditto. I find socmed very superficial.

Besides it’s not my nature to brag about achievements, what I have, places I’ve been, what I eat, etc etc etc. Its a blessing for me not to have to keep up with any Joneses.

I remember a conversation with grampa (RIP) many years ago when he was telling me the advantage of keeping a low profile. He said when you keep a low profile, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone and most likely you’re not going to be the go to person to beg/borrow/steal money from.