By: Abigail Calandra| Writer
May 30, 2019
Millennials (anyone born between 1982 and 2004 in this context) are going to be the first generation in history to be poorer than our parents. And that’s unfortunate.
I talked to my parents and told them that I felt like I was given the short end of stick going into my adult life. My parents simply told me that our generation is just entitled. And the more I think about it, the more I think they may be right. There are apps for just about everything, and as Laurie Laughlin proved, we think we can even buy our way into anywhere, including top universities.
All jokes aside, millennials are facing the most unstable financial future since the Great Depression. Wages have stagnated while housing, education and healthcare have skyrocketed. In 2009, fewer than 20% of college graduates had a job offer lined up and a one-percent increase in the unemployment rate the year of your college graduation means a 6-8% drop in your starting salary. And of those unlucky 2009 graduates, 48% of those hold jobs they are overqualified for.
“I’m scared that in the future I won’t be able to get a job I love,” said junior Kristin Gabriel. “I’ll be forced to get a job just because it pays the bills.” But maybe everyone did, we’re just the first generation to complain out loud about what generations before just accepted as a fact of life
It’s been established that going to college is pretty much essential if you want to hold a decent job, but now it’s practically impossible to pay for college itself. A college degree has now become a prerequisite for even the lowest jobs and of the 11.6 million jobs 11.5 million of them went to those with some sort of a college degree. Millennials are experiencing 300% more student debt than their parents, and if your parents are paying for your college then lucky for you, but it can take up to 4459 hours of a minimum wage job to pay for four years of public college; whereas it only took the boomer generation 306. This generation is literally paying to work and it can take years to actually earn a real salary.
“When I think about college I instantly think about how expensive it is and that college degrees are rapidly losing their worth in the ever more competitive and inconvenient job market.” said junior Caleb Mettler. “I believe the government should do more to create a financial security net, it would assist in stimulating the economy by keeping more workers on their feet.”
Millennials are the highest uninsured rate in the country and they experience the most medical debt. Sure, they can stay on their parents’ plans until we are 26, but after premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket limits are often too high for them to absorb. The smallest injury or illness can result in poverty, even on Obamacare.
People say that this generation has it easy, that we’re the generation of avocado toast eating and hipsters… I’m l not sure if that is true or not. What I do know is that it’s our responsibility to get out and fix stagnated wages and inflated costs of living, health care and education because there’s no reason to believe that the Gen-Xers are going to put down the bong long and do it. During the last election, only 49% of eligible millennial voters went to the polls. If we want our very own New Deal we need to fight for it, not wait for older generations to do the dirty work for us.