Millennial is the generation of the Social Justice Warrior. Each new generation always has a particular disdain for the previous generation – freeing themselves from their parents. Are Millennials the anger generation? Millennial anger has been something special, as they have launched the rejection of the previous generation with the destructive Culture War we see today. Is this a symptom of a bigger problem? Digging into its financial root causes reveals insights about society overall.
Perhaps one of the most revealing single indicators is the variance in wealth distribution over time. In the 1990s, when Baby Boomers were in their late 30s, just slightly older than Millennials’ age in 2020, they owned seven times the share of household wealth (21% Boomers vs. 3% Millennials). The opportunities for income and wealth accumulation were massively more significant for Baby Boomers than for Millennials. See more here and the chart below.
This wealth gap between generations is essential. Millennials are at what is supposed to be the most productive part of their lives. Many should be building their careers, wealth for retirement, and/or starting businesses. But this takes capital which is not there. This represents lost opportunity in the Millennial generation.
Millennials have not just lost opportunity with having less wealth. Many are also more in debt. Millennials borrow to finance college than previous generations. Millennials, who started college in 1999, paid an average of $15,604 per year for undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board,” When Gen Xers and Baby Boomers started college, that number – adjusted for inflation – was about $10,300 for each of them. See more here and the chart below.
Here is more chart information on the Millennial generation. But there is good news for Millennials.
Millennials are far behind compared to Boomers in participating in the economy. They see fabulous technology and wealth created and are not participating in the success as did the Boomers. Perhaps Millennials will be the first generation in America that will do worse than the previous. Anger perhaps fueled by jealousy, many have checked out of society. See a shocking example below.
Many Boomers merely say that Millennials are simply lazy. Or government has encouraged them to ask for freebies instead. Perhaps why we have seen the rise of socialism. What will Millennials do with the inheritance they soon will receive? Build a better world or fritter it away? But remember, who raised Millennials. Were Boomers too busy making money at the expense of “real” education for the next generation?
Causes and solutions are both the financial structure and culture in nature and are topics for further thought. Perhaps the solution lies in building the structures of opportunity and not another government program.
See more #chartoftheday posts.
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