Remember when people couldn’t stop cracking jokes about avocado toast? Yeah, me too. Although it’s something I would rather forget. The sentiment was that millennial’s were spending all their money on avocado toast, or on other trends and that is why they were not getting married at 22, having two kids and buying, a $300,000 house in the suburbs.
The boomers that deride millennial’s for “lavishly” spending their money consistently fail to acknowledge that wages when boomers were going to college were consistent with costs of living at the time. Boomers could work as a waiter, bartender or any entry level job and at minimum wage make enough to pay their way through college without any debt.
The price of college is sky rocketing, the average loan debts students have after college is $37,000. For some people it is insurmountable. Of course, Betsy Devos has worked to privatize loan debt in the interest of making money off students by hiking up interest rates.
Everything is expensive, and education is not so much a springboard to prosperity as it is a tailspin into crushing debt that takes a lifetime to pay off with a wage that is not consistent with the price of common degrees.
Wages have stayed largely stagnant since the 60’s and 70’s but in that time, wages could buy a lot more with the average house being $20,000 versus the $125,000 average today. The boomer generation was one of the most prosperous American generations to ever live, now millennials and other generations face rising costs in nearly every single part of our lives.
Rent ideally is supposed to be a third of someone’s income and now all over the country it is more than half, wages are not consistent with inflation and people are suffering because of it. People that pay more than half of their income on rent are less likely to buy a home. Poverty is rampant, and tax cuts keep going to the top earners in the country while the poor and middle class bear most of the tax burden in the United States.
These problems are mounting but our current government is focused on immigrants, on abortion laws, foreign wars instead of looking at the real domestic financial problems most people face in the United States. Namely, young people that may never be able to get out from under their debt from college, medical expenses, higher rents and stagnant wages.
When you see older generations hating on younger ones for not being financially responsible enough, or criticizing younger generations for not amassing huge amounts of wealth, just remember that we have inherited their trillions of debts, their polluted Earth, their high education costs, their income inequality and we have to somehow dig ourselves out.
Maybe it will make us more resilient, but the Trump administration and the GOP in power, especially Mitch McConnell, will do everything to retain power and wealth at the expense of American citizens. Millennial’s, Gen Z and younger generations are going to have to shoulder the mistakes of the 80’s and 90’s.