Millennials: Did Baby Boomers Really Ruin Our Futures?

The Millennial versus Boomer war is nothing new. Baby Boomers complain that we’re lazy, entitled and selfish. We tend to think that the Boomers don’t understand how hard it is to make it now, and that we should be able to get a job by just walking in and asking if they’re hiring. We think that their unwise decisions have ruined our future.

But is that really the case?

The Brexit Betrayal

Recently there was an outpouring of rage from Millennials after the Brexit vote became official. Only 19% of 18-24-year-olds were in favor of Brexit, compared to the 59% of pensioners that supported the decision. After the results came out, Millennials were furious that the young people were going to have to bear the consequences of a decision that was mostly made by an older generation.

It certainly seems like a good possibility that Boomers screwed this one up for Millennials. They’re voting for something that they’ll never see the impact of, and it could have detrimental effects for years to come.

The Trump Issue

The same views are echoing in America with the support of Donald Trump for president. Again, the impacts of a Trump presidency are mostly going to impact us, rather than the older generations. The Boomers aren’t going to be seeing a lot of the long-term changes. If you compare the Brexit voters and Donald Trump supporters, they’re actively made up of working-class, Right Wing Boomers.

We want to have hope for the future of our world. However, it’s hard to believe that it’s going to be a hopeful future with these developments. Climate change is influencing an unstable world and leading to more terror. Meanwhile, Trump doesn’t even believe that climate change exists. This man has the potential to be the leader of the free world, but doesn’t believe in scientific data.

The Difference in Generations

Boomers were brought up in a thriving economy and are living and working longer than previous generations. While entry-level positions were normally meant for new graduates, now someone with more experience could fill it. College graduates are working retail and flipping burgers because they can’t find jobs in their field — and they have to pay off that crushing student loan debt somehow.

A college degree is becoming like the new high school diploma, and it’s getting significantly more expensive. The productivity of employees is also increasing, while pay is not. It’s getting harder and harder to afford simple needs, including groceries and transportation. An average first car a Boomer could afford would cost $19,100 today, when adjusted for inflation. In comparison, the average Millennial is only spending about $6,500. That doesn’t mean cars have gotten more affordable — it means working Americans today can afford less car than their parents and grandparents could.

Maybe the Boomers didn’t intentionally screw our futures up. They lucked out and were born into a time of prosperity, and that’s what they became used to. We grew up during one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. But there’s no way we can say they didn’t have an impact.

Being so entrenched in their ways and values is why we have things like Brexit and Trump. They’re all about nationalism and pride in their country, when globalization is a reality and we rely on other countries for so much. We can’t ruin relationships with other countries when we get multitudes of imports from them.

The choices of the Boomers are undoubtedly going to have ripple effects for years to come. But instead of focusing on what they’ve done, we should be thinking about how we’re going to change it. That’s what’s going to be our legacy.

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  1. To Millennials From a Boomer
    […] week ago, Holly Whitman wrote a piece asking “Did Baby Boomers Really Ruin Our Futures?” which I thought was a very nicely balanced piece and I wanted to respond, as a late […]

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