Why Millennials Can’t Grow Up - Today’s economic conditions are not just holding Millennials back. They are stratifying them, leading to unequal experiences within the generation as well as between it and other cohorts.
By - BidenVotedForIraqWar
For me Rudyard Kipling defined adulthood in "If". Owning a car doesn't make you an adult and the idea that delayed marriage is a sign of immaturity is just ridiculous.
I feel being an adult is the realization that no one actually knows what they're doing, but some may know more than you. The resourcefulness to make do with what one does know, and the maturity to read new data, vet it, and reassess previous conclusions. One's capacity to accomplish this may increase with age, but it's never guaranteed.
But hey, maybe I'm just immature and completely wrong.
Lacking close relationships may be (not always) a sign of poor interpersonal skills, but there's plenty of curmudgeonly adults out there. The narrow definition of marriage doesn't work for everyone, and forcing it through shame, mores (or even laws) generally results in domestic violence and divorce.
\>I feel being an adult is the realization that no one actually knows what they're doing, but some may know more than you. The resourcefulness to make do with what one does know, and the maturity to read new data, vet it, and reassess previous conclusions. One's capacity to accomplish this may increase with age, but it's never guaranteed.
This, The moment I realized nobody actually has any idea what the hell they are doing and just giving it their best guess is the moment life got a whole lot more straightforward for me and honestly better.
Nobody is perfect, but some people are tremendously more qualified to give an educated opinion on certain topics than others. Throwing up your hands and saying that nobody knows anything is unhelpful. Some people have a great deal of expertise. This is why seeing a doctor is better than asking google in most situations, for example.
Some people's best at certain subjects are simply better than other's. I, for one, will never master the clarinet, and that's OK.
I realized that in high school, it did not make me an adult however.
I realized it in middle school but then forgot it around 19. Life is strange.
I realized it in the womb, or was it as a swimmer? Don't remember
I disagree, though I think this awareness is something that you do develop in adulthood.
I feel that being an adult is when you start to feel a sense of agency and self-direction in your own life. When you stop feeling led, expected to follow direction, and instead feel responsible for your path forward.
I think adulthood has gotten later as things like post-secondary education has become standard and especially as it's been harder to set out independently, and become free of student loan obligations. Millennials end up staying "on rails" for so much longer than previous generations. Being forced to follow directions. Regardless of whether they're "independent", they're forced to stick to a script.
My parents, in their 20s, left their town debt-free, my dad having a college education financed by summer work and parent's saving, moved across the country, and with their job, built a house in their spare time with the excess from 1 income.
Millenials in their 20s graduate with 6-figure student loan debt, to go and compete for unpaid internships and live with their parents in order to get 'experience' to maybe get an entry-level position in a career stream that promises that one day will pay them well. They don't have the opportunity to become adults for years.
It's basically impossible to build a house for yourself nowadays too with all the regulations around how to build one and whatnot. You'd need to know the codes for many different trades and how to get your work past inspections etc. You need to know codes for foundation making, framing, electrical, plumbing, roofing and siding among other things plus be able to do all of that, and own the tools for all of that. It's just too much for one person to handle anymore
I dunno, I think a lot of people know what they are doing, particularly as they get older. It’s just that most people specialize and know what they are doing about specific things and the generalized knowledge comes with time and experience. There are a large group of adults who do seem to be stuck and never progressed.
Most people just copy what other people are doing because it worked for them. We're basically functioning cargo cults.
Just replying to you cause you're near the top of the comments.
Nothing of what is being said is wrong. But it isn't measurable. No one registers the day they realize that no one knows everything, there aren't adults too look up to anymore, that they're the adult now....
Age at marriage.
Age at first childs birth
Age at first house purchase.
These are measurable, and are recognized, historically, as markers of adulthood. The article is talking about how the lives of millennials have been stunted when measured against these events.
I don't think this article is trying to talk down to millennials. It is identifying that the way we have measured the economy and peoples lives isn't useful anymore because the older generations have screwed millennials over so badly.
>there aren't adults too look up to anymore, that they're the adult now....
Sad but so true I realized by middle school that I could no longer look up to my parents. By the time I graduated I had more equity saved up in a brokerage account then they had saved in their entire lives.
They had horrible spending habits and it took a couple years for me to convince my family as well as siblings to become financially responsible.
> I feel being an adult is the realization that no one actually knows what they're doing, but some may know more than you.
People on reddit constantly say this, but I think it's not the whole picture. Lots of people really do know what they're doing.
What is true is that no-one knows everything, and even experts in one field may be complete laymen in another. Applies to every area of life, not just academia or business. Just because they know what they're doing in one area, or even lots of areas, even _every_ area of their lives (there _are_ people out there who really do have their shit together), doesn't mean they're an expert on what you do in your life.
They may just have no clue how to do your job, or how to face the challenges you have. And vice versa! This doesn't mean they don't know what _they're_ doing, though.
IMO, part of being an adult is understanding that everyone is the main character of their lives, and their whole world may be completely disjoint to yours. This is pretty similar to your definition, actually. _Knowing_ this is one thing, but internalising it is tough. This does mean that I'm probably not an adult and neither are many people, some pretty old, so maybe it's a bad definition on my part.
Great response!! 10/10
I mean we’re all arm chair life expert apes floating on a rock through space. No one knows jack shit!
But there are certainly esteemed scholars in the fields of space rocks and donkey proctology!
the day you call your parents out for dumb shit you are an adult. and before some smart ass says "what about 7 yr olds HAHAHA" if a 7yr old is calling you out on dumb shit, sadly they are growing up faster then they should. your not quirky, your child is filling the vacuum.
The idea of "knowing what you're doing" is an immature idea because it implies a level of certainty in decision-making that doesn't exist in real life. We can do a bit better with things like cost/benefit/risk, but the risk term is always there, and real situations are a lot more complex than we can model. So, it's not really that no one knows what they're doing, it's that knowing what you're doing in a generic sense is a nonsense concept. No one can describe what "knowing what you're doing" looks like other than omniscience, so it's basically the same as saying "no one knows how to turn left and right at the same time."
I think we're basically on the same side on this topic and could just be semantics, but this is what I think every time I see someone say, "no one knows what they're doing."
You are correct in your assessment of adulthood.
The article does not call anyone immature. Instead it's highlights how millennials whom might want to own a home, have kids, etc. can't and as a generation we are not experiencing life in the same way that might be expected.
Yup. I'm almost 40 and still live with family. It's cheap rent and it's literally the ONLY way I'll ever be able to save enough for a solid down payment for a home. It allowed me to pay off all my student loans and I've been able to be a solid influence in my little brother's life, acting as a sort of bridge between my dad's authoritarian style of parenting and... well. Reality.
But damn if I wouldn't have loved having my own place in my 20s. That would have been awesome. All the stuff I would have learned about myself during that window of my life... I just can't replicate when I finally get my own place in my 40s (that's MINE muwahaha MINE MINE).
Everyone else will be at different stages. Kids, careers, planning, all that. When you're younger, you don't have to be serious yet. You can go on a road trip and just say FUCK IT for a weekend. Far fewer obligations weighing you down. They're a way to connect, sure, but life has stages and once they're done, they're done.
You can step in a river twice but it's always a different river. Life is like that.
... also miss being able to eat whatever I want. Indigestion suuuuucks.
I hear that, it was only when I moved out in my late 20's did I start dealing with my own shit, if I had moved out earlier maybe I could have had some wasted time back, but graduating right after 2008 I was basically 5+ years behind as I could not get a job and the one I did get was awful.
oh well can't dwell on it.
It isn't so much the things you own as the things that you *can* own. Lots of "adults" have cars they can't afford. But if a generation is getting older and older and they just aren't hitting expectations for financial security and independence that we associate with "adulthood," that's a problem.
That metric doesnt work where im from. I lived in the country and no car meant no work.
You don't even have to live in the country for this to be true. I'm in a city and not having a car means that my commute to anywhere is at least 4x longer (and sweatier during the summer). Lots of American cities are borderline impossible to live in without a car or just living within your bubble of a neighborhood which doesn't always have everything you need/want.
It's funny because most of my relatives and social group from high school and college ended up in Manhattan or Brooklyn. No one owned a car when we lived in NYC, and it was kinda a point of pride when returning back to our car-centric rust belt hometown. I couldn't understand social life without the subway. I hated dealing with designated drivers and the like. We did certainly wish we had the homes that the non-NYCers had, though.
While I acknowledge that some cities are not Bike friendly, many are, and it just takes a little preparation to bicycle around.
ehhh, I get it. My city is very bike friendly, but from late may to early october it's like daily temperatures of 90 degrees with like 50-75% humidity.
My city has good bike networks and so I haven't had a car in 4 years. I do miss some of what it let me do, but I got an ebike and it performs 90% of what I needed a car for.
Same for me. Public transportation is a nightmare in my country. Train infrastructure is extremely underdeveloped. Can’t take you from city to city and has so few stops. Our busses are old and the drivers don’t have proper training.
Public transport is so key to a modern society. You can thank car companies for heavily lobbying against it. Luckily some countries ignored them like Japan and i hear Germany is pretty good. But they hold way too much power.
In my city’s case it wasn’t the car companies but a combination of poor city planning, corruption, and a population that got way out of control too fast... so poor infrastructure planning in general.
Yah i live in Denver and they are suffering a similar problem. They had a population boom since 2014. But they didnt start upgrading roads and transit till almost 2018. So some of it is halfway done now...
I live in Denver now. But have lived in a few major cities. Portland and Seattle had the best public transit. They both claimed to be bike friendly but i had problems frequently. Hell one time a cop pulled across the bike lane and nearly killed me. I despise the public transit in california. Its a mess. Denver is actually really bike friendly. But their transit is just now being upgraded. So they are way behind.
What he probably meant was driving a nice car. Compared with keeping the old beater full of cheetos for a while.
In other words, putting oneself under financial stress. I did this, bought a new car at 22 with a disgusting 7 year loan. Only was able to pay it off a year early.
Probably. Did a similar thing out of high school.
Worked 6 years for the vehicle, instead of myself and it delayed getting a higher education degree by at least 5 years. Worse, is the 5 years lost that could have been instead gaining post degree work experience, building home equity, 401k, etc.
It was a mistake, and I learned from it and advise any younger people I talk to not to do it.
I don’t know that I would call it immaturity though. Ignorance of long term financial planning and tying that into long term life goals maybe.
Something they should teach in high school. By observation, those from higher societal rungs get this knowledge passed down via their parents. As I, and those around me had parents of lesser socio-economic status, we learned through the school of hard knocks.
Or some did. Some just spiraled down or got hung up in a revolving debt trap.
Ah got you. Yah i had an 83 subaru in 2006.
My dumbass bought that new car in 2007. Got good use and resale out of it at least.
In 07 i got a great job. Bought a car. Then lost that job in the crash of 08. Still had the car payments. So i kind of made the same mistake. Ive never bought that nice of a car since.
I’m finally in a spot of higher earning potential and would love to pick up one of the new 400Zs when they go on sale, but I won’t. 35, student loans, and I rent, so I need to take care of other shit first. Pity, I don’t have kids and have zero use for a back seat.
Get a 370z, miata, whatever, used. I just got a used toyota 86 last week and had a used FR-S before. Just have an Independent mechanic check out each car you look at in detail.
[For the uninitiated](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If%E2%80%94) (like myself)
Delayed marriage should be a sign of maturity, no?
I would say so!
Ah yes growing up = accepting traditional shitty worklife standards.
I can't back this up with any hard data quantitative reasoning, but it has to ultimately be due to the never ending arms race of credentialism, right? As the Bachelors degree once outmuscled the high school degree with regards to what you needed to make the cut for the upwardly mobile, it is slowly now being outmuscled by the MS/Doctorate degree, despite the nature of work not necessarily benefiting anymore than on the job training would. So not so much the actual education, but rather the ever more stringent requirements just to get your foot in the door. Which at least with a high school degree was subsidized by the state 100%. Now you need to take high 5 to low 6 figures just for the *chance*
I’m not a *huge* proponent of the “just go to trade school” thing that you’d probably hear from someone like Joe Rogan. But there are quite a few areas in the country where you can live a pretty comfortable life without a college degree.
At the same time, there’s a good number of people with [student debt who didn’t even end up getting their degree and any of the financial benefit that comes with it. ](https://www.npr.org/2019/07/18/739451168/i-m-drowning-those-hit-hardest-by-student-loan-debt-never-finished-college) It’s really unfortunate that we don’t have a more holistic approach to education, helping students find what’s actually right for them which very well might be something other than a 4 year degree.
I think the plan for free community college could help a lot of young people kind of find their way before investing a lot of time, money, and energy in something that might not pay off for them.
Hi, this is the future, you need 5 years of unpaid postdoctoral work to get an entry level job!
But seriously, I think one of the issues with trade school is that we still have this 1950s idea of what it means. There is definitely a place for traditional trade school, but it would be great if the concept could be expanded. Most of the so-called "STEM" jobs are suitable for a focused 2 year degree, maybe with some apprenticeship, which could fit easily into the structure of community colleges across the country. It would make a lot more sense than trying to force liberal arts curricula to become de-facto trade schools.
Bachelors degrees are great for people with a genuine interest in learning for its own sake, or in pursuing advanced degrees, but they are expensive investments in both time and money. People who just want to get the skills needed to get a decent job in the modern economy could really benefit from an alternative (one that isn't a for-profit school designed to extract money from students.)
I think this depends *strongly* on what subset of STEM you're in. If you want to do front end web dev, you probably don't need any formal training after high school. If you want to do computational fluid dynamics, you probably need at least a 4 year degree.
The problem is there are simply not enough trade school jobs to go around. Presuming you retrained even HALF of the working population for those jobs, it would create a huge glut of labor in the field, and drive wages down.
The fact that the opportunity for a percentage of non-college educated people to learn a trade and move up the Economic ladder exists does not solve the the problem of a significant portion of the population being unable to - not due to skill, but due to lack of need - there are are simply not enough well paying jobs available to everyone who would want them (even if they were all trained).
Because almost an entire sector (manufacturing) has been outsourced. Unfortunately no one gets to enjoy cheap goods and high wages without some very serious economic ramifications that will quickly strip away either the cheap goods or high wages.
It's not just that, there is a pretty big reluctance to *pay people* even when the jobs aren't outsourced and the money is there. We're "all" paused on one period of time and any pay increase no matter how long it's been is seen as "unnecessary."
I work in manufacturing for a company that makes products for the wealthiest of the wealthy, all sold at crazy markups because they can. We aren't paid any better than anyone else in manufacturing making cheap crap, but they absolutely have the money here to pay us well.
Thank the erosion of unions for that. Everybody likes to act like unions are evil, but they’re the ones that pushed for living wages, weekends, 8 hour work days, and workplace safety.
We can also point at companies procurement practices. So many companies now lean hard on procurement to run frequent bids, reverse auctions, or other ways to bid down prices for goods and services.
It’s very hard to pay people more to do professional services when customers are trying to get 5%+ annual cost reductions, refuse to sign a multi year contract, and change suppliers like underwear.
Yes but what we were solving for is aggregate output not maximum employment.
And let’s be clear, overall output *is* higher because of globalism/outsourcing. The trouble is that the returns for that increased output is not being distributed equitably.
So the solution isn’t to kill globalism (median wealth is higher than its ever been). It’s to put into place policies that prevent over accumulation of wealth into certain strata, and things like universal basic income...
US Manufacturing output is at all time highs and still increasing.
US imports still outstrip US manufacturing. The US imports more than it manufactures. The share that US manufacturing output has of the GDP has been dropping like a brick. It's now a mere ~11.3%. 2009 was the last year in which US [manufacturing produced](https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/manufacturing-output) more than the [US imported](https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/imports) (value wise).
It's not though. It's really not. Real output per hour is down from its 2007 peak. Real output raw is down from its 2007 peak. Employment is way down from its 1989 peak. No matter how you slice it, U.S. manufacturing is not at all time highs.
We automate most of those jobs though.
I never said we should train half of the working population to be tradespeople. But according to the [BLS JOLTS report for March](https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf) like 15% of private job openings were in manufacturing and construction. That’s pretty substantial.
Of course I didn't say you should train half. I say presuming because I'm trying to give the argument the best case scenario.
The point is - even with %15 job openings around, if you FILLED every job - that still wouldn't have enough jobs to move a generation of people.
Per your report, it said there was 8.1 million openings in March. Take 15% of that (so 1.25 million ish).
Now take All working age people from say 28-40 who are either unemployed or working minimum wage, even up to say $15 hour, and compare that to the 1.25 mil).
Notice how there will still be a huge glut of people making less than the amount to meaningfully move up economic status. And if you filled all of those jobs, you would necessarily see a small drop in wage + benefits as there is more competition.
My argument still stands that there is not enough high-wage labor relative to the demand for it - and that gap falls disproportionately on the younger generations, further exacerbating generational wealth and socio-economic status.
I also didn’t say trade schools will solve everything. If all those jobs magically got filled, it would be a 10% reduction in unemployed persons. That’s not insignificant. That’s a million more people with decent paying jobs and some money to spend.
But my main point is that maybe it’s not such a good idea to push a bunch of 18 year olds to take out huge loans for a 4 year degree, pick a major, and hope for the best. Community colleges are much more affordable (and may soon be free) and offer a range of options from certificates to associates degrees that can ultimately provide a decent paying job, or at least save you some money if you transfer for a 4 year degree.
Any job you can get after high school that would allow you to save enough money in order to afford college tuition up front (and remove the need for a loan) is literally going to be job doing for longer than it would take to go to college.
The typical jobs available to H.S. graduates with no additional training won't pay above min wage, and you can't afford college on minimum wage unless you have every other expense provided for - and even that's a stretch.
Take college out of it for sec - and just as yourself a simple question - how does a generation gain wealth when only a small percentage of that population has access to employment that has escape velocity?
I’m not sure what we’re really talking about now. The comment I replied to was lamenting about bachelors and graduate degrees being required for all jobs. I’m arguing that’s not the case for a lot of decent paying jobs.
No where did I say people shouldn’t pursue education or vocational training after HS. Quite the opposite, I’m saying they should pursue a larger variety of education and vocational training, many of which are less costly and time intensive than a 4 year degree.
> I’m arguing that’s not the case for a lot of decent paying jobs.
Right, I agree. The overall context is that people are trying to get 4-year degrees because that seems to be the most reliable (not necessarily best) means of gaining a job/career that can provide enough income to reach a certain level of living standard. The fact that there are not enough trade jobs to go around means there will still be a high demand for education in order to compete for those higher paying jobs.
And while I agree that people should pursue more education, the fundamental problem remains that, as I mentioned earlier, most people are locked out of means of pursuing said education without taking on debt - thus exacerbating the wealth gap. You know have a huge generation that has to take a loan out on their future to have a chance at earning a high wage, and there is no guarantee that they can obtain a job for their training (as their are more applicants than openings) - and still pay off said debt.
You don't need to give EVERYONE a trade job for it to make a considerable difference. There is a HUGE shortage of tradespeople, builders, plumbers, electricians, welders. It's a primary case for increased housing costs.
Right, but your missing the broader point, two actually:
trade jobs are only one of the few categories of employment that pay competitive wages to non-college educated applicants, and pay enough to allow workers wages that allow them to save for retirement, and raise a family anywhere near the median (let alone average) income.
The other thing is that the only way hiring more contractor type jobs 'lowers' the housing cost is because it increases the supply - and the wage of those workers goes down. So, trying to make housing cheaper for one group of people by simultaneously undercutting the wage of roughly those same people in their employment does nothing to really help them (lower wages + lower housing cost), it just helps people who DON'T work in those fields buy housing.
That's actually not necessarily true that wages of the workers go down. What's happening is that the shortage of workers is causing a housing shortage because not enough houses can be built at the speed necessary. There is a pent up demand for the entire stack of construction and renovation, work that simply isn't being done because of the labor shortage. These works would get completed at the prevailing wage if there were more workers.
Ah, ok, that makes sense in this case; so I can accept that.
But, in that case then, the demand for that work would ONLY last until supply levels out - which does mean it may not be a viable long term career path for all who go into it, correct?
Population is not static. So there’s going to be a growing demand for trades. Things that get built need maintenance. Etc.
If you play it right you can even get by in some of the more expensive places without a degree. Certain union workers in the trades are doing very well for themselves in the regions with construction booms.
Have to be prepared for downturns, obviously, but something like union electrician or plumber also affords you the ability to pick up work on the side. Between overtime and side work I know quite a few people in the trades around Boston that are doing really well for themselves.
Funnily enough, your first point seems to tie in with deepening partisan divides. As much as gerrymandering is a problem, a lot of the sharp regional variation in party affiliation is due to self sorting - if you're a moderately educated person with a generally liberal inclination, one reason why you wouldn't move to a place where you could have a much easier time making a living is the culture.
The labor market would look dramatically different if there wasn't such a strong deterrent for many moderately educated millennials moving to places where the cost of living is dramatically lower.
plumbers are probably making more than lawyers right now.
Community college doesn’t count to employers, only 4 year programs.
You go 2+2 and then just put your +2 on your resume and leave the community college off.
That’s not true at all, the place I work hires a ton of people with an associates degree just has to be in a technical field like engineering technology or a mechanical discipline. Industry: semiconductors.
That's refreshing to hear, I've been advocating for a long time that motivated people with techinical associates degrees are in many cases a better fit than people with bachelors degrees in tangentially related fields.
Graduate degrees are mostly for specialized fields, people trying to switch fields, or stuck at an entry level position and looking into making a big jump.
Experience still trumps education, even if in my area the rate of people with graduate degrees is close to 50%.
Building on this, as I progressed throughout my career I actually use considerably *less* that relies on what I learned in my education, and considerably more "corporate knowledge" and on the job idiosyncrasies. In fact I haven't cracked open one of my academic textbooks in years, and do so much admin/project management work now instead of anything quantitative that I see no reason someone who didn't even finish HS couldn't have been trained to do similarly. And yet I get compensated more than 2x what I earned as a junior level entry worker that actually did rely on specialty knowledge. The years of college and post-grad ended up being a wasted six figure exercise after just a few years in the field, which calls into question its utility in the first place except as a filter by the monied elite to gatekeep their fiefdoms.
I was asked to come back and be part of a panel for the chem department at the university I graduated from a couple of years ago. It was a panel of people that entered the workforce without going to grad school first. Typically a lot of chem jobs want either experience or a MS/PhD. Biggest thing I shared that day was that the most important skills I picked up in college for my job were from being on chair positions club activities. Stuff like project management and budgets are way more important where I work than what I picked up in classes like Bio/O-chem.
I think you might enjoy David Graeber's [Bullshit Jobs](https://www.left-bank.com/book/9781501143335).
The thing with admin/project management work is payed well because it is hard to execute that on scale. Some are very good at managing and some are not.
For example, product owner and some project manager jobs pay just as much and in some cases double what senior software engineers get paid. The reason for that is the results of good strategy, competent management, meeting deadlines and handling stakeholder expectations are results that directly add to a company’s bottom line. Good management and governance can make or break an operation.
The most I learned in that role was actually not from the business school/six sigma types, but from a very competent industrial engineer and combining my learnings from a social science undergrad degree. On the job experience while picking the brains of people much smarter than I am along with trying out things I have seen people do that went well.
However, I am seeing even this type of role pushed down more into lower pay. Only problem is when they trying to get folks at that lower pay they end up with poor management, expensive mistakes and initiatives that are delayed for years.
If companies pay high they will get damn good talent and people willing to put more effort into the job because pay.
I think you're onto something with roles that are actually skilled being slowly debased in favor of more managerial undead (maybe it's just easier to quantify work that is essentially a fatberg of bureaucratic definition and protocol than work that relies on "knacks," "passions," etc.). It's the "agile" model at its essence--taking varied mental labor performed by a diverse pool and recasting it as homogeneous labor inputs from commodified team.
I think the management issue isn't quite as simple as that HS grads could be trained on the job to fulfil the same admin/project manager roles. While true in some fields, in things like banking or tech, it's important that the person managing the resources actually understands the nature of the work being done. Which is why there's a pull away from technical skill towards people management as you move up, the requirement is for someone who can do both, which is a much smaller pool again than the even the hard to get entry level technical/ hard skills oriented jobs.
I agree with you to a point but credentialism is beginning to fall apart due to high tuition costs, so now the workplace will need to adjust as we have fewer college graduates. I do think by and large though a university degree is going to be useless, with the exception of STEM and business. For a lot of high schoolers now without a solid plan I tell them to get a trade or start learning working on business knowledge. College isn’t for everyone especially now that they are adult daycares, and the liberal arts are need a solid change. This coming from a Political Science Major with 3 years in the workforce. Fortunately for me I had something lined up where they didn’t care about the degree.
Liberal arts are hugely important as the basis of our society and civilization, but they are not and were never supposed to be a job training program (with the exception of career academics.) Traditional college BA programs are great for the subset of people who have a genuine interest in learning for its own sake.
People who are primarily motivated by the need for job skills need other options - more associates programs, trade schools, apprenticeships, and other alternatives to get them trained with a lesser investment of time and money.
For those looking for the "adult daycare/party school" option, there should probably be some kind of dorm camp or something totally separate from academics.
I agree with how you outlined it completely, but that’s not how college is sold with most students not realizing the differences in opportunities the degrees provide. And that’s where the friction lies because college is sold to high schoolers as the fast track to success so many student blindly apply without a plan for what comes next after the degree.
I volunteer to mentor high schooler (Big Brother type thing) and a lot of them see it as the next step when they don’t have a solid plan. Notice in my original post I only suggest trades to those without a plan, not those with a plan, because if you’d like to teach or have a plan to use the degree for a career go for it! I have a friend that got an English degree off of writing scholarships who teaches now and is an amazing poet with a book already published a year after graduation. I would never discourage her or anyone like her from choosing her path.
The issue is college as a whole is treated as get a degree and it’ll pay off with a career when often times they don’t. I love the liberal arts, and find them incredibly useful for building culture. But a major issue is the cost associated. People can’t continue to justify taking out large loans only to be placed in career fields they were qualified for before college. Especially when college doesn’t equal success like they were sold. People are going to feel a buyers remorse with these degrees overtime.
Liberal arts will likely see a transition as cost increases become more common to online based or recreational hobbies, because very few individuals can justify the cost of a degrees in those fields.
Also your last paragraph about the party school people made my day, because I couldn’t agree more. Colleges would be so much better if social frats were replaced, or drastically overhauled from what they are now. I still like the idea of professional frats, but the social drinking frats have no place in academia.
You bring up a lot of good points. I blame the currently situation largely on the decades long effort to increase the rate at which people in the US get college degrees. Like many things, it started with the best of intentions. A well educated population is better in many ways, including being more economically productive. However, trying to achieve this goal by pushing as many people as possible into a traditional 4 year degree program was sort of a lazy, one-size-fits-all approach.
For one thing, it led to the federal student loan programs which have dramatically inflated the price of college and all but guaranteed that most graduates will have significant debt. It also created the credential inflation where entry level jobs are looking for masters degrees to do a job that a reasonably capable 19 year old could handle.
I am not optimistic that the private sector can deliver a good solution, at least not at the scale needed. I think it will take action from state and federal governments to re-think the role of community colleges and trade schools, fund and regulate them appropriately, and reconfigure the relationship between debt and education.
Even with the indentured wage model for financing bootcamps?
A lot of STEM is secretly useless, too. A bachelor's in most of the sciences will get you nowhere. TEM is more accurate.
Yaaa like most undergrad Chem, Bio snd “life science” degrees ...
That type of job should ideally be handled via internal training of maybe some sort of work study program.
No one needs a degree in chemistry to clean glassware and apparatuses...
You are massively underestimating the general knowledge, skills, and critical thinking aspects of education to focus entirely on the job-specific practical skills that basically everyone agrees are things people learn on the job.
If you want evidence, ask a boomer who never went to college, worked for 20 years in some low skill profession, lost their job during the great recession and has been unemployed since because they have no useful skills whether college, even at today's prices, would have been a waste of time and money.
I don't know any boomers that fit that bill, but I know many Gen X'ers like myself, who went to college (generally undergrad + maybe master's), explored various career ladders and lattices, and ended up deeply specialized in corporate managerial double-speak with foci in home-grown IT systems and arcane specializations ("our HR workflows may make more sense if you realize they are built in Visual Basic and Jython"), were ultimately churned out rather than up by the machine, only to realize that their so-called skill set is roughly as justifiable as the people skill dude in Office Space.
>Then people realized that people with an MBA often had a damaging distorted view of the world.
You roll into any major business with an M7 MBA and the red carpet will be damn near rolled out for you. Average salaries out of the top 25 programs or so is in the 125-150k range. High class MBA's are absolutely still valued by the market.
Interesting, what sectors are they in?
I mean, I know for a fact the FAANGs, MBB, Big 4, I banking etc are still heavily invested within the MBA market. And given the average salaries are still increasing for those people I would say its a bold statement to say the market is abandoning their interest for those with an MBA.
It depends on where you go as well. They like “good” MBAs. When I was living in Houston I looked at UHD because it was cheap, but everyone I talked to told me not to do it, to go to Texas, A&M, or Rice. All of those were $100k+
Turns out you don’t you need an MBA to be successful, as I got a job great job later without one. I think most people without a business degree get one to be more competitive, and that makes sense for IB or FAANG
It's not just that but it's happening within levels of education as well. It's very common for the kids of wealthier parents to receive nearly full-time tutoring after school. Often hyper focussed on the topics that'll help them succeed in life.
It means that by the time kids exit high school, rich kids have had nearly double the amount of education. Kids in poorer or middle class income had to make do with whatever their overworked teachers and parents could provide.
By the time those kids hit college or university, the rich kids are in a much better place to excell academically, extra-curricularly and in the competition for the best internships, graduation projects and networking opportunities.
And that advantage compounds as they'll continue to do the same for their kids.
One of the impacts of millennials delaying child rearing until later in life is an explosive growth in the fertility market. In vitro was mostly a market for lesbians looking to have a child with a very modest number of infertile women going to get the treatment. And in the last 5 years it's ballooning going from less than 1% growth per year to almost 5% growth per year.
They expected a baby boom during COVID but these fertility clinics are the ones getting a boom, they don't have enough capacity to meet the demand for older millennials who want kids. There would be a baby boom... if not for the fact that the average millennial is now much older than their parents were when they had children and are becoming more and more infertile.
Long term you have a career path that'll be very future proof for xenials to get into. The line of infertile millennials isn't going to end for another 20 years.
Yeah I did the “smart” thing by waiting for financial stability before starting a family. Now I’m 36 and and have been trying to get pregnant for 5 months and may end up needing fertility treatment, which I also just learned isn’t covered by insurance! What a great reward for being responsible.
Don't kick your self too much. I was irresponsible and got knocked up at 21. I'm really happy that she'll be 18 when I turn 40 but I never stopped struggling because of the limitations put on me by not being able to just pick up and leave for better opportunities. Eviction and repossession are normal concerns for my family and I feel awful about the strain I put on my family at times when I need help.
And who says Capitalism doesn't create innovation
I mean, yes, but this is also feeding into the high costs of medical expenses facing millennials. By delaying their fertility, they are actually contributing to their own financial distress due to how expensive it is to get a lot of these operations done even after insurance deductions.
Of course, as the article observes, this is itself a function of society distress, because even people who want to have kids, won't have kids until they feel secure in their lives and that's just not happening for many millennials.
This article doesn’t feel well enough researched to draw any pertinent conclusions. Recessions have continued to increase the wealth divide. The governments aid ends up helping out those with higher earnings power and education than lower skilled workers. It increases prices and inflation as a long term trend while giving them short term relief and that stimulus will be invested by their wealthier cohorts. Really this comes down to education and labor skill, because I’m a millennial and have far more wealth than my parents but that is largely due to education/skill set rather than just a generational effect.
This, lower skilled workers didn't have the ability to work from home and basically went from having full employment to none. High skilled university educated workers were able to capitalise on the COVID induced recession by cutting down day to day costs and were able to better deploy that excess capital into the market.
In my country the government even handed out a tax break for people who did work from home.
If you are highly skilled in a high demand career, you will benefit from these cycles. Governments and universities need to do a better job of drilling this into aspiring students early on before they pile into hundreds of thousands of student debt which is the likely cause of millenials having 'worse economic conditions.' Paying off the equivalent of a mortgage before you even get a mortgage is destroying a generation.
This entire is an argument constructed entirely of unconnected facts, that hits on key issues but never really covers any in depth. For instance the author discusses delayed marriage and wage stagnation being a problem as well as different opportunities by economic groups. Yes all the issues the author brought up are pressing, but they are all caused to some degree or another by opportunity costs.
The author discusses one ladies financial issues, but she isn’t even 40 yet and has a grandchild. The same thing could be said about the marriage age issue brought up by they writer. Way more interesting conversations come from discussing why individuals are making the life choices they are making and what is incentivizing those choices. For instance I am willing to bet that cultural values play a huge part in the marriage part of her article. San Francisco and rural America share vastly different cultural norms. Also perhaps the reason most women with college degrees marry older is because it takes 4 years to graduate and then establishing yourself after graduation can take 3 years as well to reach stability, and if both partners have a degree then it could take longer for people to be in the position to even begin family planning. Also with the 40 year old grandmother example a better economic article could have been written on her life choices, and compare her outcome with someone from the 1980s. The bottom line is this isn’t an article so much as a series of complaints about how life is harder now, that would each make great articles themselves.
Yep, not an economic article but just a word salad with economic terms or ideas vaguely thrown in there.
It’s in defense of millennials and adding validity to feeling behind in life. And this is Reddit, regardless of what sub it is.
This is similar to how I felt while reading it. It was very surface level: the issues that were brought up are already so widely accepted as problems that it feels pointless to restate them without adding anything.
On the other hand, by the way so many people in this thread are acting you’d think that the author said something heretical by shining any light on these issues at all, so maybe it’s not surprising that there’s so many articles like this that just restate the obvious. I mean, the mere implication that things like gaps in wealth aren’t simply caused by The PoorsTM all collectively making dumb decisions sent a strangely large amount of users into a frenzy... it’s funny how quickly some drop all pretence of being analytical and go straight into being judgemental, if not just outright derogatory.
If you are a grandmother before hitting 40 we are safe to assume we know where your savings went.
It's silly to expect a whole generation to have the same financial outlooks with such varying life choices being made.
Parenthood isn't the best investment moneywize and we all know it, that being the reason people perceived as economically successful postpone their children having (if they do at all).
> Parenthood isn't the best investment moneywize and we all know it
And that we have a economic system that makes this true is an existential threat in the literal sense
Strongly agree its not good long term for society to disincentivize its most productive members from reproducing. Very concerning.
Yes, but think of all the money the older generation will get to spend before they die.
Thinking of it only from the perspective of the people who have to pay for it isn't fair.
Being a parent is productive, it just doesn't pay anything. Feminists have long talked about the inequity of unpaid labour like childrearing and maintaining a household.
>And that we have a economic system that makes this true is an existential threat in the literal sense
Nordic countries with high social safety nets have similar birthrates.
People are making choices and it's doesn't seem to be about starving.
> existential threat in the literal sense
These kind of things in the evolutionary long term are self-correcting .. if you have a couple generations where people who dont value child-rearing over other fulfillment/pursuits/finances etc, then in a couple generations you'll only have people left who do value raising children over other life pursuits .. not saying this is ok or not, but that's how natural selection works
Indeed one could go further and say we've had maybe couple thousand years of almost socially mandated marriage/child-bearing which meant a lot of people who didnt have strong parenting impulses or instincts, or even strong sex drives still bore children and left lineages .. plus, without birth-control, natural selection had partially conflated sex-drive for child bearing/raising drives .. now that humans have widespread birth-control methods and society has evolved to offer a viable 'choice' in child-bearing/raising or even companionship/marriage, we're at a disequilibrium where a big chunk of current human 'stock' is at odds with the current human/societal state.
And of course, when it specifically pertains to reproduction like here, natural selection is very very swift in finding equilibrium again in a matter of just a couple generations. (Though of course that change can come about in a variety of pleasant or unpleasant manners!)
The problem comes from the fact that the system needs a stable or growing population to function. What happens when retirees become too large a percentage of the population?
Disagree. Not having this would be an existential threat because it wouldn't be truly valuing the resource consumption and costs to future generations. If it was dirt cheap to have kids we would probably balloon to 15 billion people and no longer be able to mine precious metals to build computers anymore. At some point after that we probably wouldn't be able to breath.
The population has x6 in the last 100 years, this is not sustainable.
Agreed, and that will bite us in the butt when we are retiring but such is life.
The heck is an expense account? Does the company just give you a credit card to do whatever with?
Typically it's supposed to be used for things related to the job. Maybe filling up gas in a company car to get to work, taking customers out to dinner, or flights to/from a trade show to try and generate new business. You're not supposed to do whatever you want with it, it's the companies money and to be used for company business. Where I work I have to pay the cost up front and fill out an expense report to get reimbursed. It's not too bad, I've never had an expense rejected and I get the money a day or two after turning in my receipts. Worth noting for an expense account you're also supposed to turn in your receipts so the company can make sure you're not wasting their money buying yourself things.
Yes, or they reimburse you to a certain point.
I think expense accounts are misunderstood the way u/EmperorOfCanada presented them. This is the way it works for me, and for most business travelers: need to take a business trip? Great, use the corporate credit card. Book flights and hotels, charge meals up to a daily limit, etc. Save receipts for anything over $50. No, your wife doesn't get to come for free (although if she stays in the hotel with you no one is the wiser). In this case, there is no real benefit to me. I am traveling and away from home/family. It doesn't cost me anything, but nor should it. I am traveling for business.
It is my understanding that people who work in sales have a little more leeway with meals and entertainment -- they might have an annual "limit" on expenses they can use to lavish clients, however there is also accountability to bring in sales and it's not carte blanche to bring your wife on a Hawaiian vacation.
Maybe it's different in Canada.
An expense account would make sense if it was for high end sales people or execs closing large deals. Really I think it was a way for entitled boomers to raid the company for new clothes and dinners and shit that they could claim was for “work purposes”. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to pay for any of my work clothes either, but you don’t need a new suit every 6 months.
We work remotely, but even for those of us in the office our leadership Venmo’s a few bucks for lunch/dinner instead of taking us out. Our leadership is great.
Your boomers are retiring? I worked at an engineering consultant and it felt the same way, but with favoritism for any ex-military employees.
Boomers take care of themselves before retirement and will leave a mess for the Gen X future managers to inherit. The boomers aren’t bringing in more work, they aren’t remotely computer savvy, they are out of touch with the modern office environment. And then there’s little millennial me watching the high turnover and wondering how I’ll fit in.
My husband is an engineer and the requirements for any enginnering job are insane. They want people with extremely specific experience and them don't respond to applications for months at a time.
Sorry just venting, its so frustrating.
I’m sorry. It’s like that for most jobs nowadays. But civil engineering should have plenty of opportunities, depending on location. I’m in Florida where the rapid population growth and swampy terrain make for high demand for civil and environmental engineers.
> The woman I interviewed does not own a home, nor is she anywhere close to affording one. She has nothing in the way of savings. Nevertheless, she is a grandmother, catapulting into middle age.
Maybe her being a grandmother by the time she is 40 has something to do with her not being able to afford a house?
I was gonna say, on average that’s each new generation born at the age of 19. My gen x parents had very different upbringings, one was to college educated parents at 25, the other was to high school grads at 19. Who do you think had the better upbringing? That isn’t a new millennial thing
What kind of sick country creates incentives so perverse that one has to choose between having a family when biologically optimal, and being able to acquire a home to raise them in?
> What kind of sick country creates incentives so perverse that one has to choose between having a family when biologically optimal, and being able to acquire a home to raise them in?
*When you inadvertently argue for the heavy subsidization of child rearing from Rick Santorum's 2012 campaign platform.*
Don't think Iran does. You don't get much choice there besides getting a home to raise kids in, as a woman.
Every country in the world, except a select few like UAE and Qatar
Biologically optimal age is around 29. I am pretty sure teen pregnancy is discouraged in pretty much every developed country.
29 year olds are being priced out of parenthood too
Priced out of home ownership, parenthood is cheap if all you care about is having a kid. There is a crapload of government support in that area.
>Priced out of home ownership
Which is associated with negative outcomes for kids not able to grow up in a home
Absolutely, kids are expensive if you want to raise them right. But that's the tricky part right? You are able to contribute to society and those contributions have a value. You shouldn't expect to extract significantly more services/goods than you contribute. Somehow that needs to be enforced because whether we like it or not you can't create something out of nothing.
You mean people have to choose what to spend money on and way things against each other?
Yeah weird. It's almost like consumers have preferences that are constrained and have to optimize accordingly. Crazy right?
I have to choose between my mortage and an Audi r8 v10. Its really just wrong.
Who knew paying $100k for college would damn you for life?
Well based on my income staying fairly flat unless I jump jobs. Yep I’m fucked when it comes to having retirement. At this point gonna just aim to pay the house off at50 and work until I die to give my son a head start when he’s 40.
Well, if boomers hope to have any money going towards their Medicare and social security, they should support raising the wages of those that are younger than themselves.
If there was ever a long-thinking generation, it wasn't the Boomers.
Talking to my mom is like trying to plan large event with Dori
Or just vote themselves national debt. Which they did.
yeah, almost like the Boomers’ behavior is directly attributable to the current world state
Millennials have it hard, but it’s not insurmountable. We just have trade offs. Millennials can’t afford home ownership, travel, and kids. I’d say really only home ownership is delayed.
But also look at our world now. You can fly to anywhere in the world for far cheaper than you could in the day. I can be in South America for under $400. I’m looking at going to Tahiti later this year, flight is under $1k. I’m out of town visiting friends both in an out of state at least 2 weekends a month. Can’t do that while married or with a kid.
Why would I want kids right now when I can go travel the world? Why would I get married when I can have the freedom to travel, move, and meet so many other people? My dating pool is way bigger than my grandfather’s. Why buy a house when I may decide I want to move to a new city or get a new job?
I’ve found we also want bigger homes. My cousin and her husband combined make 5x what I make and I own a home and they don’t. Why? They want a bigger place, I settled for an old, small (but great location and nice) condo. They want a huge yard and a few extra bedrooms.
I can afford to get married and have a kid, but I don’t want to. My friends are the same way. Some are single parents with no degree and are making it work comfortably, they just can’t travel. I’m a homeowner and I travel all the time, no shit I can’t afford a kid.
The boomers chose the small house and a kid because they couldn’t travel or have technology to maintain long distance friendships. I do, and right now that’s way more fun than the life they had.
This is such a fantastic perspective and something people should really read and absorb.
People today have so many more options and ways to spend their free time and their excess money. Saving for a home, planning for kids, etc. is not as important when you have all this opportunity to enjoy life.
For some damn reason, people keep writing these articles about these problems of not meeting milestones" and completely disregarding that we live in a completely different and more accessible world.
Milestones are not the "same." Many of us prioritize different things.
People are just trying to push political narratives. Millennials think we have nothing while the boomers have more so we should tax them more (even though we’ll be fucked in 40 years when it’s our turn.
The millennial attitude has its flaws but at the core they’re right. We ultimately take advantage of our wealth of mobility because we have to. I find the boomers extremely greedy and entitled, and as a result there’s a lot of uncertainty about my future. So I plan for the future but also live in the now. Will I ever be able to afford my ideal house? What if I lose my job or move for a new job, can I support or uproot my child? The answer to both is probably yes, but it’s not certain. And 30 years of debt or a child is a permanent choice, I can adjust my travel and lifestyle as I need to without a wife and kids. It’s an interesting phenomenon
> In terms of income and, especially, wealth, Millennials as a class have fallen behind, accumulating billions and billions of dollars less in net worth than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers did at the same point in their lives.
Millennials aren’t doing that bad in terms of absolute net worth per-a-capita, https://twitter.com/cschmert/status/1202604457508429826
That image shows that millennials have only slightly less per-a-capital wealth than gen X did at similar ages. A similar trend is also seen for gen X in comparison to boomers. I.e., younger generations are on track to be only slightly less wealthy than boomers were at the same age as these younger generations get older.
Further, this article paints an overly bleak picture of the financial situation for most millennials. Overall [most millennials have a positive networth](https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-net-worth-percentiles-by-age/). We see that the mass majority have a positive network and a significant portion have built up substantial net worth through saving and investing.
From that link, the percentiles of millennial household net worth (in thousands of dollars) are:
| Age | 25% | 50% | 75% | 90% |
| 25-29 | -3.7 | 7.5 | 61.6 | 152.1 |
| 30-34 | 2.8 | 35.1 | 117.1 | 258.7 |
| 35-39 | 5.2 | 55.5 | 228.3 | 601.3 |
Many people I talk to about the financial situation of millennials are surprised to learn that. (Possibly because they are stuck in thinking of millennials as recent college graduates.) These misinformed people buy into the false narrative that millennials as a generation are drowning in debt. They want to believe this is a financially irresponsible generation, but the data does not support that.
Lastly, there will be massive wealth transfers to younger generations as the older generation pass away and their inheritance is passed to their children. It's already predicted that [Millennials Will Become Richest Generation In American History As Baby Boomers Transfer Over Their Wealth](https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2019/10/26/millennials-will-become-richest-generation-in-american-history-as-baby-boomers-transfer-over-their-wealth/)
> A study shows that Millennials will hold five times as much wealth as they have today and the group is anticipated to inherit over $68 trillion from their Baby Boomer parents by the year 2030. This will represent one of the greatest wealth transfers in the modern times.
That graph shows Gen X being massively behind Boomers at every stage, and Millenials still lagging behind Gen X. How on earth is this a positive?
This wealth transfer will only happen if Boomer parents don't require long-term medical care in an expensive facility. Let's face it, many Boomers did not take great care of their health and are probably going to require inpatient geriatric care at some point. Medicare requires you to spend basically everything you have before it kicks in . . . So talk to your Boomer relatives about transferring ownership of assets before it's too late.
> If you use actual prices for things, like gold, minimum wage would be $40/hr today.
Putin really needs to get better bots.
I think we are closing to a "Great Depression" (1929), if we don´t change quickly to a circular economy and process improve, the effects of the COVID-19 and the lack of some resources like water, will only eventually provoke war.
We even have the random plebs buying stocks en masse in the same way they did during the 20s leading up to the depression. Cryptocurrency; GME; whatever other meme stocks they're trading.
We have a stronger grasp of monetary policy than what they had in 1929...
I'm not saying this type of stuff doesn't happen but are there any studies that analyze the complete picture? Because self infliction and bad decision making is a real thing. So what percent is self inflicted vs unfortunate circumstances
Idk how you’d classify data like that. Self inflicted seems arbitrary
At what point does the amount of self infliction become an unfortunate circumstance? If a vast group of people are self inflicting, there's more issues than their own bad decisions, making it more an unfortunate circumstance.
For example, obesity. It could be seen as each obese person is self inflicting and becoming obese. But with so many people being obese in America, over 35%, there's much more than individual choices that are doing this. The nature of Fast food being easy to attain and at a similar cost to making food yourself, especially healthy food, are a few factors that go from bad decisions to unfortunate circumstance.
Obesity is definitely a decision. As you said cooking for yourself is both a similar cost and better for your health yet people choose the path of least resistance and eat out. People need to be held accountable for the decisions they make. We can't just hand out money because people have failed to provide it for themselves. (this isn't a blanket statement as there those who deserve to live a modest life when they can not care for themselves I.E the disabled or mentally ill).
The idea of stratifying is something I totally can get behind- I’m genZ and am ahead of some millennials while a bunch are ahead of me. There shouldn’t be any 30yo/s behind me
> There shouldn’t be any 30yo/s behind me
I disagree there are plenty of 30-year-olds who can't pull their own weight.
Seem like conditions for more progressive support and/or a lot more polarization and conflict
When does personal responsibility come into play or do we not care about that now
It's as much in play as it has always been, there are just more pitfalls and fewer handouts than there used to be.