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Add it all up and it’s no surprise that we’re the first generation in modern history to end up poorer than our parents..“Some days I breathe and it feels like something is about to burst out of my chest,” says Jimmi Matsinger.What is different about us as individuals compared to previous generations is minor.What is different about the world around us is profound.“A lot of workers were just 18 at the wrong time,” says William Spriggs, an economics professor at Howard University and an assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Labor in the Obama administration.“Employers didn’t say, ‘Oops, we missed a generation.We spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need. We killed cereal and department stores and golf and napkins and lunch.Mention “millennial” to anyone over 40 and the word “entitlement” will come back at you within seconds, our own intergenerational game of Marco Polo.
But his degree is almost eight years old and he has no relevant experience.
Salaries have stagnated and entire sectors have cratered.
At the same time, the cost of every prerequisite of a secure existence—education, housing and health care—has inflated into the stratosphere.
Every stereotype of our generation applies only to the tiniest, richest, whitest sliver of young people.
And the circumstances we live in are more dire than most people realize.