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Sun Jul 10, 2022, 06:44 PM

Millennials are the largest workforce and the least wealthy -- why?

https://minnesotareformer.com/2021/08/11/millennials-are-the-largest-workforce-and-the-least-wealthy-why-politics/

Some highlights:

In 1989, when Baby Boomers were roughly the same age as Millennials today, Boomers owned 21.3% of the national wealth. Millennials today own just 4.6%. This means that at their same stage of earnings development, Baby Boomers owned proportionally four times as much of the total wealth as Millennials. . .

As the economy continues to change, things are looking worse and worse for Millennials without a college degree. Race also plays a significant role in wealth statistics. At the end of 2019, Black Millennials had just $5,000 in household wealth on average, compared with their white counterparts, who had on average $88,000. The same study also showed that not only are Black millennials trailing white Millennials in terms of wealth, but are also trailing previous generations of Black families' average wealth by 52%. . .

One significant dampener of Millennial wealth is student loan debt. As shown in the chart below, Millennials hold roughly $500 billion in student loan debt. Between 1964 when the youngest Boomers were born, and 2015 the annual cost of a four-year public university grew by 3,700%, even after adjusting for inflation. This means that in 2019 dollars, when Boomers entered college in 1982 they paid an annual tuition of $1,031; Millennials had to pay $9,970 for yearly in-state tuition. (Average costs are more than double at out-of-state four-year universities are more than double and nearly quadruple at private universities). Again, both of those amounts are adjusted for inflation to 2019 dollars. . . .

Both of these causes of the dearth of Millennial wealth are the result of deliberate political and policy choices: States have cut support to higher education, shifting the cost on to students, who in turn borrowed money for college degrees they were told were essential to survive in today's economy. Once in the economy, Millennial workers were left to confront a political economy in which labor unions were crushed and employers given maximum leverage.


We're quite an entitled generation. Boot straps, people. Boot straps.

30 replies, 1960 views

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Millennials are the largest workforce and the least wealthy -- why? (Original post)
Sympthsical Jul 2022 OP
Blue Owl Jul 2022 #1
Act_of_Reparation Jul 2022 #10
MichMan Jul 2022 #2
FBaggins Jul 2022 #3
Sympthsical Jul 2022 #4
FBaggins Jul 2022 #8
PoindexterOglethorpe Jul 2022 #6
Hermit-The-Prog Jul 2022 #11
Caliman73 Jul 2022 #21
Amishman Jul 2022 #22
Hermit-The-Prog Jul 2022 #23
applegrove Jul 2022 #5
Act_of_Reparation Jul 2022 #17
applegrove Jul 2022 #19
LT Barclay Jul 2022 #7
OldBaldy1701E Jul 2022 #9
LT Barclay Jul 2022 #12
OldBaldy1701E Jul 2022 #24
LT Barclay Jul 2022 #25
OldBaldy1701E Jul 2022 #26
LT Barclay Jul 2022 #27
OldBaldy1701E Jul 2022 #28
Initech Jul 2022 #13
artemisia1 Jul 2022 #14
SYFROYH Jul 2022 #15
Kaleva Jul 2022 #16
Calista241 Jul 2022 #18
Kaleva Jul 2022 #20
Sympthsical Jul 2022 #29
maxrandb Jul 2022 #30

Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 06:50 PM

1. Hey Millennials: get the fuck out there and VOTE for fuck's sake

You want Great Grandpa's party running things again???

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Response to Blue Owl (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 09:20 PM

10. Great Grampa's party?

How young do you think we are?

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 06:54 PM

2. I understand why Red states cut higher education financing, but why did Blue states ?

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 07:04 PM

3. Life expectancy probably plays a role

At roughly the comparable age, the Boomers were inheriting the assets of the Greatest Generation... but Millennials' parents (those same Boomers) aren't dying as early.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 07:10 PM

4. Interesting angle

Not something I've ever seen someone bring up in this context.

I checked, and the life expectancy difference between 1989 and 2015 is 3.5 years, the two years the author is using as comparison.

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 08:57 PM

8. Not the right comparison

For this one, you'll want to look at the life expectancy for people born 100-110 years ago vs. people born about 70 years ago. Not the average age of death in 1989 vs 2015.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 07:51 PM

6. It also depends on how old the parents were when they had kids.

If you have them in your late teens and early twenties, your kids will need to live at least another 60 years before any inheritance. If you have your kids in your late 30s, maybe even your 40s, there's a lot less waiting time.

Just saying.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 11:35 PM

11. Transferring $50 trillion from 90% to the 1% probably plays a bigger role.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 01:26 PM

21. Absolutely.

While no one ever really paid the top tax brackets in the 90% from FDR down to the 70%s during Kennedy's term, it still changed behavior. To avoid paying taxes, the wealthy had to at least put some of the money back into their companies.

There has been a 50 year push to shift the tax system from getting the wealthy to pay their share, onto the working and middle class. When Reagan was governor of California the state paid 80% of the cost of a degree, by the time he was president, the percentages were inverting to where the State pays maybe around 20% and people who want to get a degree pay more than 80% having to take on debt.

The luxuries of society go to the wealthiest while the rest of us are shouldering an ever increasing amount of the financial burden for those necessities and luxuries.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 01:30 PM

22. This! Wages have not kept up, and economic growth has gone to the top 1%

While major early life expenses such as education and house sales have outpaced overall inflation.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #22)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 02:52 PM

23. It didn't just happen that "wages have not kept up"; it's by R design ...

See, e.g.,



From kpete's post in 2019: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212789611

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 07:25 PM

5. They should vote Democratic as Biden is the most pro union president

the US have had in ages.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #5)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 11:20 AM

17. They do. And by a much wider margin than their elders.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #17)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 12:35 PM

19. Bookmarking. Thanks.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 08:53 PM

7. More billioinaires. The creator of Monopoly tried to warn us. Now its just a game that gathers

dust in the basement.

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Response to LT Barclay (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 08:59 PM

9. That is because we are playing that game in real life. (n/t)

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 10, 2022, 11:55 PM

12. Any way to flip the board? I'm losing.

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Response to LT Barclay (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 07:47 PM

24. I wish.

I bet you are sad that you removed yourself from that rig in the holodeck now, eh? With that kind of brain power, you just might figure out a way to fix all of this!

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #24)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 08:37 PM

25. Very sad!

But I think this episode covers how to fix things:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708702/

Its similar to a Ray Bradbury story called the Toynbee Convector.

Basically if we decide on a better future we can make it happen.

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Response to LT Barclay (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 12, 2022, 04:37 PM

26. To me, making it happen has never been the issue.

Convincing all the self absorbed and shallow minded that we all have to do our part to get there is the issue. And, when you have a percentage of the population that, thanks to their riches (and the general consensus that having it makes them special), doesn't have to listen to anyone else... well, you get where we are now.

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #26)

Tue Jul 12, 2022, 07:22 PM

27. Right now I'm watching a National Geographic 3 part history on The Greeks on Disney+. They had some

great ideas about Democracy that probably could have averted some of our more disasterous pitfalls. Once is the shaming of people that didn't participate in politics. Their word became our word "idiot". I also liked their idea of banishing 1 politician per year. I guess we don't have to make them leave the county, but 10 years out of politics and off of TV would be nice.

But I get extremely distressed wondering how we can fix real environmental issues when we can't even get many people to stop littering!

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Response to LT Barclay (Reply #27)

Thu Jul 14, 2022, 09:59 AM

28. You got that right! (n/t)

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 12:09 AM

13. Billionaires have monetized everything.

Everything from housing to cars to the TV we watch to video games. No one has ownership of anything anymore. And they're laughing all the way to the bank.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 12:53 AM

14. Could it be because the Baby Boomers benefited from programs they then cut for their

grandchildren? Ya think?

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 03:59 AM

15. It's a tragically different economic reality for Millenials.


I'm an early Gen Xer and things were mostly OK.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 05:16 AM

16. One reason for the greater debt is that more millennials then boomers went to college

"College attendance and completion higher among millennials than youngest baby boomers

College attendance among people who graduated high school or earned a GED before age 21 rose dramatically for two generations of Americans born 20 years apart. About 44 percent of high school completers born between 1960 and 1964 attended a 2-year or 4-year college. That compares with 73 percent of high school completers born between 1980 and 1984."

https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/college-attendance-and-completion-higher-among-millennials-than-youngest-baby-boomers.htm

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 11:32 AM

18. College is also a shitload more expensive. Why is that? Is the increase in cost necessary?

I went back to my college last year for a visit, and it's like some fancy Club Med, rich person's vacation home. All the students live in these enormous 3 bedroom apartments that would cost $4k+ a month here in the city, and those are all the on-campus housing. Long gone are the bunk bed / roommate situations I had in college.

It was $15k / year in the late 90 / early 2000's when I went there (and I thought that was outrageously expensive), and it's close to $60k year now. Who can pay that? That was less than 20 years ago. It's not like I'm comparing costs from the 60's or 70's.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 11, 2022, 01:16 PM

20. Total costs at a nearby university is about $27k a year

That's tuition, fees, books and room and board

https://nmu.edu/tuition#numbers

https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/northern-michigan-university/paying-for-college/room-and-board/

One can save even more by attending a community college for the first 2 years and then transferring to a state university.

https://www.gogebic.edu/admissions/tuitionrates.html

The above are based on the student being a resident of Michigan.

Total cost for 2 years at the community college followed by 2 years at the state university is about $86k

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 14, 2022, 10:29 AM

29. College was hammered into us

When I was in high school, the idea of college wasn't even really an option. It was understood that you were going. Period. Everything was structured and geared towards it. Only the really dumb kids (you know, those losers in auto shop) weren't going to college. What are they going to be, some kind of mechanic?!

"Don't worry about paying for it. You're taken care of. Just sign these loans. And then you'll be making six figures because college. So easy to pay off!"

It is almost criminal how colleges and banks are allowed to prey on literal teenagers in the way they are. The people who were supposed to be looking out for you, the administrators, the counselors, etc. They were oftentimes the ones pushing hardest. No one along the chain was standing there saying, "Are you sure this is a good idea? Are you prepared to be paying this for the next fifteen to twenty years?"

Just never came up.

It's funny. I'm in my early 40s and returned to college. The second I enrolled, these people appeared like some kind of genie from hell. *POOF* "Loan? Loan?! Do you need a loan?!!!!! It's so affordable!!!!!!111!!! Loooooaaaaaaans!!!!!" Jesus Christ. No, I'll be paying for all this, thanks. I will take that hit to my savings any day of the week over that Kafka system all over again. I just got out of it in my mid-30s. I'm not going back.

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Response to Sympthsical (Original post)

Thu Jul 14, 2022, 11:17 AM

30. Saint Ronnie Ray-Gun

and the "Fuck you, I get mine" generation that come before them.

Millennials have NEVER lived in a country that valued labor a much as it valued wealth.

They've never lived in a country that used the GI Bill to lift millions out of poverty. They've had to take on debt, just to join the rat race.

They've never lived in a country where a defined benefit Pension Program was the norm for 25-30 years of blood, sweat and tears.

They've never lived in a country that offered them they same economic support benefits their parents enjoyed.

They've never lived in a country where their quality of life was not dependent on the crumbs from the wealthy folks table.

But, they will continue to vote Retrumplican because...who the hell knows, but I'm sure there is some reason folks continue to support a party that had done nothing but fuck them over.

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