Economic inequality issues are going to become a crisis for our generation. This is unavoidable. Millennials came of age during one of the worst economic recessions in history, and it hurt most of us severely while making a small few of us incredibly prosperous.
As we stand right this minute, still flush off the bounce given us by the eight years of sound economic practices President Obama put in place for us, it’s tempting for many millennials to feel good about the economy.
Right now we’re all doing pretty good, but that will only last for a single day compared to what is coming next.
Our generation is poised to have the worst income inequality in American history. Only the most well-off will have a say in defining what “we” care about.
In the last decade especially, our economy has begun to disproportionately reward certain types of professions often occupied by millennials, e.g. techies like Mark Zuckerberg, at the expense of those pursuing what are referred to as bedrock jobs, like nursing and teaching.
The discrepancy itself isn’t the story, though. What’s scary is how fast this gap is growing. And how fast it will soon be getting worse.
Wage rates are stagnant already, and the US trade deficit is declining as well. The negative trade balance is certain to put increasing pressure on our generation, especially with the country now out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
Trump threw the world economic order into complete upheaval with his random scuttling of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). That is certain to help to set the stage for this, as well as the number of lies that Trump has told about how all our economic successes recently are due to the marvel that is him.
As with George W. Bush before him, when people start waking up there will be anger.
Economic issues are going to become a crisis for our generation. We all came of age during one of the worst economic recessions in history, and it hurt almost all of us. This is unavoidable.
But we can choose to solve them. It just means resolution and hard work. We can still turn this thing around. We just need to work hard, focus, and target our messages. It’s critical because, above all, we have to avoid the trap of descending into radicalism, to the left or to the right.
Millennials have many strengths. We are a fiercely progressive bunch, deeply individualized and passionate. We stand out because we are the most diverse generation to date.
42 percent of us identify with a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white, around twice the share of the Baby Boomer generation when they were the same age. We’ve got all the people in the world as part of our numbers. That gives us access to everything humans have.
Millennials are better educated than Gen X was, we have more college graduates. We are recognized as being tough, resilient, and resourceful.
Yet even still, we make less money and are less likely to be working at all.
This has to change, and the one sure way to see to it that it does is to organize. We’ve got to start getting ready, and we’ve got to start getting busy.
We have to assert ourselves to government and employers about the labor and economic changes that we will ultimately require to succeed.
The only ones who can turn this thing around are we ourselves. And the best way to kick that off is to vote all Republicans right off the face of the earth.