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Op-Ed: Millennials locked out of savings, income and a future

By Paul Wallis     Apr 20, 2016 in Lifestyle
New York - The raffle previously known as having a life has added a dangerous insult for millennials — the total inability to save. Stop/start employment, absurd career paths, degrees with no jobs, it’s a dog’s breakfast of dysfunction.
According to new studies, Americans millennials simply can't make down payments. Debt obligations are proportionately risky, onerous, and in some cases unworkable. Rising home prices aren't helping, taking savings goals further out of reach.
Elsewhere, this is known as “Generation Rent.” It’s universal. In the large game of Monopoly sometimes rather disgustingly referred to as Australia, first home buyers are basically out of the picture, thanks to truly bizarre prices for homes. The killer is that so much capital is diverted in to basics, at the expense of truly productive economic activity. If the money spent on housing was spent on anything else, Australia would be in boom mode.
The U.S. property market is no fun park either, financially, or in terms of credit obligations, particularly when tacked on to the strangely ever-rising, credit card-like fees for college, etc. Millennials are getting loaded up virtually at birth with extraordinary levels of financial risk, unlike previous generations.
Saving is nearly impossible, and the old idea of “career mobility” now means “whichever financial mess you can get into while balancing erratic income and personal needs.” A bit of karma is now being seen, as the realization that any future market will have to deal with consumers who have virtually no free money. It’s the antithesis of a healthy, prosperous economy.
The median income for millennials stats in the United States reads like a very bad, very unfunny, joke. Figures for December 2015 indicate basic lack of financial resources on a truly monumental scale. The national median ranges between $19,000 and $25,000 — chump change in any language.
With these princely, unimaginable, sums, millennials are expected to have lives in the Cheapskates R Us environment of the early 21st century. It’s a barrage of own goals for property and other markets.
It’s not surprising, however, that subhuman peasant trash unfit to be described as human beings have managed to create an economic environment almost totally unfit for human beings. The pathetic minimum wage “debate” is a case in point — in Australia, you’d get arrested for paying U.S. minimum wage; in the U.S., unworkable wages seem to be an article of faith.
Consider the genius:
The global debate about minimum wage is another example of the total unreality and unworkability of the current economic model. The above link refers to the fascinating question of whether people “should” earn enough to be able to pay their rent — guess who goes broke if they can’t? How much is your ridiculously overpriced, un-maintained, slum worth, if they can’t?
As for buying, forget it. The risk factor is high, the returns are illusory, if you have to sell and then try to buy again in a hot market. The joke is that raising exec salaries through the roof, to hundreds if not thousands of times minimum wage, is OK, and has no effect, but paying some poor bastard a few bucks extra will wreck the global economy. So paying someone the equivalent of thousands of jobs has no effect, but those few bucks will bankrupt America. Hilarious, isn’t it?
The people who created the Great Recession, destroyed savings, and are now sitting on obstructing raising minimum wage are making fortunes. The next generation won’t have homes. Great thinking, guys.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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