Their fault? Millennials earning less than any previous generation since before WWII
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Something is wrong with our economy, and the future is more troubling that it has been in almost a century. A study reveals that British millennials are earning less than their parents. The implications are staggering.
Boomers still hold the upper hand, but they're slipping with age. Millennial influence is growing, so their attitudes and beliefs matter.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A report titled "Stagnation Generation" identifies the problem. British Millennials are earning less than their parents, and less than Generation X, the first generation in nearly a century to undergo this change.
Although American millennials have not yet been studied, there is a likelihood the findings will be the same in the USA.
The report was prepared by the British think tank, Resolution Foundation. According to the report, a millennial will earn about $10,600 less in their twenties than a member of Generation X.
Millennials are on track for lower pay than any previous generation in a century.
Millennials are now 50 percent less likely to own a home before age 30.
Meanwhile, Millennials are suffering higher taxes, and much lower pensions --or no pensions at all, than the Baby Boomers who are doing well by comparison. Boomers are receiving a full suite of social services and pensions, while Millennials are suffering with higher prices, benefit cuts and lower purchasing power.
The problem isn't that Millennials are lazy, as many often accuse. Productivity is high, even higher than it was under the Boomers. However, automation has depressed demand for labor while increasing both productivity and profit. Those profits have not been shared with workers.
In the United States, weak collective bargaining and an effective campaign to suppress the minimum wage has eroded the purchasing power of workers.
A common argument is that a rising minimum wage will result in higher prices. However, prices have increased steadily, while wages remained stagnant. This has contributed to the collapse of the middle class because middle class wages also rise after minimum wages go up. No raises for the lowest paid workers means no raises for those in the middle either.
Millennials are producing a vast quantity of wealth, but it is being captured by boomers and the wealthy and it isn't trickling back down. Senior citizens between the ages of 65 to 74 now own more wealth collectively than all people under the age of 45 in the UK.
This economic problem is fueling anger and rebellion against establishment governments in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Workers need more purchasing power by whatever means. However, this will not happen as long as Boomers hold power. In the decade to come, the Boomer grip on government will diminish and Millennials will become dominant. When that happens, we can expect hard turns to the left in both the UK and USA. Unless, Boomers and employers loosen the purse strings, to help change millennial attitudes on wealth and inequality, which remains highly unlikely.
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