21 September 2013

Young People's Unhappiness Comes from Our Broken Economic System -- And They Shouldn't Shut Up About It

Young People's Unhappiness Comes from Our Broken Economic System -- And They Shouldn't Shut Up About It

The media love to analyze millennials. It's almost like there's a competition to see who can rip apart Generation Y in the snarkiest fashion.

But most of this work ends up overly simplistic, ignoring the economic and social forces that shape young people's lives. They almost seem eager to silence millennials’ uneasiness about our world.

The newest addition to this trend, a blog post from Wait But Why that went viral this week, regurgitates this formula by essentially stating that millennials are unhappy because they have higher expectations for their lives than what they can realistically obtain at the moment. Therefore, instead of speaking out about their struggles, they should simply stop feeling unhappy because this is life, and this is what young people have to go through. Basically, cheer up, Lucy — life isn’t so bad.

People have quickly taken to the blogosphere to critique the piece for improperly comparing our generation to our parents’ generation. After all, the piece fails to mention that our parents had less unemployment, more access to union jobs, a lower uninsured rate for health insurance, cheaper tuition, and cheaper and more accessible home mortgages. They also had a higher average income with a high school diploma alone and made about the same as we make today, despite the dramatic rise in costs and our productivity. Basically, life is pretty bad, and empirically worse for millennials than their parents.

Read the full article at AlterNet

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