The Costs of Being a Millennial

Thursday, 09 November 2017, 10:07:31 PM. Adapting to the new economy has made young people drastically more worried and dissatisfied than their parents' generation.
In economics, they measure costs in time, effort, and ultimately money. The Millennial character is a product of life spent investing in your own potential and being managed like a risk. Keeping track of economic costs is important, especially when so few commentators and analysts consciously consider the lives of young people in these terms. But there are other kinds of costs as well. Just because economists don’t consider the psychic costs for workers who have learned to keep up with contemporary capitalism, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. More competition among young people—whether they want to be drummers, power forwards, scientists, or just not broke—means higher costs in the economic sense, but also in the area of mental health and social trust. If Americans are learning better and better to take whatever personal advantage we can get our hands on, then we’d be fools to trust each other. And as the stakes rise, we are also learning not to be fools. In March of 2014, Pew Social Trends published the results of a survey taken between 1987 and 2012 on whether or not “generally speaking, most people can be trusted,” broken down by generation. The Silent Generation was able to pass most of their trust to the Baby Boomers, but Gen X took the first half of the 1990s hard, dropping all the way to 20 percent before edging up over 30 percent by the end of the survey period. But if Gen Xers are more cautious than their parents, Millennials are straight-up suspicious. Only four data...Read more
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