The rematch of the 'Millennials', the generation exhausted

The Millennials accessed the labor market during the great recession of 2008 and today, when they are supposed to be forming a family and climbing at work, they

The rematch of the 'Millennials', the generation exhausted

The Millennials accessed the labor market during the great recession of 2008 and today, when they are supposed to be forming a family and climbing at work, they continue to be trapped in the same site: with low salaries, unable to save, faced with another global cataclysm , that of the pandemic, and before an uncertain future that paints catastrophic for global warming. But above all, the Millennials are exhausted, exhausted, tired of working like robots, asphyched inwardly by the addiction to social networks and the news cycle that I never ends. "Since I have a memory, I have not stopped working at any time," explains Anne Helen Petersen in I can not anymore. How the Millennials were converted into the burned generation (Captain Swing).

"The biggest obstacle we are facing is that all those who are burned and exhausted we ask ourselves why it happens and acquire a language to talk about it. Many we have been educated to think that things are like that, point. The mere fact of start using words as "precarious" or "burned" to describe how we have come to this situation is already a big step, "explains the writer, who jumped to fame after writing an article about how buried it was in Buzzfeed He turned viral, reaching seven million readings.

For Petersen, part of the blame for what happens to the Millennials have the boomers, which are between 60 and 70 years old, and in the United States they are the greatest and most influential generation that has existed. Today they are parents, grandparents, some of them are already retired and face the process of getting older. In the 70s they were in the situation that the millennials are going through today: accessing the work world, discovering what it is to form a family ... only that in their case everything went well. Bred by parents who had suffered the deprivation of the Second World War or the Great Depression, the Boomers were pampered and accessed a robust and expanding economy. They grew up with the curtain of Vietnam's protests in the background, which did not stop them later to embrace the culture of the self, reaganism and a market-oriented thinking that has caused great changes in the safety net of people and the economy.

"In 1950, a general manager earned approximately 20 times more than a normal employee; in 2013 he earned more than 204 times more," Petersen resumes. According to the Federal Reserve, at 35 the Baby Boomers had 21% of the country's wealth. At that same age, Generation X had 8% and Millennials that will have 35 years in 2023 will have only 5% of wealth, despite being 22% of the population. Something has failed. "The security that promised us in adult life does not seem to arrive," explains Petersen. The story of meritocracy and hard work has turned out to be false. And it is not that the social elevator has broken: it has been reversed.

"In the case of the United States it is evident that its security network is less robust than any other developed country, change and strengthen that network to stop living with fear of falling and sinking is the first thing. In all countries those Networks have holes, repair them is the first step towards a change. It can be done in many ways: creating new laws, more protecting the worker or doing something as simple as updating the laws that regulate work today. We work in a very different way 20 years ago, "the writer reflects.

The Anne Helen Petersen trial focuses on the United States, where the gap between rich and poor has always been brutal. Until recently, Europe looked with some superiority such figures of inequality. But that is also finished. Here we are not much better: so far as century, in Spain, the difference in wealth that exists between the 65-year-old people and those of 35 have already doubled, as well as that exists in the US, according to the Report Spain 2050. At present, people with 65 years old treasure five times more wealth than people with 35 years. All indicators (the rate of juvenile unemployment, precariousness, labor dissatisfaction) point in the same direction: Spain lives in a "duality" that "is starting our society in two", according to the study developed from Moncloa.

What are the consequences? Petersen points to a "radicalization" of the millennial generation, increasingly frightened towards less neoliberal positions before its galloping precarization. Joe Biden won the elections for 51% votes, but in the strip of 18 to 29, that percentage was 61% and within the Democratic Party, almost nobody escapes that the voters of the future are closer to Bernie Sanders and Alexandra Occasium-Cortez than from the president. The Financial Times Alertaba does not make too much a possible "revolt against the rich" and the "radicalization of graduates". The Deutsche Bank has also notified its reports that, by demographic logic, younger and mistreated voters by the system will decide shortly on elections and could "reverse" decades of economic policies towards more redistributive positions.

"We are immersed in a slow-motion radicalization process, provoked by the widespread feeling that life is going to worse, there is a real contrast between ours and previous generations, where the sensation was completely opposite," explains Petersen. "But this radicalization is occurring in two directions: On the one hand you have people realizing that work should not be the center of your life, that we can not be trained to work like robots. And on the other Side you have those who feel that the social order is collapsing, people who believe that immigrants are the culprits that their work, their handle to society, is vanish. It is something we are seeing in many parts of the world, "he reflects . "The question now is: How can we convince all those who are disenchanted that you have to look for a real change of paradigm? It is useless to try to delay the clock, rewind in time and try to return to a past 20 or 30 years supposedly better than, in reality, it was just better for those who were doing well then, "he adds.

The petersen essay is very clarifying because it mixes macroeconomic analysis and very illustrative statistics with intimate experiences that describe a whole generation: one of the most politicized that, however, feels disappointed by parties and institutions. She is cultured, although she spends more hours of confessibles to do scroll on Instagram. Will we continue the same as exhausted and overexploited at 50, giving likes like zombies? And what about generation z?

"In the United States, the absence of solidarity has been the dominant tone in the last century, particularly between the middle class, precisely because it is the class that does not usually perceive itself as such, but as" normal "people. What is for Seeing is what will happen if that middle class continues to destabilize at the speed of the last 30 years. Will the feeling of class solidarity come back? Or will people focus on the welfare of their family? The collective-individualism is very complex. It is still early to know how the Millennial precarious will react after the Covid. There is an essay by Robert Putnam, The Upswing, which predicts a boom of collective thinking. The potential for resurgeise exists, of course. The only thing I have of course is that we must. Making the change irresistible, "proposes Petersen.

What will happen when the Boomers Fallezcan and the Millennials inherit savings and properties? It is clear that not everyone will have that luck, but only in the United States is estimated that in the next decade, they will inherit about 68 trillion dollars from their baby boomers relatives. If that prediction is fulfilled, they would be up to five times richer in 2030 of what they are today. We will see what they vote then.

Updated Date: 08 October 2021, 14:25

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