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Not OK, Boomer: 4 Ways Baby Boomers Screwed the Future of Millennials

Last Updated September 25, 2020 8:42 PM
Kiril Nikolaev
Last Updated September 25, 2020 8:42 PM
  • Millennials are suffering due to the selfish actions of baby boomers.
  • Baby boomers required college degrees and increased the price of tuition.
  • They also stole jobs and made it difficult for millennials to own homes.

The response “Ok, boomer” has been the subject of much controversy on social media. While boomers found the expression offensive, millennials may be subconsciously expressing their resentment over the actions of the older generation. Their lives as adults have not been easy.

Many millennials are buried in debt and are struggling to climb the corporate ladder. They blame boomers in power who imposed policies to the detriment of younger generations. But it goes way beyond that.

Here are four ways the boomers destroyed the future of millennials.

1. Boomers Built an Economy That Required Young People to Have College Education

The baby boomers developed an economy that made it difficult for younger generations to secure valued employment. Most jobs that allow a person to enjoy a middle class lifestyle require a college degree or higher.

Over the years, boomers have conquered private businesses in the United States. Sixty percent, or nine million, of the 15 million private businesses in the U.S.  are owned by entrepreneurs born before 1964. In other words, the boomers can easily dictate the chances of a young worker’s success. Instead of helping them out, they made it difficult for a millennial to get a job.

According to a Georgetown study, 65% of job openings will require some form of a college or associate’s degree . The prospects for millennials are even worse. Nine out of ten jobs that were created in 2017 have been filled by candidates with a college degree . In other words, millennials are facing a highly competitive labor market.

College-educated candidates are virtually getting all the jobs
College-educated candidates are getting all the jobs. | Source: MarketWatch 

This is in stark contrast to the level of competition faced by boomers when they entered the job market. In 1970, only 26% of middle-class jobs were occupied by workers with post-secondary education . Times were good for the boomers. Unfortunately, they can’t let their children enjoy the same privilege.

2. Boomers Sent the Costs of College Education Into the Atmosphere

As if to con younger people, boomers who occupy positions of power in the government and private universities have sent the costs of college education skyrocketing. Back in 1967, the cost of public university per year was around $6,800 in today’s dollars . Fast-forward to today, public colleges can cost anywhere from $25,209 to $40,940 per year .

It’s not surprising that millennials have accrued $1.4 trillion of student debt.

3. Boomers Stole Jobs After the Great Recession

The Great Recession was a period of extreme difficulty for millennials. Many were eager to land a job and pay their student loans. Unfortunately, unemployment skyrocketed due to the financial crisis.

Unemployment after the financial crisis hit millennials hard
Unemployment after the financial crisis hit millennials hard. | Source: CNBC 

From 2010 to 2012, unemployment hovered close to 10%. When the economy started to recover, experienced boomers pushed relatively inexperienced millennials to the back of the line.

Author Joseph Sternberg explained that most of mid-skilled jobs were lost during the Great Recession . The disappearance of these positions drove older workers down the corporate ladder. They occupied positions that would have otherwise been held by younger workers that would have been starting their careers.

Consequently, millennial earnings were negatively impacted.

4. Drowning in Debt and Struggling to Find Decent Jobs, Millennials Can’t Buy Homes

Millennials can’t buy assets because they’re paying student loans and rent, not to mention generating sub-par wages According to the Federal Reserve, households with a head under 35 are renters .

Many households with heads younger than 35 pay rent every month
Many households with heads younger than 35 pay rent every month. | Source: St. Louis Fed 

These household heads are not financially prepared to purchase a home. A 2019 poll revealed that millennial renters want to buy a home. Unfortunately, nearly half of those surveyed have no savings for a down payment . Only 12.9% have saved more than $10,000.

Boomers have screwed the future of millennials in more ways than one. That’s not okay, boomer.