Now Millennials Are Killing the Middle Class!

Millennials: is there anything they aren’t keen to kill?

You’ve probably seen the headlines:

Now comes the worst murder of all. Millennials are killing the middle class. (How dare they!)

Okay, so it may be more accurate to say that millennials are being excluded from the middle class. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD,) a study of 36 developed nations found that millennials were having a tough time making it into the middle class.

Just 60 percent of millennials are currently in the middle class, compared to 70 percent of baby boomers when they were in their twenties. (Per the OECD, people who earn somewhere between 75 percent and 200 percent of the median national income qualify as middle class.) That’s not an impressive number considering that wealthy nations implicitly offer the promise of a comfortable, middle class lifestyle to its population.

The fault largely seems to fall on jobs that don’t pay enough to put workers in the middle class. However, even for plenty of millennials who have secured a nice-paying job, the outrageous costs of housing (be it owning or renting) and a college education means that paycheck doesn’t stretch nearly as far as it would have for previous generations.

What’s also alarming is that more and more millennials seem to be falling out of the middle class. Some may assume that millennials will make more money over time, but wages are pretty stagnant over long periods of time, so as other expenses rise, that unmoving pay threatens millennials’ middle class status.

Believe it or not, American are one of the worst off compared to other industrialized nations. Per the study, just 53 percent of millennials in the U.S. meet the criteria for the middle class.

In case it needs to be spelled out, the problem is not that a lot of millennials are rising above the middle class, but they’re dropping into poverty-like levels. Wealth inequality is out of control, and with the richest people hoarding absurd amounts of money, millennials just aren’t seeing enough “trickle down” to elevate them to the middle class.

That’s something that’s going to need to be addressed via taxes and laws if a healthy middle class is to be sustained for future generations. Unchallenged, Generation Z will see its own middle class figures dip even lower.

In the meantime, it’d probably make sense to stop blaming millennials for the death of certain industries. Luxuries and creature comforts are the kinds of things that people in the middle class spring for, so if they’re not in the middle class, how can they be expected to pay for them?

40 comments

Dot A
Dot A24 days ago

it's just that there is so much that we need to pay attention to, especially in the last few years, Eric. the future will be better if we can focus a bit on our 'errors and omissions' as we proceed. it can be cathartic to release the grievances. it can also help us to understand others when our ideals are shared in good faith. 1st: thesis 2nd: antithesis, and 3rd: synthesis - the process gains a solution.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees24 days ago

I agree with Ruth.

Care2 is helping to feed the Divide & Conquer rather than uniting we the people.

Like most articles the sources of the problems are ignored, they only focus on the symptoms. Why? Well it doesn't fit the agenda.
A large part of the problem is government intervention which clearly is in the case as in most economics issues. But the agenda of the Leftist Democrats is to grow government which will only make things worse.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill28 days ago

thanks

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Dot A
Dot A29 days ago

Ignoring suffering and hardships of others will not bring us a good future, the most positive goal of everyone. Only when we face hard truths will we improve our world and our experiences. It is a positive to examine our flaws.

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Dot A
Dot A29 days ago

Just another tidbit: When we address the problems effectively, we create the solution positively.

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Dot A
Dot A29 days ago

We are in a whirlwind of changes, and the entire globe is involved. Climate change is just one of the ramifications of human consumption and ultimate greed. The kind of heart are more open to seeing the errors which create the suffering. Those who live a rather comfortable life, are less prone to empathize with suffering that does not touch themselves. And the space between the two broadens,... With the 'Have's" - not worried because they have what they want, and the 'Have Not(s)' becoming increasingly frustrated because their efforts are becoming futile. An old Indian phrase comes to mind here: "Walk in my moccasins,... " - but too many people will never be so compassionate. And our system fails because of it.

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Pam Bruce
Pam Bruce29 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S29 days ago

Really? I'm tired of the negative articles bashing other groups, such as this, pollical, racial, etc. These articles show up all the time!. It seems something negative can be said about everything! Try writing a positive article.

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Lorraine Andersen

Thanks for sharing.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld29 days ago

sandy,

You may be interested in this read:

https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0912/which-income-class-are-you.aspx

Many annalists define middle class as an income range compared to others. Since those in the upper income bracket say their incomes rise more rapidly since the last recession, it appears that the middle income earners fared poorly. In reality, they did well, just not as well. When you compare one group with others, there will always be winners and losers. But are they really losers?

Others have questioned this thinking also:

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-schiller-shrinking-middle-class-20190131-story.html

https://qz.com/1005068/the-upper-middle-class-is-the-new-middle-class/

Class is better defined as a lifestyle, rather than income. Granted that lifestyle is largely tied to income. In the simplest terms, the upper class does not have to "work" for a living. Basically, they do not commute to a daily job, run their businesses or investments from wherever they choose. The lower class accept whatever work is available (when they do work), because they have limited skills and knowledge. The middle class has chosen their profession, based on the skill set they have acquired over their lifetime. This ranges from doctor (UMC) to skilled trades (LMC). These people have a large say in where they work and for whom. Many have their own business or are par

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