Precarious

By | January 11, 2019

Why do older people like Kevin Drum have such trouble understanding that people 35ish and younger lead much more precarious lives than the Boomer set ever experienced? I guess it’s because if they do understand this then they might have to do something about it. Despite all the data, the stories, the obviousness of it, the Drum cohort just doesn’t get it.

I’m not a Millennial and my life has never been particularly precarious in adulthood (childhood is a different story), but I remember when getting a job was much easier, health care was much, much less expensive, college was far cheaper, and housing was also vastly cheaper — yes, inflation-adjusted. Literally all the essentials of life have gotten far more expensive relative to wages while TVs and electronics have gotten less costly (thus skewing inflation numbers enormously).

When I first got out of the Army in 1999, one could find an apartment in many large cities for $350 a month ($530 in today’s dollars). That is not possible anywhere now, large city or not. College was half the price. Health care was half the price or less. In addition, there were fewer outright scams and “experts” stealing from your wallet.

No, the world has not gotten roundly gotten worse. But if you’re a young person today, your life is far more uncertain and provisional than the prior few generations experienced. Which would be a lot easier to take I think if they weren’t so utterly committed to gaslighting everyone about it.