Worry not millenials, your underemployment is a fantasy! The “Real World” is so much worse:
Annie Lowrey, “Do Millenials Stand a Chance in the Real World?,” New York Times.
This line stands out:
Thirty or 40 years from now, young millennials might face shakier retirements than their parents. For the first time in modern memory, a whole generation might not prove wealthier than the one that preceded it.
This is a novel definition of “wealth.” If we are talking about land, there’s global warming (why people use “climate change” escapes me), so there may be less of that, but it’s not like the U.S. is so densely populated that we live cheek by jowl coast to coast, document-review style. If we’re talking about capital, however, then it would be pretty crazy to believe that there will be fewer buildings in 40 years than there are today. Maybe when the last boomer dies, we’ll build a pyramid and throw all their stuff in it with them so they can enjoy it in the afterlife.
Oh wait, that’d create jobs. Can’t have that.
Absent an apocalypse (unless global warming really is that bad), the whole generation will prove wealthier than the one that preceded it. It will just be embarrassingly unequally distributed. Many millenials will basically spend their adulthoods waiting for their boomer ancestors to die so they can liquidate their assets. Whether they can live off them is a whole other discussion. The remaining children of the wealthy will be shoed-in to semi-hereditary positions. Not that this doesn’t go on already, it’s just a lot easier to hide, and the public is still very willing to accept it when the system is designed to give the impression that anyone can get into these positions.
For example, education:
Millennials are the best-educated generation ever. Their challenge may just be to preserve that advantage for their own children.
Pop quiz, hotshot: After applying the appropriate discount rates, which document has a higher net present value: an Ivy League university degree dated May 2013, or a birth certificate with Sallie Mae exec Albert Lord’s name in the “Father” field?