Millennials are often criticized by people on both sides of the political aisle for being too easily offended, too whiny, too lazy, and too entitled.
Everyone from the liberal author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) to Rush Limbaugh have taken their shots. One Millennial even recently penned a viral blog post criticizing her generation.
The original post in that case was for The Oxytocin Chronicle, and it was written by Rachel Foote, who described her generation as “a generation of p***ies,” adding “your parents won’t say it, and your peers won’t say it because it seems every little thing is sending you all to a therapist because you’re just sooooooo victimized, but… Get. The. F**K. Over. Yourself.”
But a new study reported by Business Insider is attempting to stand up for millennials, acknowledging the generation is smarter and wealthier than most before noting that they also have it much worse than their parents.
Robert Guest, an editor for The Economist, says that much of millennials’ talent “goes to waste due to unemployment that is often twice that of previous generations. Furthermore, the job markets they are in tend to favor ‘the already employed,’ making it harder for this highly educated generation to deal with issues like crippling student loan debt.”
To illustrate that point, Business Insider notes that the “number of bachelor’s degree recipients who graduate with a student loan has more than doubled between the mid-1980s and today.”
Also, many of the life milestones that previous generations were able to take advantage of earlier in life have to wait.
“They form families later partly because they want to and partly because it is taking them longer to become established in their careers and feel financially secure. Alas, despite improvements in fertility treatment the biological clock has not been reset to accommodate modern working lives.”
The issues that millennials face have opened up avenues of opportunity for political outsiders like Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders has made his campaign one about deep financial reforms, which include offering relief to students, who are graduating college with mountains of debt.
Sanders also believes that all people have a right to affordable higher education, and has proposed some pretty radical reforms to reinforce this.
It seems to be having an effect as recent polling has him overtaking presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Iowa, with Sanders at 51 percent to Hillary’s 43 percent, according to CNN.
As for the Guest column, the implication that millennials were being “held back” was what most commenters took from it. One particularly irate non-millennial painted a picture of what the group’s “main problems are.”
“1) Life is not fair; 2) No one owes you a d*** thing; 3) Success takes hard work; 4) Learn to be reliant on yourself; 5) No one cares about your selfie, so put down the phone and get to work!” the commenter said, adding that socialist ideas like those touted by Sanders are also to blame.
“Trying to make everything ‘fair’ and focusing on ‘income inequality’ without noticing the ‘effort and skills’ inequality in that equation has given these snowflakes a false view of the world. In fact this has created a whole unfortunate and unobtainable set of expectations in our Millennials. Socialism has NEVER worked, will never work, has harmed people, always leads to tyranny at some level, and creates these horrible situations we see now.”
While some criticism of millennials may be fair, however, supporters point to videos like this one as proof that the criticisms oversimplify the issues they face as a generation.
But what do you think, readers? Are millennials the cry babies older generations paint them as, or does Guest’s report have weight? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via ShutterStock]