Entitlement, Millennial, and What the Hell Are You Talking About?
Hi, my name is Jess and I am a millennial. I was born at the tail end of the 80s, before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but after the Challenger explosion. I was raised middle class and don’t really feel a sense of entitlement. Not because I don’t think I’m entitled, but because I think the older generations don’t know the difference between what is earned and what is a right.
Now before you go running to every newspaper and say “She said this and that and the third”, your generation has told me that I’m responsible for killing things like Applebees, diamonds, oil, honeymoons, bar soap, golf, and whatever else keeps you up at night.
Look, some of those things are practical: diamonds are usually bloody unless lab-created, oil isn’t going to last forever, and as much as some of my family likes golf (my late grandfather included), it’s probably the least exciting sport that isn’t driving around in circles for 5 hours.
My point is I don’t feel a sense of entitlement, I just want a better life than my parents? You know, the American Dream™? Is it so much to ask to be able to afford college (I still owe $116K and that’s WITH scholarships and grants), to be able to buy a house when I was 30 (my parents bought a house when I was 16, my parents were 37 and 39 respectively), and have rights not being threatened (Roe v. Wade and LGBTQ+ rights come to mind).
I’m upset that you just lump us in as the “Me me me generation” and tell me that I’m not good enough. I should not be worrying about my finances at this age (I’m currently 32 and no way NEAR paying off my debts to college or otherwise). I should be thinking about a house or where to go on my honeymoon or who I should invite to my wedding (the answer to that is like 5 people including my dad and my stepmom).
I don’t want to have a huge wedding because that’s money I can use as a 20% down on a mortgage. That’s money I could invest in retirement or my own business. There are so many things I could do with $40000 that I could not list how may things that would be.
But yes, I’m somehow entitled because I wish to be more frugal and pay off my debts before I’m old as hell and pushing 75. I shouldn’t have to hear of my friends who have lots of experience and degrees only earning $13/hr. That’s not entitlement, that’s wanting a wage that moves with inflation.
That’s basic economics. In my neck of the woods, here’s what the living wage: $19.81 for two adults with only one working. I don’t know about you, but that math which is from MIT is kind of not okay. Is it entitlement to ask to be able to buy what my parents did at my age?
And before you say this is my complaining, I’m not. I’m just pointing out the flaw in your logic with my three degrees and $116K in debt. And not for nothing, but why are we the only Western country without healthcare for our citizens? INSURANCE COMPANIES.
I wouldn’t mind paying slightly higher taxes if that means more infrastructure. Some the happiest countries in the world (like Scandinavia) have some cool things like healthcare and paternity/maternity leave. You know, things that would benefit us and make us more productive?
I’m not trying to be that guy, but when someone screams entitlement at me now? I kind of raise my eyebrows and ask “What in the hell are you talking about?”