Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Generation Screwed

I often think that my generation is getting the very short end of the stick.  I'm sure lots of people feel that way about their respective lives, but it is an odd thing for me.  You see, I've always done very well, but I think I've done very well despite some pretty big obstacles put in front of people my age, 30.  Here is the quick list of what 30 year olds today have a right to gripe about

  • Tech Bust of 2000 -  Right before I graduated college and was about to enter the working world, the tech bubble was in full swing.  the Dot Coms of the world were producing millionaires for people with my exact skill set.  Of course, right when I graduated, tech mania subsided, the bubble burst, and lots of my peers lost their jobs.  I even technically lost my job.   So right when it was most important to have a job, since few, if any, of my peers had a safety net, we were losing our first jobs.  The jobs that would set a foundation for the things to come.

  • 9/11 - One short year after I graduated, we had 9/11.  This changed the face of the United States and brought on an even wider economic slowdown than the tech bubble bursting.  Our lives became a little more frightening and a lot more inconvenient.  It brought changes to our government and our lifestyles which I frankly don't really care for.  A few years down the road it even helped re-elect one of the biggest idiots we have ever had as President ....

  • George Bush - Can you believe that this has been the man who has been President of the United States my entire adult life?  If that doesn't show you how screwed my generation is, I don't know what does

  • The Housing Bubble - This one might just be the worse one of all.  My combined household income would, according to wikipedia, qualify me to easily be in the top 5% of households in the United States.  If we took into account how much I have in savings ...  Well let's just say I'm not doing half bad.  Yet I don't own a home.  I don't because ever since I was able to afford it, it hasn't made any economic sense to buy.  Prices were just too high.  Most people my age probably could not even really afford it until about 2005, but by then housing prices had skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.  To make matters worse, many of my peers bought anyway!  So now, they are losing their shirts as home prices fall.  Since they just bought, they have no equity.  Many of them will be foreclosed on, ruining their credit for years to come.

  • The end of Pensions and the Collapse of Social Security - Pensions as we know it are done.  My generation now faces the very daunting taks of an unsecure retirement.  Many of our parents have guaranteed income the rest of their life thanks to generous pension benefits.  My mom retired in her early 50's and has a pension that will pay her 1/2 her salary for the rest of her life.  No such luck for me.  I'll be saving for retirement by myself with no such guarantees.    To make mattes worse, my generation will be the one to have to deal with the Social Security mess.  Fantastic!

  • Inflation - I've written before and I'll say it again.  Inflation is very, very bad.  It has been dormant for almost my entire lifetime.  But right when it matters most, when people my age should be starting to accumulate wealth for retirement, it springs back to life.

I could go on and on.  These problems aren't like the Great Depression or a World War (although we have had to deal with a very long, protracted war even though we reached "Mission Accomplished" years ago) but still.  While these problems haven't really affected me personally, I've seen their effect on my friends.  It makes me think that things are even worse for us than I believe since I myself have never felt the pain first hand.  What do you think?  Am I part of generation screwed or am I making a bigger deal about this than it really is?


  1. My biggest concern is the aging baby boomers. Our generation will surely feel the pain. After all, that money need to come from somewhere to support the looming social security chasm.

  2. OK, I am apparently unable to use this commenting software. Third time's the charm.

    Some believe that inflation has been underreported in the US since the Clinton years.

  3. Got your back. Took care of the extra comments.

    That is a pretty interesting article. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it has been under-reported. Seriously, I'm spending way more money for things than I was just a few years ago yet Inflation is up "only" a percent or two.

  4. [...] to a large degree she is right.  She is, like me, part of Generation Screwed.   She does OK by most standards, but she is, like me, a renter.  She wants to get married, raise [...]

  5. Yeah, we're screwed.

  6. Payback will come. Once all the babyboomer are retired, all we have to do is move out of the country. Why should we stay? To pay for the rest of their retirement? I don't think so.

  7. [...] written in the past how I think  my generation is getting screwed in a lot of respects.   Seems like I’m not the only one who thinks so.  I found this [...]

  8. [...] one.  This has led me to drop the moniker of Generation Y for my age group and instead call us Generation Screwed.  Our problems now come not from some one time event but because the generation that came before [...]