Hooray, there’s another article out about how Millennials are kinda poor and kinda don’t know what to do about it (besides, of course, making use of the “sharing economy”). I miss the “Hustlin” column in the late Good magazine, which highlighted ways that Millennials are pushing back against the trappings of the recession. At least that journalistic approach left room for Millennials to eventually come out on top–we will have 401Ks, goddammit! We will eventually marry and have kids! We might own a home someday if we ever settle down and get good jobs, which might happen if this Kickstarter campaign takes off . . .
But the more I read about “Millennialism,” the more I think that the media has brainwashed itself with this term. Is it just me, or does the notion of a “Millennial” culture implicitly exclude all but white, middle-class people?
Look at the rhetoric used in this recent Times Magazine story about how Millennials are suffering from permanent downward mobility (which is not news, so I have no idea why this article was even published–it uses old research by Neil Howe from 1991). Quoting Howe’s book directly, the journalist writes: “[Millennials] look at the house their parents live in and say, ‘I could work for 100 years and I couldn’t afford this place.’” That’s true if you grew up in the affluent suburbs. If you hail from a housing project in the Bronx, not so much. (more…)