Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The Boomers Agree: The Lazy Millennials Want To Be Jobless

TWO PEOPLE WHO CLEARLY DO NOT WANT JOBS"Who cares about a career? Not Gen Y," says the utterly maddening headline brought to you by Patricia Sellers at Fortune. She blames the lazy, ambitionless millennials for their current plight. They're so inferior to us respectable, principled Boomers, Sellers implies! No, she actually goes ahead and says this. In response to the recent Times profile, "American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation," Sellers wrote: "While the article focuses on the horrible job market for today's twenty-somethings, it suggests that these new adults are pretty much unfazed that they're not launching into a dream career. Apart from 14% of young adults who are unemployed today, 23% are not even seeking work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The New York Times notes that the total, 37% of young adults unemployed or not seeking work, is the highest rate in more than three decades and reminiscent of the 1930s." Oh, well then, these lazy kids "don't care," I guess. Because there are so many career-track jobs going begging out there.

It is a mystery where Sellers gets the idea that Scott Nicholson, the millennial subject of the Times profile, is "unfazed." The profile focuses on Nicholson's diligence at school, his dogged search for work, his incessant sending of resumes, his rising panic, his disappointment at failing to make it into Marines' officer training program (he was washed out owing to childhood asthma). I do not know which kind of insane you have to be, to fail to understand that this kid is fazed.

It gets worse!

One person who has been thinking a lot lately about this generational divide is Shelly Lazarus, the chairman of ad giant Ogilvy & Mather (WPPGY). That's not just because her clients — such as American Express (AXP), Ford (F), Coca-Cola (KO) and Unilever (UL) — need to heed the attitudinal differences in order to craft their marketing strategies, but also because half of Ogilvy's employees are under 30 years old. When I visited Lazarus a few days ago in her office, overlooking the Hudson River on Manhattan's far west side, she told me that as she's giving talks about Millenials [sic], audiences are blown away by this one fact:

Sixteen is the number of months before an average mid-20s employees [sic] leaves a job.

Wow. What's a manager to do to keep a Millenial [sic] on board? I — one of those classic Baby Boomers who has [sic] been at one company, Time Inc. (TWX), for 26 years — can't stop thinking that not only corporate loyalty but commitment to building a career may be a thing of the past.

Where to begin with this. Maybe with the seethingly obvious question: why would these twenty-somethings be leaving their jobs? (If they are, that is-the source of this information is not provided.) Can it be because a load of self-infatuated corpocrats with river-view offices aren't offering them job security, benefits or a decent salary? Or (more likely, in the current climate) is it because they are being restructured out in order to provide "gains" for shareholders?

Most gallingly of all, consider the extraordinary admission that Shelly Lazarus, despite the fact that she knows that these people have no jobs, is still plotting with Coca-Cola (KO) and American Express (AXP) to fleece them of whatever change they can scrounge out of the sofa.

"Classic Baby Boomer" Sellers already had years of experience working at Time Inc. during the boom years of the late 1990s, which saw shares of her company increase over a hundredfold. Literally. In those halcyon days, there was talk of zero federal debt. The presidency of George W. Bush had not yet begun, there was no war in Iraq or Afghanistan, 9/11 was years off, and the nascent Internet had brought enormous wealth to many media properties, a considerable amount of which has since evaporated. Some of those companies have hit the skids, and some are hanging in-not hiring new employees, but retaining their existing ones, such as, say, those who were hired before the boom years. But no!

While we Baby Boomers typically place high value on pay, benefits, stability and prestige, Gen Y cares most about fun, innovation, social responsibility, and time off.

The source for this simplistic and wrong-sounding analysis isn't given. But I can tell you, Patricia Sellers, why the millennials aren't following in your self-regarding footsteps. First, because there is very evidently no "pay, benefits, stability or prestige" to be had from the pack of thieves and vandals who currently are in charge. You need only look at how much cash the corpocrats are sitting on and the unemployment figures you cite above in order to see this. (You could start with a look at your own office.) And second, because one look at certain smug, selfish, wantonly destructive representatives of your generation is enough to convince anyone that whatever it is you did yourselves is best avoided.

Maria Bustillos is the author of Dorkismo: The Macho of the Dork and Act Like a Gentleman, Think Like a Woman.

Photo by Thee Erin from Flickr.

130 Comments / Post A Comment

Art Yucko (#1,321)

#WE HATE our own KIDS

deepomega (#1,720)

Once again, Boomers think they invented every emotional experience. #BREAKING NEWS OLD PEOPLE THINK KIDS ARE LAZY, SHIFTLESS

Art Yucko (#1,321)

#distribute pacifying baby seal euthanasia devices

wb (#2,214)

Weren't Boomers the Lazy, Shiftless Kids of yesteryear?

Art Yucko (#1,321)


HiredGoons (#603)

"a load of self-infatuated corpocrats with river-view offices aren't offering them job security, benefits or a decent salary? "


HiredGoons (#603)

Also: this kicked ass.

Yep, good writing here, Maria.

"Corpocrats" brings to mind an image of little corporate shit eaters.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I don't think I've ever read Maria this pissed off. It was great!

Seriously, boomers? You fucking ruined the WORLD.

turbogarbage (#5,898)

Black Sabbath were boomers. So, no.

G Garcia-Fenech (#4,190)

It's those damn iPads I tell you!

Carnage Hall (#5,633)

In Ms. Sellers' case I am imagining that it is actually shoulder pads.

brianvan (#149)


deepomega (#1,720)

I also love "innovation" being opposed to "prestige". Boomers are happy to work at companies like Time, which will certainly suffer no ill effects in the coming years! Innovation is for pussies: real media giants let their corpulence carry them on into the future, assuming that people will love their brand forever and ever, amen.

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

I'm 27 working as a paid intern at a government agency barely making enough money to break even on my rent and student loans. By all accounts I do my job very well and my boss has been looking for a way to offer me a permanent position that I would gladly accept, but doesn't yet exist. Meanwhile the guy who sits next to me, of Baby Boomer age, spends every day either bullshitting over the phone or asleep (seriously) while making over 3x what I do in salary and contributing nothing.

Baby Boomers can go fuck themselves. Just wait until they really bankrupt us all with Social Security while hiding behind AARP.

deepomega (#1,720)

Why do we have to wait? Let's just put 'em on the moon before they start asking for free money.

VBV, if you REALLY wanted that job, you'd be gaslighting Boomer Bummer coworker until he was driven mad and jumped out the window of your government employer. Show a little initiative! Get cracking, toots!

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

@Bookish: Please, he would get put on paid leave and possibly be allowed to telework so he could continue to clog up the system. On the bright side, he would be out of the office and could no longer ask me basic questions about how to use Excel…

@VBV: Not if you kill him. I surmise you work on a too-low floor in your government employer building? Now, here's what ya gotta do…

Morbo (#1,288)

There are so many cases like this, it isn't funny.

We had our Great Boomer Luddite Purge two years back. Half the staff, twice as efficient as a workplace now.

TCJunior (#1,099)

I award you 1 (one) Internet for using the term "gaslighting" correctly. It just makes me picture a mustachioed gentleman polishing his monocle or one of those guys on a bicycle with a huge front wheel.

Bittersweet (#765)

Another area of the economy still awaiting the Great Boomer Luddite Purge: academia. You'd think they'd take the early-retirement packages, but no.

Aloysius (#1,808)

Yeah I'm pretty tired of these older people with their media bullhorns just being able to uninterruptedly shout about what a shitty generation the Millennials are. Especially when we're the ones who will have to pay for their debt, their social security, and their wars.

Also see: Gen X.

amockingbird (#2,015)

Seriously. We've been fucked by the Boomers for decades. I thought getting one of us in the White House might finally get them to STFU. Nope. Can't they just retire already. Wait, then we'll have to read a zillion stories about retirement. Boomers don't think the Millennials are entitled, they're just annoyed they're stealing their schitk and grabbing all the attention away from them.

I'm a Gen X-er who has been irritated by clueless boomers since the early heady days of the interwebs. They seem to delight in bossing the rest of us around while not doing much work and taking credit for everything.

fuzzywzhe (#13,628)

@Aloysius Dude, Generation X is in the same boat you are. I'm in Generation X sitting in Silicon Valley. We the ones that really made the Internet, we're the ones that did it. Your generation will continue to develop it.

Your fight is to keep it open. It's the only media in the United States that has any hint of the truth.

We hate the boomers too. I have to work with engineers that do everything they can to block me because they're insecure about their jobs. Meanwhile, a house here costs $600,000 because our government's here put severe restrictions on housing development in the midst of 25% unoccupied office space. Just love that zoning commission – the boomers can't let the house they bought for $25,000 back in 1980 drop 25%…

"Most gallingly of all" is wonderful and I am going to work this into everyday conversations. Such as, "Most gallingly of all, Kate, is that after you purposely peed on the floor, you pooped in your underpants."

djfreshie (#875)

That could also be a potential Bulwer-Lytton award winning book opener.

Oh, Boomers. Have you forgotten the dreams of your youth? You've finally got a class of educated, corporation-thwarting societal dropouts!

Come on, old hippies! Revolution!

HiredGoons (#603)

"don't trust anyone over 50."

myfanwy (#1,124)

"Hi, I would like a decent salary with benefits and job security in order to actually live the American Dream with a house in the suburbs, 2.5 kids and a car like an earlier generation?"


Liz (#1,979)

I read this while I was supposed to be writing a cover letter. Does that make me a lazy, ambitionless millennial?

No, but it's helping you towards that point.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

We need to improve the security of our borders with this Millennia. I say we round them up and deport them.

jfruh (#713)

Remember when all these exact same things were being said in the early '90s recession, about Gen Xers? (Ha ha, it was all true, though.)

Seriously, people's generational amnesia is pretty amazing. Virtually all of the criticisms of the rising generation, whatever that generation happens to be, are really criticisms of young people. Wow, 22-year-olds who have fewer economic responsibilities, who are not yet accustomed to middle-class comforts and don't mind sharing apartments with their friends and eating ramen, and are not yet numbed to 40-hour-a-week drudgery, are willing to pursue fun rather than climb the corporate ladder? YOU DON'T SAY! I can't wait until the 2040s, when the Millenials are writing these columns about kids born in the late 2010s. (Actually, one of several upsides to the death of the traditional media is that nobody will be around to publish these things.)

"While we Baby Boomers typically place high value on pay, benefits, stability and prestige …"


@Gef: We were having about the same thought at roughly the same time today, and that has made me feel very close to you, this July 8th between 1:29 and 1:36 p.m.

brent_cox (#40)

Speaking of which, if this is a conflict btw. Gen Y and the Boomers, should Xers pick a side?

@brent: Hmm. Well, I am almost 45 and firmly in Gen X (I also like the band of the same name). If forced to, I am going to side with Gen Y. Although they cannot pay for my cocktails, they are firm, foxy, teach me about new music I don't have the time to follow, and never talk about "the good old days."

Morbo (#1,288)

ehh…Gen Xers were labeled as "cynical slackers". Gen Y seems to be stuck with the label of "entitled".

All of these labels come to forefront during times of economic stress though. When employment is at/below 5%, all of a sudden, these concerns disappear.

@BookishLookish: If you were also trying, and failing, to think up a joke involving the name "Lazarus" and self-motivation, then eeeeee CREEPY.

brent_cox (#40)

@bookish I think my fallback is, "Let's you and him fight."

@Gef: Yeah, I was trying to do an Emma Lazarus riff, but failed.

@brentcox My friends and I will proselytise by flashing our still-supple flesh for dollars. Now THAT's Gen Y initiative, dedication, and resourcefulness! And it fulfills the Boomer mandate of negating self-respect in anyone younger than 50!

@BookishLookish: plus, I like reading their blogs!

Carnage Hall (#5,633)

I was thinking more "Lazarus, come forth." But the mental image got all gross and distorted.

fuzzywzhe (#13,628)

@brent_cox "Gen Y and the Boomers, should Xers pick a side?"

I'm siding with Y.

It seems like a no brainer to me. Really, I'm going to align myself with a generation that went from "free love and pot and anti-war" and 30 years later became "greed is good 25 year prison sentences for pot dealers and turn the Middle East into a sheet of glass"?

I'm going to side with those freaking hypocrites?

At work, I don't mind working with Y. Sure they're young, they don't know what they are doing, I was the same way at that age. Working with the boomers, they're old, they don't what they are doing, and you can't teach them anything.

evilfred (#2,351)

Boomers suck up all the good secure jobs, sitting there doing nothing all day, yelling on the phone to their kids, etc.

What's so great about a career anyway? Maybe us "millenials" are a bit more cynical about that whole thing. Probably due to repeated viewings of the Saved By the Bell episode where the kids get a musical career and Zach sells them out?

Good Lord. Just because I am not old/fat/sick YET doesn't mean I'm some chewed-up piece of gum wadded between a bus shelter and the barren ground.

Their fucking entitled blonde princessrina daughters were the greatest, though. One woman justified a 4-day absence because "Muffy had the flu… she was terrified… she's never been sick before…" Muffy was 19. Not 1, not 9 = 19.

I know this because Muffy was on the phone with Mothercow approximately 4 hours a day when the evil work bosses made her abandon her special snowflake daughter.

Zack (#2,609)

Well shit, of I knew my unemployment was making Shelly Fucking Lazarus' job a bit harder I woulda been more motivated to find work.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)


It's true what they're saying about you: selfish!

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint." ~Hesiod, Theogony

Mindpowered (#948)


melis (#1,854)


metoometoo (#230)

OMG, the olds are like SOOOOO dumb, can't wait 'till they're all dead. Srsly.

Now, now, my girl, do not paint them all with the same dirty brush. Srsly.

NicFit (#616)

16 months is about the average length of tenure employees of ad agencies in general.

Also: "Gen Y cares most about fun, innovation, social responsibility, and time off." This sounds very sensible to me.

Miles Klee (#3,657)



Jonathan Grant (#5,934)

I've got a great idea on how we can fix the financial mire that the boomer generation has stranded us in: slash corporate, state, and federal pension benefits. Social Security while we're at it too! Since my generation (X/Y) has never believe we'd get the same cushy payments that the boomers are starting to enjoy, let's just start the austerity measures today!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

"we'd rather take it all to the grave than share it with you, you ungrateful little wretch!"

Morbo (#1,288)

I would be happy to start that with Medicare no longer covering ED drugs.

Though if that happened, our twin bathtub industry would go down the tubes….

Art Yucko (#1,321)

:( -deflated Booner-

Abe Sauer (#148)

I am going to thoroughly enjoy spending my senility watching the Millennials turn into their Boomer parents.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Turning into your parents=the new American dream

Neopythia (#353)

As a gen-xer, I just feel so passed over. Are we so insignificant as to miss out on generational maliase too?

Abe Sauer (#148)

Neo, There's no point to any of this. It's all just a… a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know… a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle… and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

damn, Abe… just for that I'm going to have to crack a yardbeer and smell my freshly cut grass.

TCJunior (#1,099)

@Abe Sauer: But I'm an Xer with a 40-hour a week job! IS IT ALL FOR NOTHING?

Bittersweet (#765)

@TCJunior: of course it's not all for nothing. How else are you going to pay for those Quarter-Pounders and Camels?

TCJunior (#1,099)

@Bittersweet: a good point. Of course, since the Millennials can't be bothered to take a job at McDonald's, who is going to make my Quarter-Pounder?

BoHan (#29)

The Headline spells out everything wrong with your point of view. "Boomers" – One stupid rich person does not represent the Boomer point of view, nor does one young millenial with a fully paid college education and a rent-free Boston apartment share represent them. Plenty of Boomers have lost everything with the decline in manufacturing, age-discrimination, mass midddle-management lay-offs, etc. And they don't have another 30 years to make up for all the money they lost. I know plenty of them, including my father. Furthermore, coming from a writer who waxes on elegantly about her Greek Isle vacations and the shocking gall of Heathrow's no-smoking policy, you don't really seem to have any business getting angry for the millenials either. Basically, everyone is getting screwed, except for maybe the rich chick who wrote the original article and the apparently rich chick who wrote this response.

You don't have to be rich to go to Greece, just lucky.

DMcK (#5,027)

Actually it was "Classic Baby Boomer" Sellers herself who claimed to speak for the entirety of her generation.

It's so existential and Cirle-of-Life-y! The Boomers have finally turned into their parents. #AndtheCatsinthecradleandthesilverspoon

katiebakes (#32)

WAHHHHH why will no one ever LISTEN to me that GEN Y =/= MILLENNIALS. I will be angrily shouting this into my old age like the way Anthony Hopkins yells "SCREW'EM" in Legends of the Fall. See, Millennials don't even know about Legends of the Fall! Or Brad Pitt and Gwyneth having the same haircut!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

TEAM 30SOMETHING! damn I forgot all about that Brad/Gwyneth homologue-coiffure thing

Abe Sauer (#148)

Yeeewwwww aahhhhhrrhhh naaaaaaaaah daaaaahhhhhhmnd! Yewr Naah Dahhhmd!

Tyler Coates (#451)

I AGREE WITH KATIE. Futhermore, the longest I've been at a job since I graduated from college (in 2005!) was twenty months. But also: all of my jobs have been entry-level positions with no room for professional growth because I have not been able to find a job in the last five years that includes a career track. I am basically working at the Starbucks of office positions, and I don't even get free coffee. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I WANT A CAREER? VERY BADLY!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I also forgot that Brad and Gwyneth used to bump starparts. #benign-stage senility

Boomer Whine: "WhenIWuzYerAge …"

Mindpowered (#948)

Now it's #WIWYA

HiredGoons (#603)

As someone born in 1984, am I a Gen Y or a Millenial? Too lazy to figure it out.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Goons, you're an Orwellian.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I hear Fortune is looking for copy editors.

Thank you for making that two words.

Mindpowered (#948)

Should we forward some of Luke Mazur's Epistles to her?

As a Gen Xer, I'm glad that self-absorption skipped a generation.

amockingbird (#2,015)

Except now we have to get it from the parents and the kids. Luckily we're too apathetic to care.

migraineheadache (#1,866)

I'm 31 so just on the cusp but I felt like the grandfather was the only person in the NYT article who made any sort of sense. I thought it was strange that his idea of going to Asia was just brushed off despite him being the one with the million bucks who seemed to be paying for everything.

@migraineheadache: Right? It was a very weird omission, and it backed up my initial impression that the kid profiled in the article was too wrapped up in worrying about competing with his $75k-a-year reinsurance-careerist older brother to seriously step back and look at his options.

Excuse me, but everything I know I learned from Douglas Coupland.

City_Dater (#2,500)

They don't want to be jobless; they just don't want to take entry-level jobs. Because their Boomer Helicopter Parents convinced them they were such special snowflakes they didn't have to start at the bottom! Ha, ha, ha, unlikable ex-hippies, something else we can all blame on you!!!

Aloysius (#1,808)

Most millennials I know would love an entry-level job. The problem is more and more employers confuse "entry-level jobs" with "unpaid internships."

You mean those entry level jobs that require a year's worth of experience at another entry level job?

Yawn (#4,506)

Drivel like this is exactly why I've been advocating turning the Boomers into Soylent Green for years!

I'd settle for implementing Carousel. RENEW! RENEW!

cherrispryte (#444)

Can we talk about how the kid in the Times piece was offered a $40k/year job AND TURNED IT DOWN!? Way to make my generation look bad, jerkoff.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

I've been in my job, the first I got right out of college, for going on four years. It pays well, but it's not career track by any stretch (unless "independent contractor who buys insurance on the individual market" counts as a career track, in which case God help us all). But I'm still clinging to it like grim death! Profile me!

Aloysius (#1,808)

Of course the boomer-run NYT is going to find a "representative" millennial that reinforces their stereotypes about our generation.

OTOH, terrific launching-off point for the "He thinks HE has it bad… lemme me tell ya something" genre of rant outrage.

Adam Goldman (#5,684)

Yeah, the kid in the Times article is a world-class douchebag. Anyone who has been unemployed and not able to live in their parents' suburban home rent-free will attest that sending out 4-5 (that's four or five, not forty-five!) resumés every week barely constitutes a job hunt at all.

Between that and his unbelievable rejection of a better job than I (graduated in 2008 also) or any of my friends have is mind-boggling. The economy sucks, everyone is having a hard time, asshole 'Boomers' should lay off. But that twat is a terrible example and reflects badly on recent graduates everywhere.

missdelite (#625)

Maybe that was the point? Never underestimate the bias of a passive-aggressive NYT writer.

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

The sorts of statistics cited in these hair-tearing AHH LAZYYOUNGS articles are probably quite misleading – even though I have been financially self-sufficient for the 6 years since college I think I have been technically considered unemployed-ish the entire time! Ah, fellowships.

iantenna (#5,160)


HiredGoons (#603)

My dad keeps apologizing to me that his generation fucked up the planet, so that's cool.

Crantastical (#4,127)

There is really nothing worse than listening to Baby Boomers whine about other generations. They complain about having to support their adult children yet don't pay the 20 somethings in their office enough to live independently.

schveenietodd (#5,942)

Boomers molly-coddled their BABY ON BOARDed progeny…

garge (#736)

This is merely an aside, but at what point can you no longer be considered a 'wunderkind'? I am getting a bit uneasy, over here, waiting for that to just happen for me.

mishaps (#5,779)

On my 30th birthday, my friend Mike said, "well, at least the pressure to be a prodigy is off."

Sakurambobomb (#1,722)

You know, the kids on The Hills and The City all seem to be able to find jobs pretty easily…if they want one. Why can't everyone just get jobs like them?

George Murray (#5,944)

There seems to be multiple factions in GenY. Part "we can change the world and do whatever we want" and part "Im going to sick this one out until it resets"

missdelite (#625)

Don't think you're too good to post an ad in CL's erotic sevices section. Sure, it's (potentially) illegal, but so's that hot bottle of Percocet in the back of your desk drawer (shh! I won't tell anyone). My advice is to put down that ho ho (ahem), buy some clean underwear and do it before the repo man comes a-knocking.

Here, I'll get you started:

Hi Guys,
I'm Psycho and I'll be your playmate for the evening. I'm taller than your Napoleonic ass, heavier than my photo suggests and my measurements are impossibly unrealistic. I'm a friendly Latina/Serbian/Asian refugee and very pleasant to be with (if you don't mind the jimmy leg and the occasional bouts of flatulence). I have skin tanned to a shade not seen in nature, a great smile (when you whip out your wallet) and beautiful eyes (that see more than I'm willing to admit).

I'm located in an upscale area of Hades' armpit where your privacy and comfort is assured (as long as you don't make eye contact with the concierge or small talk with elevator passengers), so contact me for a wonderful time you won't soon forget (which may be a very bad thing, depending on how the evening goes)…xo, Psycho

untitled HD (#4,555)

Hey I read a news profile of that guy, and he's actually doing quite well!

missdelite (#625)

You'd be surprised what people will pay for (or not).

TCJunior (#1,099)

Having just finished The Catcher in the Rye for the first time, I can tell you this much: they're all a bunch of phonies, but I kinda feel sorry as hell for them.

Redacted (#2,882)

In all fairness, Scott Nicholson in the good-ole-NYT did come off especially douchey-sounding at other parts. I've had a few of the New College Grads come through my office in the past few years and tell me that their degree makes them ineligible to answer the phones or sit in the office when there's something more interesting going on elsewhere. They dont last long.

(And I'm only 25, so this is a Millenial-Approved-Message.)

Tawny (#3,471)

Yeah, that guy pissed me off hard. I spent the last year sending out about 5-7 resumes a DAY with custom-crafted cover letters. I received one interview, and was turned down based on lack of experience.

The only reason I'm employed today is that a friend of mine was transitioning jobs and basically told her boss to hire me.

And I answer phones, staple and paper clip things, and generally sit around waiting to do other similar crap.

So yeah, that kid is the fucking epitome of douche.

Susie Madrak (#5,958)

You all really believe this? For instance, you believe your parents only care about themselves? You don't ask them for help, or get it?

I just attended that national town hall on Social Security, and the older people who attended were a lot more worried about their children and grandchildren then they were about themselves. That doesn't fit with what the majority of you claim. {If anything, they were worried about being a burden on their children.)

It wasn't the Boomers who put Barack "Ima Gonna Go Ahead And Cut Social Security Now" Obama over the electoral top, it was all y'all.

Those of us who are Boomers took a big Social Security tax increase in the 90s to fix this mess. Social Security isn't bankrupt, and I don't know why so many of you insist it is — the conservatives just don't want to pay it back. They've spent a lot of money trying to convince your generation it won't be there so they can get you to invest in the market instead.

They HATE Social Security, and will jump at any chance to put that money into Wall St.

It might be more useful to identify the real enemy – the wealthy. This is a class war, not a generation war.

Redacted (#2,882)

Susie, if Social Security isn't going to be bankrupt, then why am I and most of my co-workers (aged 25-40) getting our yearly future estimate letters set at $0? As far as I can see, it's not the conservatives who are determined to convince us that it won't be there, it's whatever system at the Social Security department that figures out their future contributions.

Also, if this is true, I would like my money back, thanks.

Susie Madrak (#5,958)

The estimate should reflect how much you've already paid into the system. If you're a federal employee, or you work for an exempt organization, it wouldn't show anything, because you're on the federal pension plan.

Other than that, I don't know what to tell you. My kids are both in their early 30s and their letters certainly show they're getting payments. You should contact Social Security to ask why yours shows $0. They may have inaccurate information, or someone may have stolen your SS number.

As to wanting your money back: You should thank the nanny state that they DON'T give you your money back. Do you know how many people lost everything in the latest crash? I know everything seems possible at your age — but it isn't. You're not going to become rich investing in the stock market. How could you, when the market information is based on lies (as we so recently discovered)?

Mindpowered (#948)

Nonsense. It was realized back in the 1970's that with a declining birth rate and a declining workforce, that another mechanism was needed to ensure that pension liabilities were met.

Of course companies were also quite happy sluff off their responsibilities into a 401k ( A Carter invention no less!). Since the 1990's and especially in the Bush years Social Security has been consistently underfunded, and "the market" was supposed to "take care of it".

Blaming Obama, is like yelling at the trashman for trying to clear the glass after you've been partying all night and smashed all the windows.

Redacted (#2,882)

No idea, Suzy! I'm a permalancer and I pay an assload of taxes, but perhaps there's a different calculation for non-traditional job tracks…also, I just meant that if I'm not going to be getting any payments before I die I would prefer to stop making payments as the money will never be returned. Although yes I realize that won't be helpful when I start getting bills for my parents' inevitable retirement expenses in that case.

#moving to Africa, thx.

fuzzywzhe (#13,628)

@Mindpowered "Blaming Obama, is like yelling at the trashman for trying to clear the glass after you've been partying all night and smashed all the windows"

STOP supporting Obama.

He kept both the Bush wars going. He's kept the Patriot Act law. Warrantless wiretapping is still continuing. Guantanamo is still open. A new war just started under him. He continued the Bush/Paulson bailouts instead of putting these people in jail where they belong.

Obama is as much of a Neocon piece of crap as Bush was.

I don't know why Democrats support him when he's carried forward every policy of Bush, especially when those policies were correctly denounced when they were enacted.

At the same time, why do all the morons that supported Bush complain about Obama for just continuing everything Bush did?

Stop supporting Obama, he's just Bush III.

L.T.I.H. (#5,977)

I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one

erikonymous (#3,231)

I'm pretty sure someone else has already made this argument, but I'm 31 (maybe not technically a "Millennial," but whatever), I've been supporting myself since I was 18, and have never had a full-time position (except for my first job at a Blockbuster. Wanna know why I left?!), and rarely any position over 18 months. Every company I've worked for (Google and Scholastic, among others, just to name the highest-profile) has used me as a perma-temp. The Millennials are not to blame; it's the companies that are treating workers like shit. Not the other way around.

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