Young Americans have been fleeced in order to fund the transient excesses of the old – and yet Millennials are labeled “entitled” because we were given “participation trophies” and “personal tutors” before we were old enough to vote…?
Give us a break. Millennials are not entitled. But we are frustrated.
We’re frustrated because the same Baby Boomer bloc that created or tacitly perpetuated the policies that have hamstrung Millennials now makes up almost a third of the American voting -aged population and holds nearly two-thirds of the seats of the United States House of Representatives and Senate. This, during a decade-long span when incumbent House and Senate members are richly rewarded for being the most unproductive legislators in U.S. history, respectively winning reelection 94 percent and 87 percent of the time.
Granted, many members of our generation need to learn how to vote every two years, not just every four. And we need to begin to fulfill the civic-minded label – “The Next Great Generation” – which social scientists have bestowed upon us. When we do begin to regularly share our opinions in the voting booth, not just on Twitter, you can be assured that we’ll act to keep this country great. We’ll make the “hard” choices the Baby Boomers have refused to make.
Already, we’ve learned how to be fiscally responsible – with the most student debt of any generation in history, we’ve had to. More than any other generation, we eschew expensive possessions like cars and large houses, opting instead for bikes and shared living spaces. Sure, we would like to own all that fancy stuff someday, but we realize that we can’t have everything we want.
We know that our government would be better off spending more of our tax dollars on jobs and education, and not just on social security and defense. We overwhelmingly recognize that the war on drugs has been an embarrassing waste of money and lives and that anyone should be able to marry whomever they love.
Perhaps we Millennials are entitled: we seemed to think that Baby Boomer politicians will enact much needed changes while we fiddle with our smartphones. We were definitely wrong on that one.
Ross Pomeroy and William Handke, “The Most Entitled Generation Isn’t Millennials”, Business Insider (8 January 2015) [http://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-entitled-generation-isnt-millennials-2015-1]