New data shows our generation can expect to be poor, homeless and single for ages
The Guardian has unearthed some figures about ‘millennials’
Breaking news from the Guardian this morning – delivered with an alert to anyone with the paper’s app: our generation is screwed.
They have found some data in an archive in Luxembourg which shows that Generation Y – or “millennials” – are being “cut out of the wealth generated in western societies”. In contrast to past generations, those born between 1980 and the mid-90s earn 20 per cent less than the national average, and old people’s disposable income is growing three times as fast as ours is.
The bad news continues. “In the UK, new figures will show the notion of a property-owning democracy has already been terminated,” writes the paper, which is a grandiose way of saying we’re Generation Rent for life.
Accompanied by illustrations of young people mindlessly taking selfies, the piece observes that our generation is stagnating in pseudo-adolescence because we cannot afford to reach the traditional milestones of adulthood. Some of us are even living with our parents, in our adolescent bedrooms. Oh and we are marrying later.
The economic findings are interesting and a bit sobering. But then the straw-man building and cringey generalisations begin.
“Millennials are accused of being lazy, self-involved, cosseted, politically apathetic narcissists, who aren’t able to function without a smartphone and who live in a state of perpetual adolescence, incapable of commitment,” we are told by the Guardian’s Kate Lyons. “By other accounts, they are a generation marked by creativity, flexibility, open-mindedness, a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the environment,” the piece says.
Of course, making any personality statements at all about 13.8 million people is a perilous task. When the Guardian asked its readers about the main issues facing Gen Y in this country, one of them wrote back: “You want me to sum up the main issues facing an entire generation in an entire country? That sounds less scientific than a fucking horoscope, you mad bastards.”
Even if we are earning below the national average, some young people might not appreciate being treated with almost aggressive sympathy, like a well-liked but ultimately tragic species.