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5 Reasons Why The “Lazy Millennial” Stereotype Is Bullshit

Lazy, entitled, freeloading, whiny, safe-space-inhabiting, impatient, thin-skinned, don’t-know-the-meaning-of-a-hard-day’s-work, precious snowflakes. Millennials. My generation.

Or, if you’re Time Magazine“The Me Me Me Generation.” This is but one example of the current favorite editorial of the lazy middle-aged journalist, in which they trash millennials for everything they’re anecdotally doing wrong with very little empirical evidence about what’s actually going on in their lives. Writing indignant think pieces about how awful the young people are these days has been in style since Socrates was pioneering toga-style in the amphitheaters of Athens. But this style of editorializing still pisses me off.

I’m tired of it. For one thing, the entire concept of “generations” is bullshit (as perfectly explained by Adam Ruins Everything). For another, the Millennial stereotype is pure, unfiltered cockamamie. So setting aside for a moment the fact that generations are a nebulous concept devoid of meaning and that the popular stereotype of millennials is false, I’d like to take this moment to explain a thing at you.

I’m proud to be a millennial. And here’s why.

1. The most educated generation

For the purposes of this article, I’m defining millennials as North Americans currently between the ages of 18 and 34.

The Pew Research Center says millennials are on track to be the most educated generation ever. What this means is that people in this generation are graduating from high school and attending college at rates that exponentially outpace previous generations.

Of course, that also means they’re graduating with their college degrees and an average of $35,000 in student loan debt. But let’s keep focusing on the positive, shall we? Like how having an education reduces poverty, raises income, makes people healthier, and of course, gives one the ability to pretentiously quote Kierkegaard in social situations at a moment’s notice.

To be fair, part of this statistic is due to the fact that women, immigrants, and people of color in the United States currently have more opportunities for educational advancement than at any time previous in American history. It’s hard to be the most educated generation when it’s 1950 and you’re suppressing half your generation’s access to an education. Which leads me to…

2. The most socially progressive generation

The generation that has been at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement and seen marriage equality become the law of the land is far more comfortable with social justice than previous generations. Which, as far as this millennial is concerned, is something to be very, very proud of.

Millennials are overall more progressive than older generations. This doesn’t just cover political party affiliation (though 57% of millennials lean Democrat according to the Pew Research Center). A Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLEreport reveals that millennials are starting their adult lives more progressive than any generation since 1960. For while most people lean more conservative as they age, millennials are beginning to formulate their socio-political opinions farther to the left than their predecessors. Which ultimately could mean that they will trend less conservative as they get older.

That same CIRCLE report states that millennials are more progressive on economic issues, more committed to community service, more tolerant of demographic diversity, more comfortable with homosexuality, more welcoming of immigrants, more supportive of civil liberties like free speech, and more liberal about gender roles.

I’m optimistic enough to believe that even the most anxious conservative pearl-clutchers can’t think that’s all bad.

But this also means that, politically speaking, millennials are more pro-government than their elders and they have a more favorable view of socialism. So, maybe start clutching those pearls, old conservatives?

3. The most productive generation

Millennials currently make up the majority of the tax-paying workforce in America. So suck on that, cranky old fart starting letters to the editor of his small town newspaper with “As a taxpayer…”

But not only are we highly represented among the worker bees, we’re also the busiest bees in the hive. For according to the Harvard Business Review, millennials across the board are total workaholics. In fact, because of a number of factors, millennials could be poised to be the most productive generation ever. It completely flies in the face of the stereotype, but there it is.

With all this work we millennials are doing, you’d think we’d be painting our fixies with gold leaf and sprinkling our Unicorn Frappuccinos with diamond dust. Not so: despite this unparalleled work ethic, millennials are vastly underpaid. Which just makes the whole “entitled” stereotype that much more infuriating.

Anecdotally speaking, I find this statistic completely believable. Almost all of my peers pull long hours at their day jobs and freelance on the side. When we can get together to commiserate, it’s like the Overworked Olympics: comparing stories to see who’s more stressed, who’s got more on their plate, who’s sacrificing more vacation time, who’s working themselves into a coffee-and-adrenalin-induced brain aneurism faster.

Millennials work hard! I know I do, says the girl writing this blog post on a Sunday after spending most of my afternoon freelance editing for a Gen X client before I head to my day job working for a Baby Boomer tomorrow. I DARE YOU TO CALL ME LAZY.

4. The generation that is fighting your goddamn wars

That’s right. I went there. 71.8% of our country’s active duty military members are Millennials. And those millennials are doing the most dangerous jobs in the military: they’re the deployed, on-the-ground, front-line enlisted soldiers and marines and low-ranking officers and non-commissioned officers. They’re the ones following the orders of higher-ranking older officers sitting in locations of relative safety. They’re working hard. They’re risking their lives. And they’re millennials.

So you can either be all “Millennials are lazy and entitled and they don’t know the meaning of sacrifice” or you can #supportthetroops. Pick one. You can’t have both.

5. And we’re doing all this under overwhelming circumstances

The crash of 2008 and the recession that followed defined the economic circumstances of my generation. We had nothing to do with creating these circumstances, and yet we disproportionately suffered because of them.

Because of the 2008 crash, millennials may never make as much money as previous generations, according to Bloomberg. Employers are more cautious about hiring and offering competitive paychecks, and that will affect millennials for the rest of their careers. And those millennials who could find a job after the crash are way more likely to cling to that low-paying position for fear of being unemployed again. Watching the housing market and stock market completely implode and betray normal investors has bred a deep-seated distrust of these institutions, which has made millennials worse investors.

Then there’s the student loan debt crisis, a $1.3 trillion burden on our generation that nobody in government seems particularly motivated to alleviate. Our youngest working generation is starting their professional lives deeply in debt, with a staggering negative net worth. Combine that with the whole underpaid issue, and it’s no wonder that millennials are delaying typical adulthood milestones like getting married, buying houses, and having babies.

And yet even in the face of these depressing odds, millennials are doing all of the above. Statistically speaking, we’re kicking ass and taking names and being thoughtful and compassionate while we’re at it. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s something to be damn proud of.

(I’m Proud to Be an American got stuck in my head while writing this article and now I’m at least halfway to insanity.)

Kitty and Piggy are head bitches in charge of Bitches Get Riches, a blog about finance, feminism, and fresh af RuPaul gifs. Sometimes they write about guinea pigs and video games. You can follow them on Twitter and Tumblr.

Image via Unsplash

  • Alex

    Hey girl, I just wanted to say thanks. I’m a millennial, student nurse, and nurse’s aide, and this article spoke to my “but!” complex when I hear people complaining about my generation. So thanks! Also, I hope your bosses are nice. Have an awesome day.

    • Piggy

      Aw, thank you! That is such a nice comment.

  • Smashley

    Preach. Thank you!!!! I’ve actually just replaced the word “millennial” with “young whippersnapper” in those ludicrous think pieces on our oh-so-out-of-touch generation and it makes me laugh. I highly suggest it the next time anyone finds themselves about ready to drop kick their computer while reading one <3

    • Piggy

      Brb, making an app to replace “millennial” with “young whippersnapper” wherever it appears on the Internet…

  • LynnP2

    My favorite are the complaints about how millennials are killing this or that industry, as if it’s a crime not to follow previous generations into mounds of consumer debt, and is if that’s not how capitalism works (and all these complainers seem to love capitalism and jump all over us when we support socialized medicine).

    • Piggy

      Like 30% of our Tumblr is just reblogging ridiculous headlines about millennials killing X industry. If we’re killing Hooters and Buffalo Wild Wings, well then why don’t we just say “you’re welcome” and continue our good work?

      • LynnP2

        Amazing – and yes we should!

      • Desirae Odjick

        Ahhhh my favourite one recently is actually about one we’re saving – TV antennas! (Because we’re frugal af and have Netflix, so why not get our sweet free basic cable channels, yaknow?)

  • Maddog

    As I approach 60 I must say, we are so totally screwed if this woman is in the thinking class of the Millennials. Good luck to you, you are going to need it.

    Mark Sherman

    • Smashley

      The irony in this comment is delicious.

      • Maddog

        5 Reasons Why The “Lazy Millennial” Stereotype Is Bullshit: Just kidding!!!

        http://www.maddogslair.com/blog/5-reasons-why-the-lazy-millennial-stereotype-is-bullshit-just-kidding

        (The links did not come across here but they are available at the link above.)

        I thought about fisking this article, but there is little point. The author makes some points most of them nonsequiturs but some valid and a few even compelling. Millennials are a positive force in society while Boomers are not. So, why the author goes to such great lengths to prove the arguments of those she disagrees is mind numbing.

        I will point out a few of the places she makes what I consider to be errors. In the end, I will provide a short analysis of other arguments Millennials can make against Boomers. And Millennials need to wake up and begin to make serious arguments against what the Boomers are doing, and the path they are taking the country, and the world.

        “Lazy, entitled, freeloading, whiny, safe-space-inhabiting, impatient, thin-skinned, don’t-know-the-meaning-of-a-hard-day’s-work, precious snowflakes. Millennials. My generation.

        Or, if you’re Time Magazine, “The Me Me Me Generation.” This is but one example of the current favorite editorial of the lazy middle-aged journalist, in which they trash millennials for everything they’re anecdotally doing wrong with very little empirical evidence about what’s actually going on in their lives. Writing indignant think pieces about how awful the young people are these days has been in style since Socrates was pioneering toga-style in the amphitheaters of Athens. But this style of editorializing still pisses me off.

        I’m tired of it. For one thing, the entire concept of “generations” is bullshit (as perfectly explained by Adam Ruins Everything). For another, the Millennial stereotype is pure, unfiltered cockamamie. So setting aside for a moment the fact that generations are a nebulous concept devoid of meaning and that the popular stereotype of millennials is false, I’d like to take this moment to explain a thing at you.

        I’m proud to be a millennial. And here’s why.”

        Wonderful, the author is too lazy to answer the question she poses, but she is willing to chick-splain “a thing at [me].” I can’t wait. Why she is so mad so young is unclear. When I was young I was too busy working, dating, skiing, water skiing, wilderness kayaking, backpacking, etc. to worry about why the oldsters were worried. But Millennials today are all a twitter with worry about everyone else and what the other thinks of them. Jesus, get a life. Work, date, then spend the weekend kayaking or skiing water or snow your choice. Don’t worry about the others.

        “1. The most educated generation”

        The author notes that more Millennials are going to college and getting degrees than prior generations (I know bogus, dude!); this is true, but the author does not determine whether the education today is the same or lower quality when compared to prior generations. The fact that about 80% of the Millennial generation attends some college and about 50% finish higher education means that the quality of college today must be significantly lower. It is not possible to expand the college experience to an addition +25% of the high school cohort and keep the quality of the total college pool the same. The result would necessarily be a dumbing down of the course work, grading and the quality of the graduates. Yes, it is likely the top tier schools has only changed a little but the average had to drop significantly, and the low-end college quality must be abysmal.

        University is too expensive: A few creative ways to cut the cost

        “Only 20% of jobs require a college degree, and about one-half of the 50% of high school students who go through higher education (that is the bottom half of the college cohort) show no cognitive, intellectual improvement. What a disaster. The problem is that only about 20% of the population has the intellectual capability to benefit from college. Another 5% or so are wealthy idiots for whom it does not matter if they can benefit, they are protected by family wealth. For the other half of the kids attending college, it is an expensive waste of time and money.”

        All this means is that at least one-half of college Millennials today are credentialled not educated and at idiotically high cost. The average residential college will cost about $23,000 to $25,000 per year or $100,000 for the credential. Unless the student receives $100,000 in value, this is a bust. About one-half of the Millennial graduates are finding that their credential leads them to a job which never required a college degree, this is the classic definition of a bust.

        The author notes that these graduated have about $35,000 in student debt.

        These graduates lost four years of work opportunity and opportunity to be productive, which cost them, their families or others $100,000, and which saddled them with $35,000 in debt, for a degree which got them the same job they could have had four years before, $100,000 without the cost and debt. These jobs generally only pay between $20,000 and $35,000, if the worker can wheedle a 40 hour work week, which is difficult now that we have Obamacare. Good luck. Rule of thumb, never take more college debt than one-half of your likely first years pay.

        “2. The most socially progressive generation”

        Great! What does this have to do with the lazy Millennial stereotype? This answer proves the point that Millennials, at least this author, is too lazy to answer the question she posed, and instead responded to a fun and easy question not asked.

        I am not arguing that Millennials are lazy, but that position is winning because the author is proving the counter argument.

        “3. The most productive generation

        Millennials currently make up the majority of the tax-paying workforce in America.”

        So what? It is not how many of you pay a few nickels in tax every year; it is who pays the vast bulk of the income taxes. Spoiler alert, the Millennials are not paying the majority of the taxes. Then again no one expected they would be. But what does productivity have to do with taxes paid? The author seems to be more butthurt by others pointing out her/Millennials occasional flaws than she is in answering the question she initially asked. The next article the author cites to may offer a clue.

        Why the author proudly sites to an article by the Harvard Business Review is mystifying. Another spoiler alert it doesn’t quite say that Millennials are workaholics it says Millennials narcissistically see themselves as work martyrs.

        Millennials Are Actually Workaholics, According to Research

        “This all raises the fundamental question: why? Why are Millennials more likely to identify as work martyrs, and think of such martyrdom as normal, even admirable? I have a theory. One of the few major differences that has been found in longitudinal studies between today’s young people and yesterday’s young people is how they agree with the statement “I am an important person.” As Chamorro-Premuzic wrote in the Guardian, “in the 1950s, 12% of high-school students perceived themselves as ‘an important person’ – by the 1990s, 80% did.” Narcissism is, thus, one of the few true differences that we’ve seen between the generations over time. I asked him if this could be behind the rise in work martyrism, including the claim that “No one else at my company can do my job while I’m away.”

        “It is absolutely feasible that those differences are attributed to differences in narcissism,” Chamorro-Premuzic told me. “Feeling that you are the centre of the world, irreplaceable, and that nobody can do your job, is at odds with reality and does signal a deluded sense of grandiosity. Furthermore, if anything, one would expect younger people to be LESS indispensable (at least in the eyes of their bosses).”

        I am not arguing that Millennials are not hard workers, often they are, but this points out a serious difference between people my age and the Millennials who are more self-absorbed, and narcissistic. Whether I was a journeyman litigation attorney trying medical cases 75+ hours per week or an industrial demolition crew chief working 13 hours per day, seven days per week for 17 months at a time (no, really), I never thought the “Millennial way.” It simply never entered my mind to worry about my victim status, irreplaceability, or indispensability. I simply worked hard as I could all week, played as hard as I could in my spare time, focused on my girlfriend, later wife, and later yet family: Work hard, live big, ignore the whinging multitude, and get on with it.

        Suspicions Confirmed: You Are Younger, Smarter, and Underpaid

        “Yet, despite the sheer volume, skills and talent of the millennials, they are still lacking in one big way when compared to their predecessors: earnings. In fact, millennials are the best-educated segment of the U.S. demographic and also the worst-paid.

        This revelation — which may not come as much of a surprise to millennials themselves — was made quite clear in a recent New York Times op-ed, titled ‘We’re Making Life Too Hard For Millennials‘. With a title like that, you can be darn sure that there was a significant knee-jerk reaction from members of other generations, but the case that the author, Steven Rattner, lays out, is fairly straightforward. Millennials, despite having skills, smarts, and college degrees in record numbers, aren’t seeing a return on their investment on their paychecks.”

        I will let you in on a secret here. The US and the world are going through a massive socioeconomic shift from the Industrial Revolution to whatever is next. No one understands what that is or how it will work. But the people who understand it the least are the Boomers and GenX. They grew up under the Industrial Revolution model which functioned well and had a familiar path. If they followed the path, and they would succeed which meant either get a good blue collar mill job or college and a post college job. The degree did not matter much. That is busted today, it does not work, but parents, teachers, advisors, professors, and all the other oldsters will sell this model to you because it used to work for them. It’s gone. It will never work well again.

        The painful truth is you will need to find your way, trust your intuition, and hopefully moral and ethical bearings. Most of your college education will prove to be worthless unless you have a STEM or Econ or similar degree. Good luck.

        “Millennials work hard! I know I do, says the girl writing this blog post on a Sunday after spending most of my afternoon freelance editing for a Gen X client before I head to my day job working for a Baby Boomer tomorrow. I DARE YOU TO CALL ME LAZY.”

        Oh, Jesus, relax. But also understand one fixed truth, no generation works as hard as their parents; this is not a value judgment it is a simple fact that the older generations work hard to progress forward so their children can live better lives, and have better less harsh work environments. You will do for your children as we did for ours. Relax!

        “4. The generation that is fighting your goddamn wars”

        The young fight wars, it has always been so and will be so for your children as well. You can believe you will be perfect world citizens, parents, and people, but you won’t even be close. Just be better than the last, that’s all I ask. Steven Pinker has some books which are revelatory, including The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. The essential premise is that over time humans are becoming less violent. I would take it a step further; we are becoming better people from increasing empathy to better child rearing to fewer and less deadly conflicts. Don’t think all the improvement is yours alone, it was a long term group effort, but definitely, take the accolades you deserve. Sorry, you don’t deserve many yet.

        The wars today are amazingly safe when compared to wars of the past like the US Civil War, WWI or WWII, regardless war is hell, and less is better, and none is best. Try to make it so, but be satisfied if you only make it better.

        However, unless you fought, or served as my son is doing now as a US Marine, don’t take credit for service not earned. That is not just ugly, but evil as well.

        “5. And we’re doing all this under overwhelming circumstances”

        Welcome to adulthood. Yes, growing up is a bitch, but a rewarding one if you accept it and engage, less so if you decamp to the basement and the video games. I know, stereotype warning needed.

        Free market economies do have cycles, and those who enter the workforce during a downturn are likely scarred somewhat by the experience, but this is not unique to Millennials. Stop tongue bathing yourself, and get at it. Life is not going to wait because your career has a boo boo. And worse yet the socioeconomic model doesn’t work well and will work less well with time. That said, those who pioneer the new socioeconomic model will have the opportunity to do much better than their parents if they get out of the basement and stop whinging long enough to find a way forward.

        “Then there’s the student loan debt crisis, a $1.3 trillion burden on our generation that nobody in government seems particularly motivated to alleviate. Our youngest working generation is starting their professional lives deeply in debt, with a staggering negative net worth. Combine that with the whole underpaid issue, and it’s no wonder that millennials are delaying typical adulthood milestones like getting married, buying houses, and having babies.

        And yet even in the face of these depressing odds, millennials are doing all of the above. Statistically speaking, we’re kicking ass and taking names and being thoughtful and compassionate while we’re at it. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s something to be damn proud of.”

        And here appears one of the authors quality arguments and well made. The student debt crisis was a foolish error by Boomers who failed to understand that offering easy credit to naifs who did not have any reasonable sense of debt was a bad idea. Universities today are a business seeking to please and attract the students. Easy, no payment while in school, credit has allowed students to live better in college than their parents, and take drunken Spring Break weeks, among other vacations. All at the cost of later debt slavery and without the benefit of bankruptcy protection. These loans have played a part in driving up college costs, as have lowering college education quality to double college enrollment.

        Blame the Boomers this is their fault. Boomers failed to teach their children the dangers of debt, failed to pressure their kids to avoid dead end degrees, failed to control excessive debt fueled spending, and so much more. Most frightening, the student debt failure is the least of the Boomer sins.

        So, what do I think the author should have written? If you care, read on, if not, good night.

        The pension, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid implosion:

        Social Security is still just a bankrupt as it was last year, politicians still ignore the facts

        It’s time for a pension update from the pension apocalypse center here in Maddogslair at Stately Maddog Manor . . .

        The Boomers only pay 75% of their tax bill:

        Millennials should be rioting in the streets about this issue. Boomers only pay taxes of about $3 trillion of the $4 trillion federal budget; they borrow the rest leaving it for the Millennials and future generations to pay. The same groups which the author so carefully shows are having a tough time of it economically; this will only stop when the Millennials force the Boomers to pay what they owe.

        Does anyone believe the Millennials will be able to pay back these debts or pay off these liabilities?

        Workplace/jobs licensing:

        A license to braid?

        Occupational licensing

        There are more, but half the fun is finding them.

        Mark Sherman

        • Chrs

          It’s late, and I have work in the morning, so I will refrain from a point-by-point response, but I couldn’t resist replying to this part:

          These graduates lost four years of work opportunity and opportunity to be productive, which cost them, their families or others $100,000, and which saddled them with $35,000 in debt, for a degree which got them the same job they could have had four years before, $100,000 without the cost and debt. These jobs generally only pay between $20,000 and $35,000, if the worker can wheedle a 40 hour work week, which is difficult now that we have Obamacare.

          Based on your comments, I presume that you are familiar with the concept of degree inflation. In short, we millennials, generally speaking, couldn’t in fact have gotten an entry-level job without a college degree. As you point out, a large majority of the current generation has pursued higher education. Because of this, entry-level jobs are largely reserved for those with a bachelors degree. In some fields, these jobs are filled by those with a masters. A person starting out today with only a high school diploma or GED is likely to end up in the service industry, or in construction if they are lucky. The military is one of the better options, if one can get in (they, too, have become more selective in recent years). It’s an employer’s market.

          At any rate, criticizing millennials for taking on so much debt is putting a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of our high school student selves. We made these decisions upon the advice of counselors and parents. No one wants to tell parents they gave bad advice to their teenage children, but it’s not as if the teenagers were in a position to understand their career prospects better than the adults around them.

          Can we just agree that the student debt bubble, and the degree inflation situation are societal problems and work to fix them? Talk to the high schoolers you know and give them good advice. Ask your representatives in Congress to address university funding and student debt. These would be better uses of all of our time.

          • Maddog

            Hi Chrs,

            My point here is first, this is a problem created and propelled by the Boomers.

            Second, that at least 50% of students attending college today cannot functionally use the classic college education, and so should not be in college at all. These kids are not ever going to make it in the intellectual world degree inflation or no.

            These young people in the olden days of yore would likely have gone into plumbing and become the owner of a plumbing shop. Then and now they would do better than nearly all of the college students who graduate from a middling or lower university. Today these students are graduating, foregoing a trades career, and becoming Baristas or some other service sector employee.

            Degree inflation is a canard which traps people who could do well in trades and other fields into careers beneath their skill set.

            Your mindset goes back to the problem I find most frustrating with Millennials, the inability to ignore bad advice, and strike their course. Millennials are much more risk-adverse than any other generation. They need to realize that life happens whether they are ready or not. They should take risks. The low risk, low reward path, however, seems to entice them. Why?

            While I do not know the answer, I suspect it arises from their acceptance of the childish Bernie Sanders Socialism. They are waiting for equality, not willing to do whatever is necessary to carve a part of the world into something which works to their benefit. Pink Floyd’s song Money hit the mark. Those Millennials need to start practicing, “Welcome to Walmart, have a nice day!”

            Mark

          • Chrs

            It is clear that we agree on one thing: Millennials were given poor advice by people who read the data of earlier decades, and had good intentions. I disagree that millennials are at fault in having taken this advice, but ultimately they are the ones who are going to have to live with the outcome, so perhaps it doesn’t matter.

            You suggest that the problems of Millennials in industry can be attributed to a differing mindset than that of previous generations. With respect, there is no need to invoke so nebulous a cause. As you mentioned above, the job market of today is not that of the mid-twentieth century. “Trades,” as you refer to them, have been to a large extent taken over by sizeable corporations, and wages driven down. These entry-level and trade jobs you imagine Millennials reject simply are not present in numbers high enough to be a viable option for the majority of young people. Most job openings today are in the service industry. Many of us may be overqualified for them, but there’s little choice about taking them.

            Since you invoke my personal mindset, I will share some autobiographical information. I have one of those degrees you opine parents should discourage: my majors were Historical Studies and Art & Performance with a piano concentration. Since graduating, I have worked three and a half years at a gas station to save up enough to buy a car and put myself through a teacher certification program (for reasons having to do with my university’s limited teacher training program and financial aid, I did not graduate with a certificate). I now work as a certified substitute teacher, and I offer piano lessons in the afternoons and on weekends. I am still pursuing employment as a social studies teacher, my career goal.

            Perhaps it sounds to you as if I am “waiting for equality,” but I have made the best choices I could with the information available to me. If I had been risk-averse, I would have gone into STEM, where a job is nearly guaranteed upon graduation (before you scoff at an arts major thinking she could have just as easily gone into STEM, you should be aware that I was a National Merit Scholar). However, I enjoy teaching, and am content to make relatively little money doing so.

            We are all forced to choose among the jobs that are actually open, based on the information available to us. Those jobs change from one decade to the next. What does not change is human nature. Generational character, like national character, is so overgeneralized as to be useless. In other words, it’s bullshit.

        • Military Dollar

          Oh boy, Maddog. There is a lot here to unpack. Let’s go through your arguments one by one, shall we?
          1. “I thought your headline query was very good. I was disappointed you spent so much time not answering the question.” I hate to break it to you, but “5 Reasons Why The “Lazy Millennial” Stereotype Is Bullshit” is a declarative statement, not a question. I think the reason they didn’t answer the question is THERE WAS NO QUESTION. Since you later quote an entire passage in your rebuttal (also 100% declarative statements) and immediately launch into how BGR was too lazy to answer the question, I’d really like to know what you think the question is.
          2. “Why she is so mad so young is unclear.” She’s mad because Millennials are consistently trashed for everything they are doing wrong with very little empirical evidence. I know that because it’s written in the passage you quoted.
          3. You claim that college educations today must be “significantly lower” quality based on the fact that more people go to college? That’s your evidence? Dude. Dude. The logical fallacy here is overwhelming. Let me use your argument in another example to (hopefully) make it obvious to you. “The fact that about 80% of the Millennial generation has a car and about 50% of them own the car outright means the quality of car manufacturing must be significantly lower.” Do you see how A doesn’t lead to B? You know how colleges can increase enrollment without lowering the standards? They hire more professors and build more classrooms. It’s about increasing production, not lowering quality. And by the way, in case you still think your argument makes sense, the curriculum at my college is noticeably more difficult today than it was when I graduated in the early 2000s. Yeah. If you want to try to use this argument again, maybe try to come into the conversation with, like, even a tiny bit of evidence?
          4. “What does this have to do with the lazy Millennial stereotype?” I’ll admit this one wasn’t spelled out, so let me explain. When she wrote that Millennials are more committed to community service, more welcoming of immigrants, more liberal about gender roles, etc – she was saying that Millennials DO SOMETHING about their beliefs. They volunteer. They protest. They welcome strangers into their homes. And husbands don’t get to sit on the couch watching TV while the housewife does all of the cleaning.
          5. “It is not how many of you pay a few nickels in tax every year; it is who pays the vast bulk of the income taxes.” Actually, when you are talking about laziness vs productivity, it really is NOT about who pays the most in income taxes. It’s about who produces the most.
          6. “But what does productivity have to do with taxes paid?” Good question. Maybe it can be answered by pointing out that you paid attention to only the “tax-paying” portion of her sentence and not the “Millennials currently make up the majority of the workforce in America” part. Or the “Millennials are poised to be the most productive generation ever” part.
          7. “But also understand one fixed truth, no generation works as hard as their parents; this is not a value judgment it is a simple fact that the older generations work hard to progress forward so their children can live better lives, and have better less harsh work environments.” Yeah….no. We may each work differently than the previous generation. That doesn’t mean we work less hard. Don’t conflate physical effort with work effort.
          8. “However, unless you fought, or served as my son is doing now as a US Marine, don’t take credit for service not earned. That is not just ugly, but evil as well.” Well, I’ll be happy to take the credit, thanks. But BGR wasn’t claiming credit here – they were clearly giving credit to the >70% of the force made up of Millennials.
          9. “Free market economies do have cycles, and those who enter the workforce during a downturn are likely scarred somewhat by the experience, but this is not unique to Millennials.” No it’s not unique to Millennials, but then neither is whining about it.
          10. “Stop tongue bathing yourself, and get at it. Life is not going to wait because your career has a boo boo.” So, let me make you a little bit smarter about BGR. These women have jobs. They have a successful blog. They’ve turned their financial lives around on their own and are spreading their knowledge. They aren’t sitting around waiting for life to get better – they are helping other people make their lives better.
          11. And finally, I have to go back to: “I simply worked hard as I could all week, played as hard as I could in my spare time, focused on my girlfriend, later wife, and later yet family: Work hard, live big, ignore the whinging multitude, and get on with it.” You literally wrote an entire post addressing what you believe to be the “whinging multitude.” You did not get on with it.

          You would have written that article differently? Great! No one is surprised that a Boomer man would write from a different perspective than a Millennial woman. But that doesn’t mean you have to insult her by suggesting she isn’t intelligent (“As I approach 60 I must say, we are so totally screwed if this woman is in the thinking class of the Millennials. Good luck to you, you are going to need it.”) Wow. Classy move, man. I hope you feel better about yourself now. I’ll continue reading BGR and you can continue to rant into the ether. Good night.

          • BI

            Can I like, no LOVE, this a thousand times?

    • why….?

      • Maddog

        Reply posted below.

        Mark

    • Piggy

      Actually, I’m doing just fine. 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and write an entire post on your own blog in response!

      • Maddog

        Good. I thought your headline query was very good. I was disappointed you spent so much time not answering the question.

        I do not think Millennials are lazy, but then my son works full time, attends college, is a Marine Reservist, and still has a life. My daughter is a full time International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme high school student, plays sports, works full-time summers, part-time during the school year, and still has a life.

        I do think there is a general Boomer belief that Millennials are lazy, and the subject could do with a serious, focused analysis.

        Unfortunately, this article was not it. I would encourage you to take a more focused look, and perhaps write on a similar issue. I would like to know your thoughts on these issues.

        Mark

        • Piggy

          It might help you to know that the headline was chosen by the editor of The Financial Diet, not me, the writer of this piece. My original headline, as it appears on my blog, is “I’m Proud to be a Millennial, so Fuck You.” On that blog, my co-writer and I cover a number of issues related to global economics and personal finance.

          • Maddog

            Screwed by the editor. Hahahahahahahahaha. Well at least I know why there was such a disconnect between the lede and the article.

            I was never a team player. As an attorney I was a mercenary for hire, I brought my team, I litigated the issue, then left. I demanded full control. I could not work under the condition that others controlled any aspect of my work.

            My hat is off to you if you can.

            Good luck to you and keep writing.

            Mark

          • Piggy

            I’m very happy with how The Financial Diet has handled syndicating my work. They’ve been supportive and professional at every step of the way.

      • BI

        This is such a classy response to a nasty comment. Thank you for showing us that when it comes to class and grace, age does not signify.

  • KM

    Thank you. I am a software engineer with a college education. My manager and I both know I am underpaid by an entire level. I am have been working as a level 3, according to my company’s own criteria for 2 years. I am expected to continue to work as a level 3 when it is openly discussed that my pay as a level 2 cannot be increased. They are on a “freeze”. I annually hunt for rental units that aren’t asking for 50% of my salary and live with 2 roommates. I am engaged to a naval aviator who is currently deployed. We save our money like it’s our third job. If I hear one more retired person with a pension tell me how I’m not working as hard as their generation did, they would be right. I’m arguably working harder and with a larger set of external circumstances set against my efforts.

    • Piggy

      Hang in there, friend. You have every reason to feel stressed out and used! <3

  • Luther

    I love this. Go Millennials. Tell Corporate America to f–k themselves. L.