An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…
Stefanie Williams

Wow. What a horribly catty, bitter, jealous and privileged response to someone who was attempting to use modern media as a solution to the age old problem of systematic poverty.

First of all: Anyone over 18 working 40 hours a week should be paid the living wage for the city they are working in, *end of story*. If you lack the basic human empathy to understand that, I can’t help you acquire it. It’s a very privileged stance to take that anyone who is working in the service industry should just work 2 jobs to buy food or rent?

Secondly: It’s also a HIGHLY privileged position to assume she can simply move back in with mommy the way you did, or that she’d have the network connections to quickly grab a low paying job like you did. You worked but you also clearly had help. You fail to recognize your own privilege in your story. You also fail to recognize the way the job market has changed since you were in your early-mid 20's. There’s a lot more competition out there now for ANY job. Also, low paying jobs these days aren’t always willing to hire degrees, because they know they tend to leave. In your case, you knew someone who helped you land a job.

Thirdly: Anyone willing to put in their 40 has sufficient work ethic. More than that is bad for your physical health, sedentary or standing. Hell, less than that is bad for your health too, it’s not unreasonable to expect health benefits as compensation. Even if it isn’t normal, it’s not unreasonable.

Fourthly: Your selfish, privileged attitude of “If I didn’t have it, no one can”, is everything that keeps society from moving forward and prevents things like the Living Wage from being passed. You are a terrible person if you don’t think someone willing to work deserves the basics.

I’m in my early 30's now. I was an English major and also had to pay my dues in my early 20's. I worked the equivalent of two jobs (I had one customer service job but I snagged as many shifts as I could) for far less than the living wage. I supported myself AND an alcoholic non-contributing boyfriend (my own mistake of course but the point is that I’ve put in my time as well) AND had student loans. Outside New York City. Which is about as pricey as in the city. I was trapped in the relationship with an alcoholic for YEARS after I wanted to leave because I couldn’t afford a deposit to move anywhere.

I budgeted, worked hard, pulled myself up, and blah blah bootstraps blah.

No one should have to go through that. It was awful. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

That’s called not being horrible, aka empathy.

I damn sure don’t think people without degree should have to deal with that either. Which you apparently do if you think jobs paying below a living wage should exist (indicated by your stance she should work several jobs). No one in the food industry or ANY industry should be forced to work two jobs to support themselves. That you except the existence of jobs paying less than minimum wage reeks of elitism.

I’m totally cool with everyone having to work less and have more. No one should have to eat garbage food, lose sleep, throw away their cardio vascular health, and deal with the system that keeps you from being able to find time to enjoy life or better yourself just to survive.

If a crappy potato salad Kickstarter can get revenue, if people can ask for money online for game dev, merch, and other commercial interests, what’s wrong with asking for help with the damn rent? If board games can get funding, why not people?

It was clever to ask, and I’m sure its not the only action she’s taking.

Are you jealous that option didn’t exist when you were in your early 20's, or that you didn’t think of it yourself?

Our generation has seen people systematically screwed over by the “bootstraps” ideology. We’ve seen people work hard as fuck and end their lives with NOTHING. Who can blame someone for wanting to work smarter? Which is, by the way, the thinking of most of highly successful Silicon Valley: work less do more.

Your article lacks empathy, fails to recognize your own privilege and resources, and misses the greater issue of the living wage.

You are basically a Bitter Boomer with a younger body. You too, are a meme. One that fades more quickly than the concept of the living wage, I hope.

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