Are you better off than your parents were?
Vinnie Mirchandani
2

Vinnie — this is a shamefully ignorant piece of prose. It ignores economic realities as demonstrated by just about every credible economist, the impacts across demographies and facts put out by the government bodies upon which you rely so heavily when making your jobs arguments.

This conversation has gone well beyond that of academics. Check out Tim O’Reilly’s community on this topic. Check what entrepreneurs are saying about solving for the future. Check out the aspirations of those who voted for Trump.

Everyone benefits from the general improvements in health — that’s called progress and something you can easily measure across generations. But that doesn’t match with people’s relative experience across time as it relates to how they see their more general well being.

Of course your wife is better off. She’s a Boomer, the same as you and I are. We are the last generation that benefited economically from the various forms of New Deal in the post WW2 period. That blinds many to the reality of life for the bulk pf the populations around the world.

As for your kids — a simple question: who pays the bills? I am the first ‘head of household’ in all the generations I know about that has had to provide material support for every one of our children in one way or another. That continues to this day.

When did you buy your first home? When do you expect your kids will be able to do the same?

I bought my first house when I was 20 years old, built my first house when I was 24. In a recent conversation with a 30 year old friend, he lamented that however hard he works and saves he won’t be able to buy a house for at least another 5 years. And even then will need to move to a cheaper part of the country.

And for more proof — ask yourself the most obvious question: how on earth has Global Trumpism emerged? You’ll find the answer in: Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea. It draws on facts, not theories and they all point to the same thing: the working/middle class in numerous countries has been hollowed out while the top 1% is immune to economic change.

In short, society has become extremely unequal — not just unequal.

How about this — consumption is not increasing to any discernible extent. Why, even when inflation is at more or less zero? Many people are desperately paying down debt while faced with massive increases in service costs. Who continues to benefit? Finance. Do you have that problem as a boomer? My guess is that the biggest fear for people of our age is/will be the crippling cost of out of control healthcare. Is that fair when we know we have contributed the whole of our lives in the expectation that we would be OK?

Put more bluntly — can you honestly say that the American Dream of work hard, play by the rules and you’ll be able to own your own home, have a decent retirement and provide a better chance in life for your kids through education is alive and well?

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