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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:32 am
 


Who’s worse off financially — Baby Boomers, Generation X or Millennials?

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Anytime anyone speaks about the financial challenges faced by today’s young people, a polarizing debate ensues: Who had it worse Boomers, Generation X or Millennials? Melissa Leong spoke with someone of each generation about being privileged or lazy or overeducated or just plain screwed.

Linda Schweitzer, an associate professor with Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, Generation Xer (Born between 1965-1980)


Q Who had it worse Boomers, Generation X or the Millennials?

A Nobody had it as good as the Boomers. The Gen Xers have had it much worse than the Millenials and the Baby Boomers. The ’90s were a nasty time.

Q Why is there this hype about Millennials being so-called ‘Generation Screwed’?”

A Every time the labour statistics come out, people say, ‘Oh my goodness, double the unemployment rate for the young people?’ Let me explain to you about the Statistics Canada data. One: they include 15-year-olds. I take the 15 to 19 year olds out of the mix, then the unemployment number doesn’t stay so high and when you compare it historically, it also doesn’t look so bad. (The average unemployment rate in 2011 was 7.4%.) When was it worse? When the Gen Xers were looking for jobs. The average unemployment rate between 1976 and 2011 is 12%. The highest was in 1983 (when Prof. Schweitzer graduated from high school) at 17.8%.

Q I see the numbers but a high level of young people (90% according to a recent survey) are stressed about the future — mostly with regards to money and work.

A There is a high level of stress and part of that is due to the expectations. We tend to say the Millennials are the children of the Baby Boomers so they’ve had a high level of expectation put on them: they have to be special, they have to go to university. There’s also the pressure they put on themslves. The study we did showed that they expected to be promoted in a short amount of time. They expected that their salaries would more than double within five years. On average, everyone thought they’d make a salary that was above average…The Millenials typically don’t buy into paying their dues for dues sake and I get that. They want to contribute and they’re willing to work hard. When I talk to managers, I say, ‘You can’t find a way for them to contribute to your company while they’re getting up to speed?”

Q So what is the effect of talking about this generation gap?

A People will polarize in any way they can. As soon as you identify with one group, the expectation is you’re a group against an out-group. Nobody wants to be stereotyped either. When we go around talking to corporations, one of the things I always say is: ‘You have to manage at a unit of one.’ You don’t manage Millennials as a group in the same way that you don’t manage women as a group.

Dan Speerin, 29, comedian and TV host, Millennial (1981-2000)


Q What do you think is the purveying attitude about Millennials?

A Every question I got in 2007 was: ‘You guys are lazy and stupid right? You guys don’t seem to want to work.’ In 2010, post-Occupy, post-student strike, it’s ‘Oh, we feel sorry for you. Oh, you don’t have jobs?’ Now it’s sad puppy faces when I talk to reporters. Now it’s: ‘How come you guys are screwed?’

Q Are you screwed?

A Listen, we have a bunch of advantages. We have an amazing social media as a way to connect. We’re better educated. But everyone has a university degree so you have to get a doctorate maybe to get ahead. My parents went to university and that would almost guarantee you a job. You do have to go the extra mile and you rack up a lot of debt. It’s hard to start a life now. I was a host at [the CN Tower] in my mid-twenties and I was working alongside people who were actually rocket scientists and teachers. The problem that the Xers didn’t have is the log-jam. There’s no room for me.

Q What needs to be done?

A It took people a while to realize, Boomers especially, the issue of student debt. Xers said, ‘I was just in school yesterday.’ Actually, it was like a decade ago. They don’t realize how much it has gone up. The first thing Boomer media if you will, 60 Minutes, etc., talked about was they thought we were all at home because we loved our parents. They called it the Mr. Rogers complex, the idea that we didn’t want to leave the nest. It wasn’t that, it was because we couldn’t afford to go. We need to stop playing the blame game. We need the younger generations to get through the door. The university system needs to be addressed.

Carol Matusicky, retiree/former executive director of BC Council For Families, 71, Baby Boomer (Born between 1946-1964)

Q Who has it tougher, your generation or Millennials?

A I truly believe that young people today are having a harder time getting settled. They’re squeezed for time. They’re squeezed for money. Certainly in British Columbia, the cost of housing is obscene now. So many of them go into their adult years with student debt.

Q Your children had to move back into the home as well.

A My daughter had just had a little guy. She lost her job before she had him and her husband did. They were in dire straits so we accommodated them. They lived here for a little over a year. Child care is so expensive for young families. My daughter pays more than $75 a day for childcare.

Q What was it like for you getting started?

A I think it’s always been tough to start your adult life. We weren’t able to buy a house in our first six or seven years of marriage. We paid $136,000 for the house we’re in now in a nice residential neighbourhood in Burnaby. It’s probably worth a million. It’s ridiculous. A lot of young couples in Vancouver are living in condos with their kids, if they can afford that.

Q What do you think would help?

A As I was growing up in Vancouver, I saw our country as very progressive in terms of the support it gives to people. We had progressive social policy. I don’t think we recognize how life has dramatically changed. I’d love to see our government do as Quebec has done and have $10 a day childcare. I see a lot of people my age whose retirement is not unfolding the way they thought it would because their kids need help; they love their kids but sometimes, financially, they don’t have the wherewithal to do that. The most intergeneration institution we have is the family. I don’t like pitting one generation against another I don’t think it’s the reality for most people.


http://business.financialpost.com/2012/ ... llennials/


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:19 am
 


bootlegga wrote:
A Nobody had it as good as the Boomers. The Gen Xers have had it much worse than the Millenials and the Baby Boomers. The ’90s were a nasty time.

That's why so many of us Gen-Xers are so uselessly overeducated. There were no jobs anyway, so what the hell? Might as well do another degree. Ahh, the Kraft Dinner, relish sandwiches and draft beer diet. I remember the '90s fondly. "Nasty times"? Nahh, it was the time of my life. And to think I could have ruined some of that fun by working.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:36 pm
 


Never saw the late 80s and early 90s as hard times. I was gainfully employed in the military right out of high school, and had good jobs while in university and right after graduation. Went back to school in the mid 90s because I could afford to, and so did my wife. We took turns upgrading.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:46 pm
 


Lemmy wrote:
That's why so many of us Gen-Xers are so uselessly overeducated. There were no jobs anyway, so what the hell? Might as well do another degree. Ahh, the Kraft Dinner, relish sandwiches and draft beer diet. I remember the '90s fondly. "Nasty times"? Nahh, it was the time of my life. And to think I could have ruined some of that fun by working.


I knew then what I know now, I would of went into the trades. The irony is the rocker stoners who took trade classes back in my high school welding, metal shop etc. Would be look upon as idiots, these 'dolts' today are probably making more cash than I am.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:08 pm
 


How were the 90s nasty? Other than Quebec trying to break off...again, it wasn't that bad. The Millennials are getting screwed here.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:34 pm
 


I couldn't say who has it worse finanacially since I have a good pension a "modest" home, a modest pickup truck, a not so modest wife and 2 reporobate dogs, so yeah I'm living comfortably but not extravagently.

I guess because my previous lifestyle choices didn't follow the normal boomer path I honestly couldn't answer who had it worse especially since there was a time when I had first joined the Navy and was making 54 bucks every 2 weeks and was laughed at by civies making hundreds of dollars more a pay than me. But not to be smug, I guess Karma really works. 8O

So it may not have been much money but it was enough to party hardy on and still save a few bucks left. Although living and eating for free on the ship helped despite the fact you were subject to daily fire drills, emergency exercises, real emergencies, the whim of the POOD or Duty Coxn's requirements, duty watches every 4 days and a complete lack of privacy but what the hell you're a kid with money in your pocket so it was great.

Cheap booze, cheap cigarettes and a lack of of adult supervision unless you got into the rattle. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:48 pm
 


Freakinoldguy wrote:
Cheap booze, cheap cigarettes and a lack of of adult supervision unless you got into the rattle. :D



The new recruiting slogan ! :lol:


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