Finally! A Baby Boomer who deeply understands why millennials are so broke.
Robert Reich plainly laid out why millennials have much less money than previous generations. Reich points out that millennials aren’t pesky teenagers anymore and, in fact, they haven’t been for some time. Millennials are now well into their careers and starting homes, but they still can’t buy a home or save for retirement.
Call me crazy, but this boomer is concerned about an entire generation being shafted. Millennials:— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 7, 2020
—Are more than $1 trillion in debt
—Have, on average, less than $1,000 in savings
—Won’t be able to retire until 75, if at all
We must reduce the generational wealth gap. pic.twitter.com/aLm1f1nj05
So, how does this Baby Boomer know so much about millennial finances? Well, for one, Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. However, you may recognize him as Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration.
In his post, Reich identifies four reasons why millennials are worse off financially than their parents.
1. Stagnant wages
Wages between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s grew three times the amount of wages between 2007 and 2017.
Median wages grew by an average of 0.3% per year between 2007 and 2017.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 10, 2020
Before that, between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, wages grew at three times that rate.
But sure, tell us more about our soaring stock market.
2. Cost of living has increased
Housing and education rates have soared while wages continue to be stagnant.
The next time you hear Trump and Republicans in Congress crow about unemployment, remember that:— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 13, 2020
44 percent of all American workers can barely make ends meet, earning $18,000/year.
What's the point of low unemployment if Americans are still struggling to get by?
Higher education costs have tripled since 1978 and combined with stagnant wages, millennials are averaging $28,000 in student loans and $5,000 in credit card debt. Altogether, millennials are more than one trillion dollars in debt.
— 1 in 4 Americans can't afford their meds— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 9, 2020
— 40% of Americans are one missed paycheck away from poverty
— 45M Americans are drowning in $1.6T in student debt
— 13M Americans have to take on more than one job to survive
But good, glad billionaires are enjoying themselves. https://t.co/9mPTqvhXKF
4. Hard to save for the future
Fewer employers are offering pension plans and most millennials have less than $1,000 in savings, meaning millennials will not be able to retire until they reach 75, or ever. In his post, Reich points out that
among Fortune 500 companies, only 81 sponsored a pension plan in 2017. That’s 288 fewer employers than it was 20 years ago.
The average full-time Walmart associate makes $0.24 every minute.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 2, 2020
Meanwhile, the Walton family makes $25,000 every minute.
Let that sink in...
Reich wraps up his post with a call for better policies: “If we don’t start trying to reduce this generational wealth gap — through policies like debt relief, accessible health insurance, paid family leave, affordable housing, and a more equitable tax code for renters — millions of young Americans will struggle to find financial security for the rest of their lives.”
Just a reminder there’s an election happening in a few months.