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Millennials: Screwed or Uncorked?

Posted: July 18, 2012 at 7:45 am   /   by

In Newsweek magazine, Joel Kotkin refers to millennials as “the Screwed Generation.”  Well, Mr. Kotkin, you are talking about my sons and I don’t like that tone.  celebration_victory

Many things are bad, but that choice of words implies finality.  Let’s not put their futures in the past tense.  Things can change and I know how determined my progeny are to make sure that happens.  Screwed?  Or uncorked?

Most issues Kotkin mentions would be helped by a reignited economy:  job creation, employment, confidence, and investment.  Many also reflect deterioration of family life, a strong sense of entitlement or lack of parental backbone.  He paints a bleak picture for millennials who want to own a home, referencing unemployment and income drops.  Survey research shows that 84 percent of 18 to 34 year olds, now renting, say they intend to buy a home “even if they can’t currently afford to do so.”

That is great news!  Could it be that the millennials are about to be “uncorked,” activating them to make changes?  Of course they will be the homeowners of the future.


Millennials may be more inclined to believe in “government-mandated income redistribution,” says Kotkin, because they have grown up in recessions.  I’d like to think that millennials will be better savers and investors, and more cost and value-conscious.  And since the government isn’t working too well, I hope they will refuse to believe that someone else should take responsibility for their needs.

Millennials should force parties, Republicans and Democrats, to cater to their needs by “playing hard to get,” he says.  That’s too much like the child who runs and hides behind a rack of coats in the department store, creating a game when Mom is ready to move on.  She follows the giggles attached to chubby legs below the racks.  Playing hard to get only delays progress – in the department store and in politics.

They won’t be taken advantage of, and hopefully will reject such negativity as “screwed.”  Wisdom and experience, the force behind their “uncorking,” will ensure that they aren’t doomed but strongly empowered to be successful as the parents, homeowners, decision makers and workers long after we boomers have moved on.

Making up 24 percent of “voting-age adults,” they now have the power to start making their world a place they feel good about.  They are far from screwed.  They may just be annoyed enough about the state of our economy or the lackluster leadership that they make sure the current leadership is “screwed.”


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