An Apology to Millennials on Behalf of the Shitty Generations That Came Before You

Thank God the  Paddington  industry appears to be robust

Thank God the Paddington industry appears to be robust

There was recently a report announcing that, despite what countless articles with screaming headlines might angrily insists, Millennials are, not, in fact, committing the awful crime of spending less of their money than the generations that came before them. God forbid! What a terrible, terrible tragedy it would be for people to not throw around their money unnecessarily. 

Yet Millennials have repeatedly been accused of committing just such an unthinkable transgression against the kindly, eminently sane system of capitalism all the same. They’ve been portrayed as serial killers of many, many industries, from diamonds to vacations to wine. 

These Millennials are not doing things the way previous generations did them. They are not in such a fiendish hurry to get married young, and start pumping out children young and buying houses not long after graduating from college. They’re getting married later, and having kids later and more selectively and not rushing into home-buying with the delirious fervor that created things like I dunno, the horrible housing crash that decimated the economy not too long ago. 

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They aren’t doing these things not out of any special contempt for capitalism, or a desire to destroy industries that, to be brutally honest, probably don’t deserve to persevere any more than the VHS tape or 8 track do. No, they’re doing them because they have way less money than the generations that came before them did. They came of age during the Great Recession and obviously internalized the idea that the United States economy is a mercurial, insane and unstable beast that you cannot reply upon. 

That’s not miserly. That’s reasonable. That is an eminently sane way to cope with an insane economic system built upon greed, feverish competition and a cult of winning dependent upon the people at the bottom perpetually losing and being mocked for not doing better. 

Millennials, on behalf of the sometimes shitty generations that came before you, I want to apologize for the way that your generation has been vilified and scapegoated, mocked and caricatured for being different than other generations in the way you spend money. 

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You did not destroy the system through carelessness or selfishness or immaturity. No, you inherited a deeply broken, deeply dysfunctional system and then were accused of breaking it. I should know. I’m a Gen Xer. We likewise inherited a deeply broken, deeply dysfunctional system that we were accused of breaking, or at the very least not appreciating properly. 

In my capacity as unemployable Juggalo not too far removed from moving his family into his in-laws’ basement, I want to assure you that you are not the sum of your consumer choices. You are a human being with a soul and fundamental dignity, not a consumer with a budget and a bullshit economy to sustain. 

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Besides, why worry about keeping the cruel sham that is capitalism afloat through your spending when you can be the generation that finally ends capitalism once and for all? You’ve already killed countless industries. Why not do the world a favor and kill the entire toxic economic system in its entirety? I hear good things about Socialism. That might be worth experimenting with in the not so distant future and I hear you Millennials are all about trying new things. 

I make my living largely through crowd-funding so if you would be kind enough to pledge as little as a dollar over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace it’d be 

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The Big WhoopNathan Rabin