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Here we go again — another round of discourse on lazy, entitled millennials. Speaking on “The View,” host Whoopi Goldberg insinuated that millennials feel like traditional life milestones are out of their reach because they’re not working hard enough.
“Apparently millennials and Gen Z have a much different view of the American dream than past generations,” she said Wednesday. “Data shows that soaring inflation, student debt and limited room for advancement in the workplace has made them feel that milestones like affording a home, starting a family, excelling within the corporate structure are out of reach. Does every generation feel this way at some point? I say yes.”
“I’m sorry — if you only want to work four hours, it’s going to be harder for you to get a house,” she said later in the segment, before adding: “Every generation is told, ‘You’re gonna do worse than your parents,’ and you know what? People pick it up and they do what they do, and they raise themselves. … It’s called being a good citizen.”
Ignoring the fallacy of lumping people of different demographics and economic backgrounds into a group, this argument is flawed. (Also, what is this mythical four-hour workday, and how can I have that?)
Goldberg argued that millennials aren’t unique in feeling as though career advancement, having a child and homeownership are unattainable for them, because every generation has had those same fears — that’s fair. She then suggested the difference is that millennials are lazy, recycling a tired trope that has been repeatedly debunked by actual data.
Many millennials own homes and have successful careers and families of their own. You can argue that many, if not most of them, actually have picked themselves up and done what they needed to do.
Millennials are in their late 20s to early 40s at this point. Many of them own homes and have successful careers and families of their own. You can argue that many, if not most of them, actually have picked themselves up and done what they needed to do.
But it’s also undeniable that millennials on average are, economically speaking, worse off than their parents. Many of them entered the workforce during the Great Recession, and since then, they’ve experienced the slowest economic growth of any generation in U.S. history because of a variety of factors, such as the Covid pandemic. Many of them are grinding at 9-to-5 jobs or hustling as gig workers, hoping to slowly chip away at their student loan debt and maybe pay it off before they die. Many millennials who work hard have very real economic anxiety because of the climate they came of age in.
Older generations will always find something about younger generations to complain about and vice versa; it’s an odd cycle that even millennials and Gen Zers perpetuate against each other. But it is surprising that this stereotype about soft, lazy millennials is still so persistent, especially when there are plenty of other complaints about millennials to be had — just ask the zoomers.
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