I’m not a social media type guy – no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram –but due to changing personal circumstances I have spent some time on LinkedIn recently. Last week a reporter posted a link to an article she had written for the publication Business Insider, itself based on an article on Bloomberg News.
Millennials may be the largest generation workforce in the US, but they’re also the least wealthy.
The generation holds just 4.6%, or $5.19 trillion, of US wealth, Bloomberg reported, citing recent Federal Reserve data. Boomers, however, are 10 times wealthier. They hold 53.2%, or $59.96 trillion, of US wealth. That’s also twice the $28.5 trillion of US wealth that Gen X holds.
This wealth gap is partially explained by the fact that boomers are older, so they’ve had more time to accumulate wealth. Millennials haven’t yet reached their peak earning years, and the youngest are still earning entry-level salaries.
But historical trends indicate that the wealth gap shouldn’t be this big. When boomers were millennials’ age in 1989, according to the Fed data, they held 21.3% of US wealth. That’s four times the 4.6% that millennials hold today.
This is not new. The Federal Reserve releases this data, and other data on people’s personal financial situation, each year. And virtually all posts on LinkedIn pass with few if any comments.
But in response to this one there were more than 600 comments, and a bunch of Baby Boomers, including those in positions of substantial economic authority according to their titles, pretty much lost their minds, with emotional responses that flew in the face of any evidence.
Showing that whether, to what extent, how and why later-born generations are worse off that those born previously is a massive issue hiding in plain sight, one that many people don’t want to hear about. These are the sort of folks who accuse Millennials of being a bunch of “snowflakes” who don’t want to hear things at odds with “their truth.” The reaction to this simple statement of factual data shows that perhaps the Millennials aren’t the snowflakes after all. If you don’t want to hide in your “safe space” with “your truth,” read on.Continue reading