Does the current working class have it harder than the baby boomers and generation x

Nov 2014
412
ph
Does the current working class of millenials have it harder than the Generation X and the Baby Boomers? Especially those Millennials which entered the workforce just as the subprime crisis struck? Unlike the Baby Boomers and the Gen Z , Millennials had to deal with mass immigration, both in the unskilled in the form of illegals and H2Bs, and the skilled immigrants in the form of H1Bs, plus Baby Boomers and Generation X's did not have to deal with student loans and high housing costs, plus the rise of credentialism, and technological unemployment.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,488
Dispargum
Baby boomers and one or two previous generations benefitted from the Keynesian Consensus, a period of cooperative economics and public policies from 1945-circa 1980. During this period there was an unusual spirit of cooperation between corporate leaders, labor unions, government, and other players in the economy. The Keynesian Consensus led to the largest expansion of the American middle class ever seen. The consensus began to fall apart in the 1970s, and since then the American middle class has been shrinking. Generation X and Millenials have not benefitted from the consensus because they were not old enough to participate in the economy until after the consensus broke down. Immigration, student loan debt, high housing costs, credentialism, technological unemployment, etc. could all be solved if people would only cooperate, but in the 1970s Americans forgot how to cooperate. The generations that had learned how to cooperate during the Great Depression and WW2 began dying off or at least retiring so they no longer ran the country. Baby boomers inherited the benefits of the Keynesian Consensus but didn't know how to pass them on the future generations.
Post-war consensus - Wikipedia which centers on Britain but the same thing was happening in the US, too. You can swap out Margaret Thatcher with Ronald Reagan for who ended the consensus.
Post-war displacement of Keynesianism - Wikipedia
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,815
Baby boomers and one or two previous generations benefitted from the Keynesian Consensus, a period of cooperative economics and public policies from 1945-circa 1980. During this period there was an unusual spirit of cooperation between corporate leaders, labor unions, government, and other players in the economy. The Keynesian Consensus led to the largest expansion of the American middle class ever seen. The consensus began to fall apart in the 1970s, and since then the American middle class has been shrinking. Generation X and Millenials have not benefitted from the consensus because they were not old enough to participate in the economy until after the consensus broke down. Immigration, student loan debt, high housing costs, credentialism, technological unemployment, etc. could all be solved if people would only cooperate, but in the 1970s Americans forgot how to cooperate. The generations that had learned how to cooperate during the Great Depression and WW2 began dying off or at least retiring so they no longer ran the country. Baby boomers inherited the benefits of the Keynesian Consensus but didn't know how to pass them on the future generations.
Post-war consensus - Wikipedia which centers on Britain but the same thing was happening in the US, too. You can swap out Margaret Thatcher with Ronald Reagan for who ended the consensus.
Post-war displacement of Keynesianism - Wikipedia
Keynes and cooperation had not much to do with it

It was a combination of accumulated technical progress (the first half of the 20th century was amazing in terms of changes, electricity,petrol engines , cars, phones, fridges, air con, flight, TV, computers etc... which all came to fruition and mass prodution after ww2), rebuilding after ww2 , cheap oil (and other resources) and still not too numerous population (world pop has increased 3 fold since the 50s) which meant there was a deficit of labor and it was at a premium....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuthmosis III

Tuthmosis III

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,738
the middle ground
Chlodio (social/political reasons) and tomar (economic/technical reasons) are both correct. The answer to the OP is yes overall.
 
Jul 2016
1,343
Dengie Peninsula
As a "Baby Boomer," I have had a relatively easy life.
When it came to getting a job, I applied for 5 (and got accepted for the lot!) that was 1965 ish. Although not outstanding, the company I chose kept promoting me and paying more money. They gave me a cheap mortgage and a socking great pay off, and pension, when they made me redundant. That does not happen nowadays , although the Green Shoots are slowly re appearing. In England there is now a labour shortage, (No, Mr. spellchecker, I am NOT going to change it to labor) Wages are slowly rising in an attempt by companies to fill vacancies. We may be coming a full circle, although AI is looming on the horizon and simple skills may not be enough.
 

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,461
Wirral
As a "Baby Boomer," I have had a relatively easy life.
When it came to getting a job, I applied for 5 (and got accepted for the lot!) that was 1965 ish. Although not outstanding, the company I chose kept promoting me and paying more money. They gave me a cheap mortgage and a socking great pay off, and pension, when they made me redundant. That does not happen nowadays , although the Green Shoots are slowly re appearing. In England there is now a labour shortage, (No, Mr. spellchecker, I am NOT going to change it to labor) Wages are slowly rising in an attempt by companies to fill vacancies. We may be coming a full circle, although AI is looming on the horizon and simple skills may not be enough.
You take the world as you find it. I’m lucky enough to have a decent occupational pension, well the half of it that was built up before my public sector job was privatised. I don’t think it was down to me in the 1970s to ask whether the country could afford that fifty years later. There’s all this inter-generational hostility being generated by some who ignore that fact that the next generation is our children and grandchildren.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,063
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Now, we should add a geographical differentiation: today in not a few Asian countries teens expect to live a well better life than their grandfathers. Think to China, Vietnam, Indonesia ...

So, that, with what already said [deficit spending, technological development, monetary expansion ...] we have to list the outsourcing of production systems. This has generated problems in those areas of the West where the local economies haven't been able to evolve towards a post-industrial system. Regarding this point the present American administration has got some reason to complain about a disproportion between West and East in the productive sector.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,771
I am beginning to think it a little tragic that the US somehow failed to make the societal investment decisions to keep as much of the beneficial curve of the post-war decades.

It could not however be done without a consistent consensus on high taxes to finance it. Somehow redistrubution of the accumulated wealth through society, at least in the form of increased opportunity for more of society, has to restart.

Everyone in the developed west is relatively struggling to maintain themselves. But it's the US and UK that have given us the really dysfunctional capitalist model. What to do instead of what the Anglospehere has been spearheading is sort of up for grabs right now. But very few want to emulate the US trajectory. So that's a start, deciding what you don't want to do...