Millennials have been called everything from self-absorbed to lazy. Pundits have speculated on why America's youngest adult generation isn't buying cars and homes, getting married, having sex or children. Few are willing to point out, however, just how disadvantaged young adults are today.
One of the uniquely American beliefs is that each generation will do better than their parents—the janitor’s daughter becomes an accountant, the home care worker’s son becomes a teacher, or in my case, the steel worker’s daughter becomes a think-tank executive.[...]
The policies that stripped away our factories are the same policies that are now yanking professional jobs out of the country. The political hostility toward people who are down on their luck and need help buying food is delivered by the same politicians who drastically cut higher-education funding. It’s an economic and governing philosophy that prioritizes profits over people, private interests over the public’s and austerity over investment. That’s the economic context in which millennials find themselves as they try to work and educate their way into the middle class. It isn’t working very well.