Author Bruce Cannon Gibney says Baby Boomers are the cause of America’s moral, economic and social decline. Find out why he calls them “A Generation of Sociopaths.” Watch more at Salon.com/video.
Why you can’t fix retirement without fixing wages
Millennials needn’t worry about retirement, Alicia Munnell, 75, writes, as long as they “are willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did.”
It may not be surprising that younger Americans, who will largely be responsible for cleaning up the financial wreckage the boomers are leaving behind, are not particularly enthusiastic at the prospectof working longer and harder for the same quality of life enjoyed by previous generations.
.. the proximate causes of millennials’ financial difficulties, such as the Great Recession and the dot-com bubble: “Millennials entered the labor market during tough times.
.. The “good news,” as she calls it, is that retirement is a long way off and that simply by working into their 70s, millennials will be able to make up a lot of lost ground.
.. Between 1989 and 2016, the real median income of houses headed by people younger than 35 increased by just 4 percent. That’s just about enough to keep pace with overall inflation.
.. The problem is, however, that many prices have been rising much more rapidly than the pace of inflation. Prices are rising fastest for the things that are absolute necessities: Health care. Food. Housing. Education. Things you literally need to survive. As a result, households have to take on more debt to make ends meet.
.. Overall compensation has been largely stagnant since the 1970s, even as productivity has increased. Median household debt has roughly doubled since 1989.
.. By asking millennials to work to age 70 you’re treating the symptom, not the underlying disease.
.. Selling American elites, who tend to be older and wealthier, on the notion that the young just need to work harder is easy. But the idea that workers urgently deserve an across-the-board pay raise — a raise that would come, often, from higher payments from those same older and wealthier people — is a much tougher sell.