The Mental Militia Forums

Special Interest => Money, Commerce, and Taxation => Topic started by: Silver on February 28, 2016, 07:01:58 am

Title: Millenial angst
Post by: Silver on February 28, 2016, 07:01:58 am
Privileged is something for Millennials to call other Millennials. Entitled is a bad word mean olds use when they want to hate on us.

Anyone who doesn’t get it is [ableist slur].
Comment by David M. (

Like Scott Greenfield, I found this comment very illuminating.  The word privileged seemed to have become meaningless.  As another comment noted:

having a mother means you’re privileged. Being able to go to college, and having the luxury of selecting a major without reference to economic returns, apparently does not. Having the expectation of being able to live comfortably in the most expensive market in America off your first job out of college, apparently doesn’t mean you’re privileged, either.

The discussion was started by on "open letter (" from a 25-year old new hire to the CEO of her employer, Yelp/Eat 24. 

The young woman, with her freshly minted degree in English Literature, is upset that it only qualifies her for an entry-level job in customer service.  She describes herself as "better at thinking about things than actually doing them."  Her job is apparently minimum wage but includes full medical,vision, and dental benefits.  But she complains that the $20 copay is "is pretty neat, if spending twenty dollars didn’t determine whether or not you could afford to get to work the next week." Her take-home pay is $733.24, bi-weekly.

Upon learning that she must perform well in that position for 1 year before she can be considered for promotion, she pens her lament.  It seems she maxed out a shiny new credit card to pay the expenses of her move.  Then she rented an apartment that costs 80% of her monthly take-home pay.  She claims she can't afford food and lives off a 10-lb bag of rice at home and the free food that her employer provides, complaining that fresh food isn't brought in on weekends, but only M-F.

She can't afford to maintain the car that her grandfather apparently gave to her.  She can't afford to commute to work from where she chose to live.  She finds all of this evidence of income inequality and lack of social justice.

Predictably, she was fired a few hours after penning her lament.  Now her twits are full of snark about waiting for her severance package - from a job she held for less than a year.  She closes her tale of woe with e-begging and links to donate to her cause, "helping my story be heard."

I'd probably not fare well as a millenial.  Too much information.  Shortly after her rant went viral, people pointed out that her instagram feed was filled with photos of big meals and very expensive bourbon, which she paid to have delivered to her office.  Those images have now been enshrined in their own website,, after her mocking her CEO's net worth with the phrase "That’s a whole lotta rice."

I've been accused of being privileged, by a young niece who apparently didn't get the memo David M read. It confused me at the time.  I could tell that she meant it as an insult, but it didn't work that way on me.

I admit to being privileged.  I was born in a good place; had I been birthed over some imaginary lines that lie north, south, east, and west my life would have been far more difficult, and less prosperous. 

I was privileged to have two parents, who provided a home, food, clothing, and parenting.  I had plenty of childhood friends who missed one or more of those.

I was privileged to have my parents sacrifice to send me and my siblings to Catholic schools, as the public schools in my state were truly deplorable.  The motto of the state was "Thank God for Arkansas," else it would have been last in many measures, including spending on schools.

I didn't understand at that young age how truly precious my education would be, how much it would set me apart.  Catholicism has its problems, but the nuns and monks that taught me made sure I knew how to think, how to learn, how to tell truth from lies and to spot logical flaws and sloppy reasoning.  Homeschooling wasn't popular, it might not have been allowed in those days, and my non-government school education was the next best thing.

I was privileged to have been born with a good brain.  I was a terrible athlete and not much of a charmer, but I took to books and learning with a vengeance.  I was privileged to have my teachers notice my gifts, and to have a few of them encourage me, even if a few others didn't like my independent thinking very much.

That encouragement took interesting forms.  I spent the full term of 6th grade math classes alone in a broom closet, literally, studying an algebra text from a local high school.  The teacher and principal knew I has already mastered all the math they had to offer, and instead of forcing me to waste my time, gave me an opportunity.  I could just imagine the outrage if a student were put in a broom closet alone with a book today.  We have lost a lot of liberty, and with it opportunity.

I was privileged to get accepted to a top school, after busting my butt in high school.  I was privileged to find summer jobs frying donuts at 4 AM and selling vacuum cleaners door to door evenings.   I felt lucky to find those jobs after I had lost out on a job paying over twice as much at a local printing plant.  I knew how to run the printing press, but I was 6 weeks too young: federal labor laws forbade my employer from hiring me, even though I was the best qualified candidate by far.  He expressed his regret but really had little choice.

I was privileged to arrive on campus with $400 from my summer job earnings and several suitcases full of clothes.  I was privileged to talk my way into a job at a laboratory at the university before I had even found what dorm room I would be assigned.  It paid $2 an hour but it was a far better job than washing dishes, or frying donuts.

I was privileged to be allowed to work 56 hours a week, every week, at that job, on top of my class time and home work.  I was privileged to get overtime pay after 40 hours, $3 an hour!  After my scholarships and loans, the money I made at that job was enough to pay my tuition and fees.  Just barely, but enough.  I was privileged to learn the necessity of a budget at a tender age.  I was privileged not to burden my parents with the tuition to this pricey school, when I knew they were struggling to pay for the education of my siblings.

After a year, I got a raise.  By my senior year I was making $10 an hour, and could afford to move off campus and buy a beater car.

I was privileged to continue to graduate school, get some advanced degrees, and find a well-paying job.  I was privileged to work 13 years for 4 different employers before making the leap to starting my own firm.  I'm privileged to have some of the finest employees on earth, hard working, honest, smart people.  I'm privileged to have built a successful business and become not wealthy, but not overly worried about money any more.

So when I'm told to "check my privilege," or that I'm privileged, I don't take it as an insult. I admit it.  I'm proud that I took advantage of those many privileges. It worries me that the millennials who mouth these words seem to think they are making some point.

I'm not going to speculate about the many causes of this syndrome.  I know economic ignorance, both among millennials and their parents, is a major factor, but ignorance of economics is much older than these generations.  Politicians have been making economically impossible promises since the first club was applied to the first head in the name of "protecting" the clubbed one.

Perhaps the difference is that this group seems to believe those promises.  They aren't demanding that the man leave them alone, but rather that the man create safe spaces, issue trigger warnings, and ensure that mean olds like me can never be heard lest we hurt their delicate feelz. 

Luckily, at least some of them outgrow it. I hope for all our sakes that there are enough who mature into productive young adults.


Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: FDD on February 28, 2016, 08:23:01 am
It is called "paying your dues", we all have done this at one time or another.

Just because you went to collage does not mean you start at the top, or even in the middle.

And if she can not control her spending with a little, how is having more going to help?
She will just spend all of that too.

Sorry, I do not fell sorry for those that think that we some how owe her a living just because she bought into the BS of go to collage and get a better job.

Yes learn a trade, but you will start at the bottom like everyone else did.
so stop bitching about it.

Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 28, 2016, 08:58:39 am
Silver, that's just plain poetic. Brings back some precious memories. I was baby-sitting for 25 cents an hour at the age of nine. Worked at various jobs through high school and took some time out to have a family.  Put myself through college and raised two boys alone, working long hours and learning much from both. With brief exceptions, remained debt free. Now living debt free on about $300. a month.  I may have skipped a step somewhere... LOL 

But I'm happy and healthy, have everything I really need and then some in my retirement. Can't ask for much more.
Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: DiabloLoco on February 28, 2016, 01:42:32 pm
Technically, I am a millennial. Apparently, the entire generation started about the time that I was born. However, I do not require anyone other than myself to create a "safe space". Provide me with an education. Sustenance. I started at the bottom and worked my way up to where I am now (as it should be). Did I struggled to pay the bills when I was young? Oh yeah. It was hard. But.....that's the kind of trials that one needs to go through to prepare for adulthood. As a wee lad of 13, I worked an entire summer on a dairy farm for no pay, other than a dirt bike. Granted, that set up future summers and after school work for a actual wage, but dang it, I was really glad to have that bike!

So, am I privileged? I guess that some might see me in that light, but I don't consider myself to be so. I worked hard for what I have. I earned it. It's mine. The trouble with my fellow millennials, is that there seems to be a rampant "false sense of entitlement" deeply woven to the core of their psyche. I blame the educational system. Luckily, I made it through public schooling with only minimal brainwashing. I will readily admit, that it did take a few years to overcome it. Once the liberals successfully dominated the education of America's youth, they worked tirelessly, chipping away at the moral fabric of our society until they achieved what is seen today. A generation of whining, entitled, socialistic brats, that think that the world owes them something just for being born. Unfortunately, the next generation is not looking any better.
Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: Bill St. Clair on February 28, 2016, 06:55:31 pm
Luckily, at least some of them outgrow it. I hope for all our sakes that there are enough who mature into productive young adults.

Boy that would be nice.

Unfortunately, many are going to age into Bernie Sanders clones. Entitled to the end.
Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: Silver on February 29, 2016, 05:16:34 am
Unfortunately, many are going to age into Bernie Sanders clones. Entitled to the end.

I expect that you will be proved quite right about that.  But that's OK.  I was careful with my words when I wrote that "some of them outgrow it."

Based on my observations about my generation, about 2 out of 5 people need to be genuine producers, working in private industry and commerce.  Two of the remaining three will be net tax consumers, bureaucrats or prison wardens or government school teachers, but I repeat myself.  The fifth will be pure parasite, a politician or high servant of the state.

And it seems that system can limp along on that basis, at least for a generation or two.  But if the ratio drops much further, if there are even fewer producers to support the pyramid of parasites, it will certainly end soon, and badly.


Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: MamaLiberty on February 29, 2016, 06:10:31 am
Or reduce the number of parasites... one way or another. sigh
Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: Silver on February 29, 2016, 06:18:47 am
That would be nice, but that is work for young people, and what I see now doesn't give me much hope.
Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: RVM45 on February 29, 2016, 09:50:10 am

I know its easy—but anyone motivated by a desire for money and prestige SHOULD NOT major in English.

Try Economics if you can handle Calculous and Statistics, Business if you cannot.

Chemistry is very good, but unfortunately it takes work.

I read once that a disproportionate number of high-ranking members of management are former Chemists.

As an aside:

My cousin once nailed a job interview and was hired on the spot.

"You know that you'll have to start at the bottom and work your way up," the dude said.

"I believe that it would be more fun to start at the top and work my way down," Quoth my cousin—may he rest in peace.

Would you believe that they withdrew their job offer over that one little jest?

Cousin didn't care. He was incapable of carrying about things like that.

I am a lot like him…

Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: Moonbeam on March 03, 2016, 03:39:07 pm
Silver, that was priceless. Thank you for sharing as it has me doing some reflecting of my own. Of course, I readily use the word “blessed,” but even so, there are times when I struggle with resentment when I remember how others were treated better than I was. And that’s no distorted imaginings. I was standing next to my brother when we were teens when my dad told us that my brother gets to have things (like a car, curfew, cash, “privileges”) because he was a boy. And though it seems like things get handed to him today (all my friends and family marvel at it) he has to be one of the most unappreciative guys I know. I would never trade the lessons of hard knocks for an easy life –one handed to them. It almost makes me question someone’s soul to seek that out.
Title: Re: Millenial angst
Post by: Adventurer, Explorer, Inquiring Mind. on March 04, 2016, 01:12:28 am
I still don't get why people with liberal arts degrees get pissed off when they get jobs in practical or physical science fields and wonder why they're passed over?  Its a liberal arts degree goddamit!  If you don't plan to be a painter, don't get a degree in painting, if you don't plan to be a writer, don't even go near english or creative writing (I had a minor in the later, for my own enjoyment, and because I was a published writer in college, took the extra classes at my professor's request... guess that makes me privileged.  I'm guessing being born in a communist shithole and having my parents move here at the cost of their lives, happiness and health was a privilege too?  Yeah, I get the occasional bit of spewed trash like that too.  These pieces of garbage go out of their way to try to say that privilege is a bad thing, all the while going to college on other people's money and not even being thankful about it.  I sure was.  Mom and pop paid for my college, and I just regret not taking a more practical major.  Computer science was probably one of the dumber majors out there, they were downsizing comp sci before I even got halfway to graduation.  Did I whine about privilege?  Hell no.  I had my own company before I left college for good.  Now moving to Wyoming, that was my own dumb ass mistake.  I could blame it on Mama Liberty, or the free staters, or whoever, but in reality, I should have known better, Wyoming is conservative and cliquish and a good place to retire, but a terrible place to do any work but oil and coal.  I'm even privileged about that.  Several of my free state attached buddies lost EVERYTHING here.  I've been remarkably "privileged" to still be afloat after bleeding money for 5 straight years.  And as much as I bitch about the bible and psycho religionists, I have to thank whatever God or Controller or RNG or Whatever is out there looking out for me, that I'm still breathing and surviving.  It could be better, but it could always be worse... so I'll take what I can get and hope for better.  :D    )

Coincidentally, I'll equate this to videogames.  Its the perfect thing to use for "millennials."  When I grew up, the newest things were X86's, before 686 was a platform designation, and for the living room, there was the venerable 8 mhz NES... the famous Nintendo Entertainment System.  Nowdays, because of old schoolers like us, there is a trope which refers to "Nintendo Hard" which refers to game design from the days where HARD was not an issue of bad programming or choppy framerates (except occasionally), but of intentional design.  That special bonus?  Yeah, it was in a hard to reach place for a reason, unless you were good, you didn't EARN it.  In some more drastic cases, you were either good, or you didn't finish the game.  PERIOD.  There may have been "easy" modes, but most of them forced you to miss out on awesome things, bragging rights to buddies, etc.  Nowdays, most modern game design focuses on giving the player as easy an experience as possible.  You have to realize that this same generation of "consumers" who forced these design decisions are also the asshats about whom we read being a bunch of entitled whiny wusses.  I wrote a few text based games back in comp sci and I still remember whiny bitches complaining that "that was too hard" or whatnot.  There is one thing where the designer deliberately screws over the player at every step (think the modern Darkest Dungeon as one of those) and there is another where the designer simply doesn't want to offer you a roller coaster to victory where all you do is press start.  (One such project was a text based tank RPG, using matrices to store map and character data.)

Now, my entire post boils down to this... if people whine that a fairly designed game is "too hard" what do you expect from them when it comes to actual work, or having to overcome obstacles or strong foes to get somewhere in actual life?  When their videogame attitudes are that they should only have to "press X to win" (a trope nowdays, btw) what do we expect from them when they have to break out a pick axe and dig a trench??