The Land of the Free, Happy, Wealthy Millennial

Ah, flexibility. You gotta love it. In fact, you should love it so much that foregoing a reasonable paycheck, stable employment, health insurance and all the other trappings of modern life are no longer necessities for you. Steve Case loves it. So does this guy. In fact, he loves it so much he’s deluded himself into believing that those who will suffer the most are actually the beneficiaries of this “gig economy.” He’s even written a new blog post entitled “Millennials Will Be the Richest and Happiest Generation Ever[1].”

We already know the title of his blog is wrong. Given the fact that millennials bring home less in income than their parents and older brothers and sisters did at the same age, I think this is fairly clear. That whole thing about millennials living with Mom and Dad, saddled with thousands of dollars in student debt, forced to put off marriage, buying a house and having a kid because they can’t afford it? Meh. Don’t look in that corner.

Indeed, the author of the post worked in finance before he bailed to write his blog full-time. He advocates everyone start a blog – it can make you money[2]! He also owned properties in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Honolulu before he took the “leap” – into retirement[3] and a blog. If you look at his “passive income” – something he also recommends everyone have – you see that he started off well ahead. His monthly “passive income,” that is, interest income, is based on substantial upfront investments. $1,000 a month in interest on a CD? How much do you have to invest to get that deal? Not everyone can afford that.

No matter.

He’s certain millennials will be happy and wealthy because some of them – he makes it seem as if all of them – will receive a wealth transfer from their parents. He means inheritance. He thinks everyone will be getting roughly $1 million[4] in inheritance. Uh, yeah.

Also, the flexibility of not having a full-time job will make them happy (and, somehow, wealthy)[5]. I mean, as long as you’re flexible enough to pick up the profitable Uber shifts.

Finally, they will be wealthy and happy because they have a voice. That’s right: social media will make millennials wealthy and happy.

I think going skiing has frozen his brain[6].

Don’t worry millennials! Your parents will give you a lot of money. That should make up for the fact that we’ve outsourced or automated all the paying jobs; refused to invest in infrastructure, education or health care; made you fight a couple of wars; did a number on the environment and otherwise just used up and got rid of the social services our grandparents instituted. The gig economy will leave you unemployed for long stretches, during which, when you’re not hunting and gathering food, you can enjoy the flexibility of this fabulous neoliberal order.

There ain’t much for free in the land of the free.

[1] I didn’t seek it out. It popped up on Google Now and, with a title like that, I had to read it.

[2] Really? Teach me, o learned one.

[3] Let’s be honest: This guy retired in his early thirties because he made a crap-ton of money on Wall Street, that place normal folks’ money goes to find its way into his pocket, and planned to retire anyway. Then he started a blog.

[4] Note that he used website survey data to come up with this number.

[5] By the way, according to Stefanie O’Connell, who is “a 30-year-old ex-actress based in NYC who now is a professional speaker and growing media personality on everything millennial,” whom he quotes, our parents didn’t want flexibility or the ability to “liv[e] and work on [their] own terms.” Also, her job is to talk about millennials? There’s no expiration date on that one.

[6] Then again, no one said you have to be smart to make money. Oh, and his post is sponsored by Capital One, which he blatantly pimps with his reference to their new “cafes.”

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