There is a pit of anger that resides in my perfectly sculpted belly, and it should be building within all members of my generation (you guys can have perfectly sculpted bellies too). What do they call people in our generation again? Millennials? Apparently, I am in the twenty year period that defines Millennials–although I feel like I don’t have the slightest thing in common with someone in their 30’s or likewise a preteen.

Anyway, I digress.

Fellow Millennials! I understand that we aren’t all alike. I understand that we may have different political views, but it’s time to wake up and realize we are all getting screwed. I am so sick of watching past generations destroy my future, and you should be too. Class warfare? I think we need a little generational warfare.

Social Security

Lets talk about the biggest anvil that will be placed on our backs in the next ten years. It’s despicable that generation currently destroying our future can’t even pass a budget while problems like social security loom over our heads. Of course, nothing will stop them from taking their checks when the time comes because “they paid in.” Anytime a baby boomer tells you “they paid in” translate it as “I don’t care about you, kid,”  because all the money they actually paid in was spent on all the other government programs they’ve been dreaming up over the last thirty years.

Tell any baby boomer who thinks that Bill Clinton actually balanced the budget (he did so borrowing from intra-governmental holdings, i.e social security) that he already used their social security money and they don’t deserve a dime from you. Every time you look at your paycheck and see what you paid into social security, just consider it charity: it’s mathematically impossible you will receive anything without major changes being made. Groups that are banking on major change, like our government, still estimate our generation will receive checks 1/4th less of the current generation. Social security is not a partisan issue either, Millennials, it’s a generational power issue. Social security should be our number one priority in coming elections, and although we aren’t powerful lobbyists yet, Democrats and Republicans are susceptible to our ability to shape narratives. Let the “young vote” in the coming years be about social security.

National Debt

This issue isn’t partisan either. Republicans and Democrats share the blame when it comes to our national debt, and it only becomes partisan when the politicians in charge want to keep their debt drivers in the budget. We Millennials then fall into the trap of supporting conservative or liberal talking points instead of realizing in each case we are arguing about spending imaginary money. Spending money that our generation is going to have to figure out a way to pay down throughout our lives. Let me be clear, debt is what makes an economy work, but not $17 trillion and counting. To top it off, let’s just throw in the Affordable Housing Act (sound familiar?) created one year after I was born, a program both parties contributed to, that played an integral role in the housing bubble that burst all over our early employment dreams. Which is, by the way, the most crucial years for wealth creation. So what are some facts about our generation that will be saddled with this debt?

  • Unemployment rates of 16% or double the national average 
  • Carry an average of $23,000 in student loan debt
  • 18-24 employment at the lowest point in four decades

These factors make it terribly troubling for this Millennial to navigate how America plans, how these baby boomers plan, to resolve our deficit in a way that doesn’t destroy our generation. The politicians we vote for, and hold dear mind you, are literally making it harder for us to fix this country every single day.

My fellow Millennials, there are many more issues we can cover, but I know this article is not in a list. Therefore, we have already tuned out and clicked to something else! Let this be the spark that sets the seat of your pants on proverbial fire! Let this be the rallying cry to not just conservative young ‘uns but also John Stewart young ‘ins! The facts are available to us. The politicians, seriously, don’t care about us. We will be hurting from all of their decisions for the next decade. Let’s throw down our partisanship and band together.

Taylor Smith | Belmont University | @taylorsmith11_5