By David Hood:
We are taking a different path, because the world created by our parents is not sustainable unless a large portion of use give up our dreams to become economic serfs. Further, when we do get money, we do significantly different things.
1. Using technology to work smarter, not harder. Many of us grew up in homes where non-work time was not valued, and we are rediscovering leisure for its own sake (and ours).
2. Expressing ourselves, for ourselves. We are not groupies, we have groups. Some of use are tech heads, some hipsters, but whatever we are doing it’s not because we are part of some movement.
3. We are more urban. We are moving back to the cities from the failed experiment in isolation that is the suburbs. We want not only to connect with people, but we want to deeply connect with people we would have never met in the sanitized land of Costco and Ford Explorers.
4. We are less religious. Younger people are leaving the anchors such as the evangelical movement behind. Some explore more of a spiritual path, others reject it outright, but all are finding their own way.
5. We are less ownership centric. Whether it is Zipcar, Pandora, or Freecycle, we are only willing to invest enough to get exactly what we need. Part of this is out of necessity because the government has strapped us with a healthcare and college system that ties up more money for longer than any previous generation by a long shot but another part of it goes back to our work ethic.
6. We are more socially liberal because the culture wars are over, the zealots lost, and we are just waiting for them to die so we can move on. Don’t get too excited, we will likely redefine the Right, not the Left. We will bring our frugal, anti-materialism to government.
7. We are waiting to get married and have children. Part of this is an economic reality, but another is that many of our parents didn’t wait…and we see how that turned out. We are taking the time to find ourselves, our real selves.
8. Many of us are falling woefully behind. The banking “short cuts” and the Recession are chopping off many of our legs before we even get to use them. I should know, I work with the homeless….you would be shocked to know the number of people under 40, with no substance abuse or mental health issues, that are employed, that are also sleeping outside in tents because they have no choice. It’s a powered keg waiting to blow. Occupy was not the last word, it was the first rumble.
9. We live in a society that requires a college degree for anything above $10/hour, but wants to pay us as if we didn’t incur the cost of that degree. Wages have been flat for years, buying power has declined, and it’s not a good environment to start your life in.
10. Subconsciously, we are aware of our lifespans. Life is not a race against 40 for us, we know we have much more time than that. So we choose to use our formative years to enjoy the world rather than wait until we can’t. We assume retirement will be different for us, like it won’t happen in any real way.
Drives up federal deficit for 30 years, hands the bill to his kids.