10 minute read.
Baby Boomers had a dream. To get an education, get a job, buy a house, be a loyal employee, and retire at age 65 with a pension. It worked out for most of them. Then they told their kids, Generation X, to do the same. Then Generation X told their kids, the Millennials, to do the same. And so they did.
How is that working out now?
Getting an Education and a Job
Let’s say you spend 10-12 years after high school getting an undergrad degree, then a Masters degree, and then a PhD. And even if you are at the top of your class, you can’t get a job in your field. Let’s say your degree is in Psychology.
You have $100,000 of debt, but no job.
Why don’t you have a job?
Because college degrees do not guarantee a job. Or at least the chances of landing a job within your exact field or even close to it, are much much less than they use to be 20, 40, or 60 years ago.
All they guarantee is debt.
Photo Credit: chrisinmaryville.net
Buying a House
My parents’ house back in 1970 was only $17,000 (with an insane interest rate). It costed around 2X the average annual salary. Now in major metropolitan cities, they are 11X to 17X the average annual salary. How can you afford to buy a house? Most of us can’t.
Photo Credit: www.lawfulrebellion.org
Being a Loyal Employee
Let’s say you work really hard for your company, like 60-80 hour weeks, and your manager promises you a promotion if you do this for one year. But during that time, you suffer 3 tragedies in your life.
First, you lose your mother to a brain aneurysm. Then you lose your uncle to cancer. Then you lose your grandmother. When you come back from your grandmother’s funeral, you find a sheet of paper on your desk that says “Sorry, your services are no longer needed. Budget cuts. What can we do?”
Wait… they actually said “What can we do?”
What can you do after making $2 billion in profit that year? Hmm, I don’t know, maybe get down on your fat ass knees and kiss the fucking ground that your employees walk on. These are the folks who worked insanely hard to get you where you are.
You work your butt off to put these rich fuckers in expensive suits and allow them to buy mansions and boats. And then when it comes time for your reward, they tell you to get the hell out. Why would you want to be loyal to a company when they have no intention of being loyal to you?
Granted, not all companies are like that. But there are plenty of them out there that would sooner kick you in the nuts than look at you. I’ve worked for several like that. Corporate greed has no place in society, and out of touch corporate executives with no soul are not worth your time and effort.
Retiring with a pension
Let’s say you dedicate decades of your life to one company. Then one year, just a year before retirement, they lay you off. They have no legal obligation to pay you anything. How’s that for retiring with a pension? This actually happens to people today, folks.
This is our Reality
Do Baby Boomers help you when times get tough? Sometimes. It depends on the situation. But the government will sure as hell bale out the aging auto industry and the banking industry, which are full of Boomers, if they need help.
They say Millennials are lazy. Millennials are narcissistic. Millennials are entitled. They call Millennials the worst generation in history. They also say the same things about Generation X, which came before Millennials.
You want to know something? Millennials are not the worst generation in history. They are just the newest generation in the workforce (hint hint).
In fact, Millennials are the most educated, the most tech savvy, and the most socially conscious generation in history.
Photo Credit: gettingsmart.com
Then why do Baby Boomers say that? Because every older generation ALWAYS BITCHES ABOUT THE YOUNGER GENERATION AFTER THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE YOUNGER. Boomers cut down any generation younger than they are, because the younger generations lack experience. But that’s not fair. How are they supposed to get more experience if no one gives them a chance?
The generation before Baby Boomers was called “Traditionalists or The Silent Generation” (born 1927-1945). Guess what, Traditionalists were bitching about Boomers! The Boomers were called hippies, beatniks, and slackers.
Photo Credit: prestoceo.wordpress.com
Before that, it was the “GI Generation”. They were born 1901-1926, and they were children of the WWI generation, fighters in WWII, and survivors of the Great Depression. The GI Generation bitched about Traditionalists and Baby Boomers for being lazy and freeloading. And on and on. Whether it was true or not, we have no idea.
It really only comes down to one thing… blame. People love to blame others, and take out their problems on a scapegoat. So, they pick on someone with less life experience and make them a target for all their frustrations.
So, throughout history, one thing is perfectly clear to me…
The American Dream is Bullshit
The American dream of the Boomer generation to get an education, get a job, buy a house, be a loyal employee, and retire with a pension is BULLSHIT. Their first mistake was putting the “American” label on it. Why did they even need to make it a nationalistic ideal? Why didn’t they just call it a “healthy living world dream”? Why separate Americans into an elite group? Are we that arrogant that no one else outside of America can have a good life filled with a satisfying education, job, house, and pension?
Whether the “dream” follows American ideals or not, if the system doesn’t work, the dream is broken. The plan doesn’t make sense. So let’s stop filling our kids’ heads with this nonsense, and stop following broken outdated dreams.
Photo Credit: heron.org
Here are a few testimonials:
The Real Reason The American Dream In Unraveling (This one is pretty long, but has some great research to back it up, and goes into a lot of historic detail.)
Create your own Dream
Right now, the smartest things to do are rent, build, and invest. That is real freedom.
Here are the steps that are working today:
1) Never ever ever get a student loan from the government
Student loan debt is a HUGE problem. The latest Federal Reserve data shows there is nearly $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the US. In late 2009 and early 2010, student loan debt passed auto loans, credit cards, and home equity lines of credit as the biggest debt burden Americans face. According to Debt.org, “The latest studies say that 70% of college graduates leave school with student loan debt in 2014 averaging $33,000.” And scholarships are traditionally very hard to come by, and even harder to compete for. Instead, look at this site: GoodCall.
2) Ditch the house
Housing is not affordable, and mortgages are massive. These (and student loans) are the exact things chaining us to jobs we hate. These are the things that are forcing us to work at our jobs until we die. Rent month to month and don’t lock into a lease. Limit your personal possessions, so you can travel light. You don’t need to own a lot of things, you just need access to things. Who says you have to own a lot of shit and horde it in a space like a pack rat? You’ve heard of Airbnb? If you haven’t, check it out.
3) Learn how to build your wealth
Stop giving all of your time to a job you hate and instead use that time to build your dreams. Then use that money you saved from not buying an over-priced house, and invest it. Some good tips: How to build wealth from scratch.
Buy assets that pay you to own them. Assets that generate a passive income so that you can live free. Here is a great example: 43 Best Passive Income Streams and Opportunities. This gives you true freedom. Freedom to live your dreams and do what you love.
How do I know?
Because I was the victim of a corporate layoff in 2008, and I didn’t even lose 3 loved ones in one year to make it happen. I used to work really hard with 60-70 hour weeks for one company for 10 years. But I never got ahead. There was no promotion, no loyalty, and no pension.
Instead, I was called into the Human Resources office one day and told that my job had been “eliminated”. Sorry Charlie. Too bad, so sad, buh bye. Don’t let the door smack you on the ass on your way out.
It wasn’t until I stopped following the Baby Boomer dream and started following my own dream that I became financially independent. And I am well on my way to having enough money to live off passive income for the rest of my life.
Now, instead of doing work that I hate, I do work that is meaningful and changes lives. Now I’ve discovered what life can be like instead of a life I have been told to live.
You deserve a kick-ass life too. Picture a life where you can be free of a slave job and do what you love. This is your time. This is your life. What are you going to do with it?
Disclaimer: I can’t possibly know your financial, employment, housing, or personal situation. This article is in no way telling you to quit your job, sell your house, move away, or any other such nonsense. I am merely giving you suggestions on what worked for me. This is an invitation for you to discover your options and live a free life… WHATEVER THAT MEANS TO YOU. 🙂
As always, let me know what you think in the comments section. I read all comments. If you liked this article, please use the SHARE icons and post to your favorite social media app.