AuthorTopic: The Sad Fate of GenX  (Read 1148 times)

Offline RE

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The Sad Fate of GenX
« on: January 19, 2017, 12:57:39 AM »
There's an ongoing thread over on r/collapse comparing the incomes of current Millenials versus those of the GenX crowd 20 years ago.

Comparing 25- to 34-year-olds now with 25- to 34-year-olds in 1989 is super depressing: "young people today that have a degree with debt earn roughly the same as young workers with no degree in the late 1980s"

While definitely the Millenials have it even worse than GenX did, there are a few really tragic stories already in this thread from GenXers who have been living at the margins for the last 20 years.

[]Monkeyboylopez 4 points 3 hours ago

I am 48, have no degree because I was unwilling to take on that kind of debt. I have 3.5 years towards my bachelors, and 30 years waiting tables for 2.13 an hour plus tips, bartending 5.00 plus tips, no 401k, no savings, and once Trump takes office no health insurance... And YOUR depressed with an annual income that is like a decade of income for me?!?

[]margobisbeeCapitalism in decay 5 points 2 hours ago

I'm 31. I haven't had a job since I was 16. I haven't seen a doctor in over a decade. I've never seen a dentist in my life. I have terrible eye site and didn't get my first pair of glasses until I was 24. I am alone in a small room 23 hours a day and leave the house once a week for groceries. I don't feel depressed, I feel sorry for everyone else who will never know this kind of free time.

[]vanceco 1 point 2 hours ago

At age 35, i was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, which is basically like a painful arthritis of the spine. The condition had been misdiagnosed as a different, much less serious condition, reiter's syndrome(both have the same hla-b27 genetic marker). I had left the union several years earlier for an office job(travel coordinator at Rotary International), and i left that job 3 months before my diagnosis to pursue fliping houses with a couple friends in chicago. that "career" ended before it really got started, due to my baxk.

Two years after the diagnosis, i was given permanent disability status(i also have a birth-deformed hand, a mishapen hip, and chronic migraines, and a couple other factors). When i met with the social security guy to work out what my monthly payment would be, i found out that one of my former comstruction employers had never paid into FICA the money that they had deducted from my check. They were long fone and bankrupt, and i didn't have my 15-year old pay stubs, so iwas SOL. it amounted to just over 12% of my qualifying wages, so my monthly payment is that much smaller than it should be.

the depressing part of the story- i had almost two years of college in when i dropped out for the third and final time. Due to a particularly emotionally-abusive(yes, i know it sounds whiney) upbring/childhood, it was more important to me at the time to find...affection, for lack of a better word. I had never recieved any, and it was more of a driving force than making grades. the sad part- i had been a relatively good student thru high school, and i had a 32/99th percentile on ACT composite...never took the SAT. woulda coulda shoulda probably stayed in school...maybe things would have gone much different. not that i'm completely unhappy about how things worked out-'i was the only member of my high school class who was able to retire before i turned 40, and i've already gotten a lot more back than i ever put in.

What is truly sad about this is that these experiences are far from uncommon, in fact they are representative of probably half of the population in the FSoA over the last 20 years.  Go nowhere jobs, disability, living in small apartments or SRO efficiencies and so forth.  In fact it is the way I live now, but at least for me I'm at the end of my lifespan, not right in the middle of it.

On top of that, if they are readers of r/collapse, they know it won't get any better for them, only worse.  For me going through my life I always had the hope things would improve, and they did to an extent once I went out trucking in the Big Rig.  I got out of debt, I put money in the bank, and then afterward worked at the one job I truly enjoyed doing, coaching gymnastics.  Well, I enjoyed cooking too, but I only did that for 2 years.  Even though it didn't pay very well, most days I enjoyed going into work and teaching new tricks to the gymmies.  The only negatives came in my conflicts with the gym owners I worked for.  After getting out of the truck, I spent the last 15 years of my working life this way, and it was fairly pleasant overall.

In contrast to what you saw on TV all through these years, truly very few people in the society ever got the "brass ring".  Just slogging through life with no real hope anything would ever get better, and now it is getting a whole lot worse for many of them.  Pensioners in CA are having their pensions cut in half already.  When that shit hits Social Security too, you're going to see some real pain here in the FSoA, just like Greece today.

For me, I'm lucky.  My little apartment is very comfortable and I have a well stocked grocery store right next store with food and beer I can afford to buy.  I have all the computer toys I ever wanted, and all the cameras too!  I have two cars in the parking lot, which while not very new do the job fine of hauling my crippled ass into Palmer when I need to hit the Bank or the Post Office or the Doctor.  I have the Diner, which keeps my mind active and gives me some purpose for my remaining days walking the earth.  I have a cool Electric Scooter that is fun to ride and helps me to overcome the sad fate of my legs as I decay further.  I can look back and remember fondly my memories of dropping acid, scribbling proofs on the blackboard in the basement of Havemeyer Hall, going to rock concerts, touring Europe on the Inter-rail and fucking Swedish girls and Joffrey Ballet Dancers.  These Millenials and GenXers have none of those memories, just memories of despair and hopelessness for the last 20 years.  It is so sad.  :'(

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