A recent Federal Reserve economic analysis shows that years of mainstream media criticism of Millennials was unfair.
Problems of higher unemployment, less spending and lower accumulated wealth are hangovers from the Great Recession of 2007-2008.
The causes of the Great Recession go back to financial deregulation and credit default swaps. This is entertainingly explained in the book “The Big Short” and movie made from the book. Deregulation, Walls Street Gambling with other peoples money and the toxic financial products were created or abused by Boomers and GenXers.
Getting generational blame assignment correct is an unproductive game. However, we should get to the truth and then move forward.
The Great Recession was not the Millennials fault. The oldest Millennial was 27 when the crash started. They were not in any key positions which caused or triggered the crash. It is unfair to suffer the effects of someone else’s bad choices.
This article will use a summary of economic and history to explain a deeper insight than life is unfair. Life is unfair but generations, people, nations and the world can make things a LOT worse by not effectively looking forward in spite of unfair history.
Now we move on to a different example of life being unfair.
Other Generations Dealt With Problems Created by Prior Generations
The Greatest Generation was born between 1910 to 1924. They had to fight World War 2 and the after-effects of the Great Depression.
World War 2 was the result of bad negotiations from the end of World War 1. World War 1 was fought by the Lost Generation which was born 1890 to 1915. The negotiations for World War 1 were performed by people born before the Lost Generation.
World War 1 Mistakes That Set up World War 2
The problems with the end of World War 1, were that the Germans lost WW1 but were not occupied. The Germans were stopped part way into France. The Germans surrendered while its army was inside France. The US entry into WW1 did create conditions that made victory impossible for the German side.
The Germans launched risky military operations in the last year or two. They tried to break through and achieve victory in the last year or two. Those efforts failed.
World War 1 did not end with unconditional surrender. The Versailles Treaty was not completed until the next year.
The Versailles Treaty was negotiated after the soldiers from the USA, UK and France left the field. It happened months after soldiers went home. Demobilization happened first and then the peace treaty was completed.
The German loss was not reinforced with sustained facts on the ground to the population of Germany.
The Versailles treaty was not enforced. The treaty was not overly punitive compared to other treaties before or after.
German propoganda and popular belief could spin the loss of WW1 as an internal betrayal. They could claim that Germany would have won WW1 and were winning if not for bad military leadership and the Jews.
What are the lessons?
The first draft of history is usually wrong. People do not understand the mistakes they made.
A generation in their twenties or younger is correct that they are suffering for the mistakes of previous generations. Previous generations always make mistakes and some are bigger than others.
They may not be correct about which generation is source of the root mistakes.
Some of the behaviors and cultural roots of problems for China and Japan can be traced back to the reaction to Mongol invasions. The case can be made that the Mongol invasions led to isolationism which resulted in the burning of the Chinese Navy by the emperor.
A lot of problems in the Middle East are because entire nations cannot let go of the fall of the Ottoman Empire. They are obsessed with the fall from a Golden age in the 1400s or splits in religion over a thousand years ago.
China could have been obsessed with the Opium wars or the various losses and mistakes from 1800 to 1970. The winning approach was to move past it. They changed to state capitalism and focused on making money.
It is not just the history. It is letting someone use a story about history to blame others. The blaming of others is used as an excuse to either not overcome or for even more destructive behavior.
Join Together and Overcome
I am describing that people should look to voluntarily perform what I am proposing as the better solution.
Challenges must be overcome. The Millenials must overcome the challenges but the Boomers and GenXers must help. The Boomers and GenXers are still very important in economics, politics and business.
The impact of the problems that the Millennials have do fall on them. There is only spillover to others. The emphasis is on the individuals to work on their own problems. Getting optional help is nice to have but the individual should expect to shoulder the task of fixing their own problems.
Make the best financial and policy choices now both personally and at larger scales.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.