Millennials, Stress, and Making Ends Meet

People only see what they are prepared to see. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A new survey provides yet another window into the challenges faced by the Millennial generation, (currently 18-33 years old). In December 2014, the U.S. Census told us that 1 in 5 Millennials live below the poverty line and have lower rates of employment compared to their Baby Boomer parents of a similar age. In February 2015, the American Psychological Association (APA) piled on with their own survey and report, “Stress in America: Missing the Health Care Connection.”

Over-the-top stressThe report bestowed Millennials with the dubious distinction as “the most stressed-out generation.” Four generations were surveyed to find out what stressed them and how much:

• Matures ( 67+)
• Boomers (48-to-66)
• Gen Xers (34-to-47)
• Millennials ( 18-to-33)

You can probably guess the number-one stressor across the board – correct – money and finance. The report accurately links high levels of stress to the greater risk of chronic disease and highlights that healthcare should take psychological-stress issues more seriously by providing programs that help people manage stress before it turns into a chronic health problem.

Yet, it comes as no surprise to this writer that the APA recommendations, like recommendations from other spheres of life, like politics, education, law, and science, do so while wearing blinders. They address the symptoms and ignore the elephant in the room: the cause of stress symptoms and why the Millennials bear the brunt.

Anyone who has been paying attention realizes that the money they take home today does not go as far as it used to 5 years ago, let alone, say in the 1980’s. Actually, almost no one will tell you that this pattern of paying more and getting less only gets worse with time. Financial challenges will increase for subsequent generations unless they either happen to breathe the rarified air of the top 1%, or somehow learn the truth about money. You’ll notice that of the four generations surveyed, it was the youngest group that scored the highest in levels of stress.

So what are we talking about here? The global central-banking monopoly. If you have the courage to peek behind the curtain, you will find a system of money that, over centuries, has delivered private profits to its shareholders via a cleverly-designed money-making scheme; the first formal venue was the Bank of England circa 1694. Money is a private product loaned into existence that we pay to use (interest). Interest payments travel up the pyramid in ever-increasing amounts to shareholders, thanks to the magic of compound interest.

Translation? While those at the top drown in obscene amounts of automated money, most everyone else suffers the discouragement of the never-ending loss of purchasing power. Further translation: Each generation gets a worse hand dealt to them than the one before because, by design, their money purchases less. On the other hand, the cost of living rises due (in part) to the fact of businesses adding the cost of their debt service on to the price of goods and services they sell.

Heaven forbid we should educate our young people to recognize the “little man” pulling the strings behind the curtain. Imagine if young people learned the hidden facts of wealth-extraction and the subsequent systemic loss of purchasing power. Having an expanded financial IQ, they would clearly understand the need to rethink the best ways to earn, spend, save and invest. Then, and only then, can anyone become victorious over financial stress. Everything else is but a Band-Aid measure.

3 Responses to “Millennials, Stress, and Making Ends Meet”

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  1. Jean-Louis says:

    There is much discusion about the fact of rising Millenial anxieties and there is no doubt about the steady impovrishment of the middle class and rising concentration of wealth.
    I think it is very counter-productive and self-defeating to identify the cause as a 450yr old money system. This is not to say that there may be structural problems that originated there.

    The invocation of a century -old practice dilutes the issue to meaninglessness in the minds of most people. They do not and cannot have a sense of 400 yr old decline which is historically absurd. Their memory for Americans at least is that the curve goes downward from the post war period which was itself an era of rising prosperity . Those even older will remember boom years of the 20’s followed by the poverty of the 30’s which was relieved and reversed by much of the New Deal.
    The real questions is what happened recently to cause the wage stagnation that began in the late 70’s. And the list of possible causes or cluster of causes is long and complex
    It could be, I will concede, that some kind of deregulatory slight-of-hand has made the effects of the global central banking monopoly more raw or direct or something. If so, then people dont want to dismantle the central bank, they want to know what was in place or absent before that made it work for them in the 50’s and 60’s .
    People dont want to go back to the harsh life of the 1600’s they want to go back to the recent time of prosperity. Even if you were to prove that the entire money system is a fiction from the start, then the question is why is the fiction- which undeniably increased everybody’s wealth over the long haul, now appears to be generating different results.

  2. Will says:

    Yep, “Your Financial IQ” is “depressed” artificially with each generation of compounded debt. It’s so frustrating to be inundated with frivolous articles/stories in the news when THIS is an underlying factor that could change all others. This country & government doesn’t have our interest at heart; it has compounded interest at its heart.

  3. Robert says:

    I love the idea of “your financial IQ.” In fact, I can see it as a blog title. Increasing your financial IQ. I’m looking forward to your next installment!

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