The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


October 15, 2012

Other Views: Millennials, dare we say, are thrifty

The U.S. economy since the mid-20th century has always been driven by Americans willing to spend beyond their means — on a bigger house, a better car, a prestige college, a nice vacation, maybe skiing in the winter, the beach in the summer. Basically, it was the American Dream.

The spending was fueled by borrowed money and the sublime confidence of American wage earners that with regular pay increases they would ultimately be able to afford it all, plus put something aside for retirement.

That came to a harsh and abrupt halt in the Great Recession, and while the economy is steadily improving, car sales are healthy, and home sales and prices are rising in selected neighborhoods, it was clearly a traumatic event, no more so than on that group loosely defined as the “Millennial generation.”

Technically, these are people born between 1981 and 1999, but the term has come to define a state of mind as much as a certain age. And that state of mind is reflected in a recent news story that asserted, “Recent studies show Millennials are the cheapest generation.”

They are defined by high student-loan debt, high unemployment — and, if they have a job, it’s probably not particularly well-paying and offers few raises. This group’s morale is not helped by economists who say that when the economy fully recovers, the benefits will be showered not on their generation but the ones to follow.

The result is that when they leave college, they rent an apartment and stay in the city. Even if they get a good job, apparently they are content to keep living in an apartment instead of moving to a nice split-level or center-hall colonial in the suburbs. If they have a car, it’s part of a ride-share program. They save their money despite banks’ efforts to discourage them from doing so by paying ridiculously low interest rates.

Studies show that Millennials will spend on technology, but only so they can surf for cut-rate bargains and entertain themselves at home.

One reason to move to the suburbs has been to more conveniently access better schools, but the Millennials who have stayed behind have been aggressive, even belligerent, about improving their local schools, with the result that there are now long lines and residential chicanery to get into select inner-city schools.

And the Millennials seemed to have inherited their ancestors’ philosophy of consumption: Mend it; make do; or do without. Worse yet, some Millennials who went astray are moving back to the cities.

Now it seems that an entire cohort of our countrymen cannot identify the terms “turf builder,” “homeowners’ association” and “allow extra time for your commute.”

Scripps Howard News Service

Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Too many questions on No. 5

    Even though the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Missouri voters on Aug. 5 are being asked to consider an amendment that restates that freedom and then goes even further.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Beware the wolf

    The wolf (the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other radical animal rights organizations) has conned Little Red Riding Hood (the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Joplin Globe editorial staff and, as of last week, the local Democratic leadership).

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Dally for Division 5

    I have known Nate Dally almost my entire life. As we grew up, Nate always had a strong passion and desire to make sure everyone was treated fairly and equally.

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Vote ‘no’ on 7

    The Globe has been on my reading list for over 35 years, and during that time the Globe has frequently supported tax increases. Same thing again in the Sunday, July 27, editorial, “‘Yes’ on 7.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: An America transformed

    On Oct. 30, 2008, Barack Obama boldly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Open the primaries

    Missourians will go to the polls in the Aug. 5 primary.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Missouri's sales tax-free weekend begins Friday. Do you plan purchases around this weekend?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN