Monday, September 2, 2013

80s Babies: High Unemployment and Student Loan Debt, one hell of an Inheritance

For the average person 24 to 33, today's economic environment has been, and will continue to be one of disappointment and unfulfilled potential. While the last boom and bubble was occurring, this age demographic was studying and training and learning, all in order to participate in the prosperity that our baby-boomer parents were reveling in.

But alas, the boomers had their wealth vested in equity; equity in the capital markets, and especially equity in their homes. For the next generation in line, we invested too, we invested in our collective futures. And taking a page out of the book of the boomers, we borrowed to finance it, and the government was much obliged to underwrite and subsidize to its heart's content.

Well, now we get to collect our birthright, our grand inheritance. Although for the most part, we did not get to participate in the growth in the labor markets, or the capital appreciation that took place in the financial markets or the housing market, but we did get to participate in the leveraging.

Now the boomers get to cash-out what's left of their retirement accounts, downsize their real estate investments, and re-configure their consumption patterns. They're outta here, and in their wake we're left with high unemployment, high student loan debt, and an economic outlook that can probably best described as soggy. Here's to the next 40 years, and the hope that the innovativeness and ingenuity of my generation that is always spoken of so fondly, can keep us from being the lost generation.

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