Thermodynamic Consequences (Why the children of Boomers are going Bust)

I found this on Facebook…

There’s gotta be something more to this millennial “I can’t adult” thing than my generation simply being bad at simple tasks. An entire generation can’t unanimously be lazy, unmotivated, blase, apolitical pieces of internet trash. An entire generation can’t not know how to drive, let alone haggle affordability at a car dealership. An entire generation can’t overwhelmingly lack the know-how to find a viable apartment and continue living in it for more than 6 months. An entire fucking generation can’t be going to school more than ever and facing lower wages than ever at the same time and have it be their own fucking fault. My generation can’t possibly be the ones fucking things up for ourselves, since my generation doesn’t have political or economic control over jack shit.

It’s almost like the generation that raised us didn’t prepare us at all for the world they created. It’s almost like there wasn’t a chance in hell we could have been prepared for this in the first place. It’s almost like it’s being blamed on us before we could even have the chance to fuck up. It’s almost like it’s not our fault we’re failing.

The author of that post is right, for the most part.

The situation that the millennial generation finds itself in is one that could have been avoided. The boomers (and others) were told repeatedly that the current trajectory of the US economy was unsustainable. They continued anyway and then misinformed their children about what they could realistically expect from the future while, at the same time, preventing their children from learning from their own mistakes.

Millennials are making and learning from the same mistakes we all made. The difference is that they’re being forced to make those mistakes as adults in an economic environment where even minor failure can leave you with nothing.

It gets worse from here because there is absolutely no hope of economic recovery. The American Dream is fossil fueled and that fuel is frighteningly finite.

The idea behind this nightmare situation is pretty simple and deep down we all want to believe it.

Everybody that gets educated and works hard can become an economic success because…economic growth.

That statement is false and evokes the archetype of the perpetual motion machine. It is physically impossible.

But it does feel right when the economy actually is growing which is why so many people came to believe it despite all of the evidence against the idea.

If the economy could continue to grow there would be room for the horde of college graduates to have and hold jobs that would allow them to have the life their boomer parents dreamed of.

But it can’t because economic growth requires growth in the amount of fossil fuel consumed and as I stated earlier, fossil fuels are finite.

So what can millennials expect?

Unfortunately… a New Dark Age

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