This kinda bugs me, not only because inter-generational child rearing has been the norm for most of history rather than something unique that deadbeat millenials are relying on, but also because it propagates the belief that anything you don't pay for with money is considered "free" (the bad "free", as in "deadbeat" or "moocher").
There's the whole debate that GDP is the wrong measure precisely because it doesn't measure these kinds of "unpaid services", but I prefer to look at it another way: a "livable" city is more than what restaurants and bars are around, but also who your neighbors and social connections are (I've heard this described as alternative forms of capital beyond financial capital like social and cultural capital).
It's not that millenials are killing the babysitter industry, it's more millenials are reaching the age where they understand the whole "it takes a village" folk wisdom.
It's all good in your 20s, when you're in good health, and when it's easy and cheap to make friends.
Then you hit your 30s and find out that you don't have any community, everyone moved somewhere else, the city is too expensive for a 2-3 bedrooms flat, and even if you stayed you'd have to work full time (if not overtime), which means you'd need someone else to bring your kids to school and take care of him/her after work, which isn't free.
It's a lot like the "get a loan to buy a car, buy a car to go to work, work to pay the loan" analogy. It's not a life, you merely exists for work and pay other people to take care of what used to be the core experience. At the end of the day the only thing you're looking for is a meal and this new netflix show your heard about.
The worst part is, as you said, that it's now frown upon to rely on your community because it's "free", and surely you haven't made it if you rely on free things.
If you come from wealth, it's easy to get into a good school, and your parents can subsidize you while you're launching your career (or outright create a career for you).
If you don't come from wealth, and you get to a city, and you start making over $200k, it's hard to even take advantage of it.
Instead of having parents to subsidize me, I have parents who are pretty broke and in bad health. How can I justify buying a modest house in my area (for $1M), when my parents are piling up debt, struggling to pay rent, and barely able to buy groceries?
Flip that even further to people who come from really poor countries like India. I can't imagine if my parents were working $1 an hour -- how could I pay $3k in rent? How can you invest thousands of dollars in yourself when your parents don't even make that much in a year?
But if you don't make those investments, you're never going to get ahead...
It's not just that wealthy millennials have a huge advantage, but coming from a poor family has a HUGE disadvantage in terms of social mobility as well.
Is this a moral conflict, i.e. you don't feel comfortable spending that much money? Or you're actually giving so much money to your parents that you can't afford to buy a house?
For example, my down payment could buy my Mom's house, my Dad's house, and my brother's house. The conflict is -- how can I spend that much money on myself? Instead, I could retire both of my parents, and set my brother up for success at the cost of continuing my current life as usual.
It doesn't seem like a huge burden to me to continue my life as usual. And it would be completely life changing to the rest of my family (the people I care most about) to allocate my money in a different way.
On an infinitely smaller scale -- this is similar to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. How much money should you invest now to help people in the future vs giving people money now?
When I was 20, I was giving my family 10s of thousands of dollars a year. The cost of that was that I delayed my career advancement to the point I could be making an extra $100-200k per year now. Sure, I'll get to that point in 2 years time.
But was it really worth it to spend $30k to pay for some weddings and refrigerators and medical expenses 8 years ago to miss out on $300K+ in earning potential over that time period? No. Definitively.
Is it worth it to give my family $200k now when I hope to turn that into a million+ in 5 years? I don't think so. How do they see it? Well, they want the $200k now. Maybe that type of vision is why we're in different situations. Who knows?
If I were in your situation, I'd want to secure my own family's housing and retirement at least as much as your parents' housing and retirement, so as in many things, balance is going to be key. But if you truly value changing their lives at the expense/delay of your own, there's nothing stopping you from doing it and obviously nothing wrong with it. It's a very personal choice.
Where exactly are you investing $30,000 that returns more than 100% / year for 8 years?
The opportunity cost of doing things when you're at a low wealth level is enormous.
The obvious example would be to consider the gap between being homeless with $0 and being homeless with $5K.
Your earnings potential just essentially went up by an infinite amount because now you can rent an apartment, get a job, perhaps buy some study equipment like a computer or whatever, and suddenly that $5K can be well north of $50K.
This isn't stock index tracker stuff, this is home economics.
I finally break 6 figures and my kids are almost graduated into college. If I left them behind after the divorce I could literally blank check pay for their college.
But I'm deciding to be their dad instead of chasing the money. But 3 more yesterday the last one graduates and I'm ready to go do machine learning and all the fun stuff. So. Sick. Of. Web sites.
I would recommend you let your family be. There earlier stuff in your career was health problems you said and people come first. The houses you talk about now are like gifts. They don't have immediate need so you can get them something better in the future.
And just how hard is it to reach your level btw? I've been programming twenty years... Is it hard to get a job after 40?
And if you are making huge amounts of money it's completely reasonable and rational to spend it to actually increase happiness and opportunities, given that one cares about people around them.
Getting that job in that major metropolitan area and actually going to work every day in that job carries such incredible direct and indirect costs, by the end of the year it’s typical for most people to be worse off than when they started.
This is to say nothing of the opportunity cost of all that time.
Then finally, if you are willing to factor in the societal/cultural pressures that come with the job and the massive costs associated with fulfilling them, as supposed to just calling that weakness on the persons behalf for succumbing to those myriad pressures... well, as you alluded, the tail is most certainly wagging the dog.
I know it's stupid to go into it knowing it'll be hard, and I can't complain. I'm not. This is just what it takes, and I went into it knowing it would be temporary. Kids get a lot easier as they get older.
A lot of things that are worth it in life take a lot of work. I'll feel better in a few years. At the moment I feel like I'm dying.
At any rate, here's to things getting easier. I'm sure our hard work will pay off soon enough.
It feels like mine is on pause until the kids grow old enough to be left to their own devices, taking their own baths, brushing their own teeth, reading their own bedtime stories etc etc.
This is very real. Sometimes I sit to do some more work before bed and think wow, I'll finish this... Go to bed... And wake up as early as I can to work some more. Then my son will wake up, and I'll be with him until 6 or so in the evening. While he naps I work more. Rinse and repeat. It's a gauntlet.
Things being on pause isn't really a bad thing at all, but it certainly feels bad in the moment. I have two 9 year olds though, and it's true. Eventually they want to read before bed on their own, they want to play on their own during the day, and the pressure is off. There's a lot more time.
I also have the luxury that on weekends, during the day my older kids will play with the baby and give me a bit of a break. Sometimes even for an hour or so. It's usually an opportunity to catch up on work, but it's often badly needed and a big relief.
It would be stupid going into it thinking it would not be hard. Raising kids is always hard, unless you don't care. And it is always hard in different ways. Kids can see what you can do, and what you can't do; what you can provide and what you can't provide. And as long as you are really trying they will ultimately accept what you have to offer with love.
He was very philosophical about it :-)
The more likely scenario is you've invested in that relocation, paying the financial and social costs, and then suddenly it's 2001 and you have no job, no stock, and no community to fall back on. So yeah, a philosophical view is probably wise. :)
For more institutionalized settings, there's co-op daycares, but we looked into this and they're largely incompatible with having two working parents since the schedule usually requires volunteering in the middle of the workday.
So the problem is a bit of a prisoners dilemma: you need to be able to rely on this group (having to scramble to find another solution is OK a few times a year, but not 3 times a month), but you also don't want to be 'tied down'.
So the alternative is to have lots of rules and required 'volunteering'. Which basically turns into the same as 'real' daycare, except that you have to take the day off to do your 'volunteering' (in the case of 2 working parents). So it's just scrambling to solve all the problems that money is supposed to solve (be a fungible store of value), but while at all costs keeping 'money' out of it.
Having been involved with attempts at systems like this, and having observed the problems in a few others, I no longer think it's feasible, at least not for dual income career oriented people. The places where I've seen it (more or less - it wouldn't work as a lifestyle for me) work are of the type of the mommy group of stay-at-home-parents, but those are hardly comparable to real daycare.
What little there is can usually be extended to 1 or maybe 2 kids. We routinely have 4 kids at our house (2 ours), but nobody will be able or want to manage more than that, and not very frequently. Even that sort of arrangement only happens via trusting friendships that are built over time. Distributing the load across multiple arrangements would be logistically daunting.
Perhaps a religious or cultural group would extend their resources in this way, but you would have to belong to those groups, and even there, nothing is free.
And one more thing: any place in the Bay area where you can find a house large enough to comfortably house 6 kids in a relatively safe area is going to be unbelievably expensive. I'd you live in such an area your neighbors will either have many fewer children or be wealthy enough that they hire full time childcare, so they won't have the same needs for village style arrangements as you.
If we want to talk about moochers and deadbeats we need to stop looking at people in poverty who behave in ways we don't like. It's easy to call them names, but they're doing the best they can with the very little they have.
Shift the perspective to huge corps like Walmart, who rake in billions and themselves depend on state welfare to do so.
In the UK we call these people 'benefit scroungers', yet their impact on the British way of life is practically zero compared to what those with money can do, to the point where it's a false problem.
Because all of my child’s grandparents are divorced they are not able to retire / and have to work. This prevents them from being able to offer the same kind of child raising assistance as grandparents that stay together.
The first one is (fittingly) available for free online, though my local library also had a copy: http://sacred-economics.com/read-online/
That's great. Awesome society.
Personally I decided to stay in the Midwest and make 170k instead of 300k, but I have my family, and family matters more to me than an extra 130k in salary.
People underestimate how much help one needs in raising kids because a few decades ago the mom would either not work or work an easier/part time job. This still happens in rural or semi rural areas in the US.
Nowadays in the city both parents are in 8-9 hour day high intensity jobs. You may have time for your kid, but you have less energy.
Maybe the trend of adults relying more on their parents is only a failure if adults aren't expected to take care of their parents later on.
Boy, if it takes until your 30s to understand that "wisdom", then I weep for my contemporaries. In strong nuclear families with inter-generational ties, it shouldn't take longer than your late teens to realize that parental support is normal at least until you have kids of your own.
Having strong ties to your grandparents and parents should be the norm, and I'm very sorry for the Americans that haven't had the peace of mind from having a safety net of their extended families throughout their whole lives. This isn't meant to sound patronizing. Child rearing is one of the most labor intensive activities we have as a species and I for one will be taking all the help I can get.
It is the norm. Not having multi-generational family support is a major handicap, but that predicament is not the norm, even among less advantaged people generally.
I realize my original comment probably doesn't speak for the majority of people's situations, but I think it's not necessarily as much of a norm as people think. I don't disagree with the parent poster, they're right, it should be the norm, I was raised in a family with strong family values but circumstances just kind of made it an impossibility and I think a lot of people and families out there, may not have the same circumstances as my life, but have had things happen that make it difficult or impossible to have close family ties.
How is it meant to sound? Talking about weeping for your contemporaries.
I wonder what that kid would say now after reading this article. A lot of the people I grew up with went to crappy colleges. I did too, and we were too broke to even think about tuition so PELL grants funded my education. College Textbooks? You mean PDFs from The Pirate Bay.
I made it out and got a nice job in tech, but like many of my peers it is I who support my parents. I pay their health insurance, I lend them money for groceries, and I'm financing my dad's chemotherapy. Do you know how hard it is to save up for a house (on the west coast !!) knowing you'll never get a windfall from Mom and Dad? When in fact they are a liability budget wise?
I wish more articles were written about this side of the coin, it is my experience that many young people, especially minorities, are shouldering the burden of "elder care" earlier than they ever thought they would.
The parent comment highlights is an important divide that's exacerbating the wealth gap in the USA: The difference between millennials whose Gen X parents are a financial liability versus a financial advantage.
The Gen X'ers are either passing onto their kids either hundreds of thousands in investment and savings income, or tens of thousands in medical and elderly care liabilities. Few in my "millennial" generation are talking about it, but as their parents get older, the contrast is getting more noticeable among friends who have to deal with very different parental situations. It's dangerously perpetuating "wealth gaps" across generations. I fear it will not end well for society when more debt-laden adults see others who are coasting off of what their parents' gave them.
The worst thing about it is that I've completely reoriented my free time to prepare for interviews so that I can double my salary -- that will hopefully give me enough breathing room to accelerate my savings to buy a home and pass on wealth to my children. The game is the game...
To put that disparity into specific financial terms.
According to the Federal Reserve, the average white US household crossed the $1 million net worth line sometime in the past two years with the climb by the stock market and property values. Emphasis that that is the average, the median is closer to $190k-$210k, which is comparable to some of the wealthiest median household wealth nations such as Belgium, Australia and Switzerland.
The median white household wealth figure is only surpassed by the median asian household figure (asian households still trail white households on the average figure; due to a difference in duration of time to accumulate larger generational wealth).
The average black US household has an average net worth of about $150k for 2018, and a median of about ~$20,000. The Fed's figure is generally that black US households have less than 15% the wealth of white and asian households.
The average hispanic US household has an average net worth of about $200k for 2018, and a median of about ~$22,000.
Of note, as you'd expect there's an enormous difference in all households when it comes to education and wealth attainment. The average white household net wealth figure hits about $2 million where the lead earner has a bachelor's degree or higher; without that education level, the average wealth figure for white households is about 20% that (roughly $400k). In black households, a stark example of the importance of education attainment is that the median wealth figure increases by seven fold in households where the prime earner/s have a bachelor's degree or higher. In hispanic households with a bachelor's degree or higher, the average household wealth figure is around $650k (a great figure for most any wealthy nation). That hispanic demographic saw about a 60% (!) increase in their net worth between 2013 and 2019. Every way you look at the education vs wealth figures it puts an emphasis on the huge gap in wealth between households with more education vs less.
Besides the giant budget deficit problem, I don't see any scenario where taxes (on capital gains, income and estates) on the top ~10% don't go up a lot over the next 10-15 years or so. The largest lever the government is perceived to have to go after wealth disparity is aggressive wealth redistribution through taxes.
You of course also see this gap in other nations like France and the UK (which have some of the highest median household wealth levels), where they have very poor minorities with high unemployment rates and little personal or household wealth.
Social cohesiveness obviously falters in situations where you have such wealth disparities over time. That's particularly true if you have the triple hit of little economic growth, aging demographics and ever rising social demands (an increasingly common scenario in developed nations today).
Since there are probably thousands of DB tables with dem and republican hardcoded, my money is on take over.
You mean the person who was 1 at the time Bernie Sanders, having already been involved in the 60s Civil Rights movement and mayor of Burlington for 3 terms, was first elected to the US Congress?
I can only imagine how difficult that is. This is an interesting distinction between western and eastern culture too. I wonder if the obligation to take care of your parents is less pronounced in eastern households that are wealthier.
Like GP, I also grew up in a lower income family and made it out well in tech. My only advantage is that I'm older and started working 15 years ago, which lead to being able to afford to buy a house during the lowest years of the housing market (2010-12) so I have a really low mortgage in crazy bay area. I don't know how anyone in the bay would be able to save up for a house if they have to support their parents in addition to paying their own rent.
The film "Better Luck Tomorrow" explored this - not specifically the parachute kid status, but the trouble that overprivileged Asian teens get into. It's fictionalized but also based on some real events.
For East Asian families, it's still there but it is non-existent from a financial perspective. It's no different from the article even though it describes the US. I've personally seen several scenarios of approx 30 individual families:
1. Kids were either extremely spoiled so they ended up with a poor work ethic, were incompetent, or both. They are not millennials. Parents ended up supporting them for the rest of their lives. Their wealth eventually consumed in one generation with their businesses either being sold or destroyed. In all these cases, the parents were content with grandchildren.
2. Kids were high achievers. Stereotypical scenario of getting into the Ivys or international equivalent, with the right finance, law, or engineering jobs right after with continued progression. Parents still gave a lot of financial gifts even though they weren't needed.
The only real expectation when the parents are financially well off is that their children still take care of them when old age becomes an issue i.e. no nursing home. parents will live with one of their children until they die
1) My parents primary goal was to make life better for their kids. It was in a nutshell why they immigrated in the first place - not to improve their own lives.
2) It's the responsibility of the kids to care for their parents. The idea of nursing homes is so foreign and repulsive to my parents (and myself for that matter).
This is a generalization but, from my experience, that's baked into eastern culture across classes.
To answer your question though, I've seen it as common in both eastern and western families of means to not be expected to take care of your parents as much.
While the story doesn't mention an "obligation" of the elder generation's children, I think it brings out a very interesting point. Unlike the US/ Western Europe, in Russia, and likely other previously-Soviet countries, there isn't a noticeable divide between those with rich parents and those without. No one has rich parents.
And still, the article reads to me like "upper middle class kids have it so hard today because they can't get as rich as their parents too easily".
The economic shift is real, but the wealth of our MIDDLE CLASS parent generation was an oddity in itself, not comparable to the reality of most people now OR then.
Pardon the naive question, but what sort of windfall from Mom and Dad to people expect when saving up for a house? Is it common on the coasts for parents to help their children buy a house? I've never thought to plan for help from my parents for anything (I'll be happy if they can cover their own care).
Anyone in my social circle who bought their first home (anywhere on the west coast) and is in their 20's or 30's, they didn't do it by themselves. Their parents chipped in quite a bit.
I live on the east coast though.
I came from a poor family, so college wasnt much of an option. My mom and dad had lived their whole lives under check cashing shysters and credit card debt until dad hurt his back and went on disability/heroin. Mom did the best she could at the local truckstop diner where i spent most of my time after school. College was never an option and looking back im glad it wasnt.
I grew up to become a damn good diesel engine tech. not the best, but i walk out of the shop every day feeling like I actually did something meaningful. Some days im even making cut-rate lawyer money. but I see college kids at my local bar, partly because thats an aesthetic for college kids my age, but also because its a necessity. They buy a round of el-cheapo beers and sit in the corner on their phones for an hour. They rarely tip or if they do its some weird math that comes out to screw over the barman, but its hardly their fault.
I bought a Sam Adams for one of these guys who was fired from mcdonalds for showing up to work late just once. He had a masters degree in business management. He came home to see his prius getting repossessed, and decided to just decided to keep on walking past his apartment and down to the local watering hole. His plan was to ride out an eviction and move back in with his folks.
"Those who do not have parental assistance in their 30s, however, continue to be at a disadvantage. “They are grappling with paying off student-loan debt, their savings might not be as strong because of that, and many are taking care of other family members,” said Iimay Ho, 32, the executive director at Resource Generation, an organization that works with people ages 18 to 35 with wealth or class privilege to engage on issues of inequality."
"For those without parental cash at the ready, there’s often some kind of debt hangover that holds them back in significant ways. Roger Quesada, 34, calls his $65,000 of student-loan debt to Sallie Mae, which incurs $400 a month in interest payments alone, “a jail sentence.” A lapse in his payments ruined his credit, he said, and has hampered his financial and career aspirations."
And I feel for it, too. Compounding debt instead of compounding interest. Reminds me of a very relevant Onion headline:
"Lazy Poor Person Has Never Earned Passive Income From Stock Dividends A Day In His Life"
Education is one of the best returns of investment of taxes a society can make to itself, I don't understand how people want to make this into a free market, it doesn't seem to work.
I’ve not seen this distinction made before. Can you elaborate?
Your comment seemed to imply a recession incoming sooner than later and was wondering if you had a source.
Is incredibly tone deaf way to describe people living paycheck to paycheck.
The article, by contrast, has it exactly right. I, for example, have a savings "maximum" that I've identified (for savings other than the ones with significant tax advantages, like IRA contributions), such that whenever I exceed it, that surplus goes towards more quickly paying off student loan debt. So, indeed, while I'm not living paycheck to paycheck, my savings also are not as strong as they would otherwise be.
If you came in late at a restaurant or hospital, they'd be short staffed and screwed.
I worked at Target in the fast food restaurant some years ago. If I was late to that, there was simply no one to take orders. It directly impacts the income of the business.
Late once -> fired definitely needs to be fixed, though.
They're saving money by treating humans as perfectly interchangeable cogs.
This is why you have backup staff and don't drive people to the point of maximal efficiency. Because it's inhuman.
The industrial revolution brought GDP growth, but to a very small number of people. The rest (practically everybody) were plunged into abject misery. This is where anarchism, marxism, communism, socialism, fascism, and so on came from. I mean, one of Henry Ford's famous innovations was paying his workers enough to afford the things they were building. It was a capitalist nightmare.
WWI and the Great Depression unbelievably made things worse, and they led to serious political upheaval throughout the western world. It was only when WWII wiped out the holdings of many of the wealthy that quality of life started to improve at all, and in fact that lead to one of the longest periods of growth and equality in human history. But it really had nothing to do with economies of scale. It had to do with the fact that incomes finally rivaled capital gains from wealth.
The essential difference between that period of expansion and the initial industrial revolution weren't economies of scale. It was that we had political systems that distributed the profits to more than just the business owners. If you don't have those kinds of systems (free markets, progressive taxation, financial regulation, open credit), then it doesn't really matter how efficient your production is, because the benefits are only going to .001% of people. If those people aren't sharing (not exactly something rich people are known for), then quality of life for everyone else won't go up at all. And hey look, that's what happened during the industrial revolution.
Source: basically just read Piketty.
The individual player may not have a choice - that's why we attempt to influence the system such that these situations don't arise.
In FY2018, Walmart "generated $28.3 billion in operating cash flow and returned $14.4 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases" . The best study I can find  says a hike from $10/hr. to $15/hr. would cost around $5 billion a year.
TL;DR: Walmart could pay workers $30/hr. The money comes from there.
Of course there are extenuating circumstances, and managers should be more relaxed with people who make an effort (e.g. texting ahead that they are running x minutes late). But the vast majority of cases are not like this. Its people making stupid choices and suffering the consequences, I don't have much sympathy for that.
The lengths you have to go to to avoid being late essentially boil down to "always leave 30 minutes before you have to". That's a huge, completely unpaid time sink. If I got "paid" an extra 30 minutes a day, I'd make $10k more a year. And sure hourly workers don't (usually) make as much as I do so their increase would be something like $3k, but that increase probably matters a lot more to them than it would to me.
As a high level guess it sounds like you probably didn't grow up in or too near a major city (if truck stops are in play).
Are you still working where you're from? How did you come to find HN?
I know there's a large number of mechanics on here, and it makes complete sense. But I'm curious how all these roads meet, sometimes.
This is the unwritten law of California first-time home ownership: you are waiting for your parents to downsize and cash in, or just to straight up die and inherit their house. You do not just get a job in CA and buy a home. The article also talks about the US in general, throwing around "six figures" as some indication of being financially safe. In CA, that is just not true.
I would not have a home without significant assistance from my parents. I can't imagine how it would be if I was saddled with large student loans as well (came from the UK where college education was cheaper) or had a job where the health insurance could leave me one bad situation away from bankruptcy.
Even if wealth distribution is possible, it comes with its own hurdles: early wealth distribution leads to questions about how elder care is going to get paid for, late wealth distribution leads to questions about how stunted the career and life development of the child is.
I think this is the new normal, and will be for generations past us, but I wonder what it will mean for G8 countries. I think step one is abandoning the idea that if you try hard you're going to live better than your parents. You might, you might not. It's not a given anymore.
To be honest it really pisses me off because I feel like I'm crushing it in my business (blood, sweat & tears) but I can't buy a house in DC because I don't have wealthy parents.
I don't think you can generalize San Francisco to the entirety of the G8. Even in the US, it's not like that in many places.
I would not have a home without significant assistance from my parents.
I don't know your specific case, but on average, you could have bought a home without assistance if you wanted, just maybe not when & where you bought.
Because land isn't taxed based on it's current value landowners have little incentive to develop their land in order to get the most out of it. They simply bank land as much as possible as it's the most surefire way to turn a profit. It's why we have golf courses* in city centers and dilapidated shacks* next to Google's global HQ.
Additionally, prop 13 gives landowners every incentive to lobby for policies that restrict development in order to drive up prices instead of fighting for the right to build 4 story apartments on their property.
Slashing property taxes always floods the market with speculators and destroys housing affordability. Look at Vancouver, or Malta, their housing shortages rival SF despite low wages and comparatively small economies.
Property taxes do go up in California, just not at the speculative price increases due to tiny interest rates and investors.
If you want to find fault, blame interest rates and people paying the maximum monthly payment based on tiny interest rates, and ignoring the ridiculous house prices.
What this means is that in the past, there used to be forces that encouraged jobs to be somewhat evenly spread across the country. Most medium-sized cities had a number of factories, small towns were surrounded by farms, etc.
Now the only jobs are jobs that involve working with or for other people, so you see a rapid concentration in a smaller number of large metro areas.
Unfortunately, cities cannot physically adapt as quickly as the economy has changed. The rapid change in housing prices — upwards in metro areas and downwards elsewhere — is basically a measure of how much the physical infrastructure is out of sync with today's needs.
Personally, I hope we figure out a way reinvigorate and distribute jobs across medium-sized cities. It's very difficult for the poor any elderly to uproot, and the US has tons of space, so I think it's better for everyone if the jobs come to them instead of forcing them to come to the jobs.
Sounds like over-rationalization to me. Tech jobs don’t need to be done in the US for obscene amounts of money, yet they are.
In theory, yep. In practice, lots of software work is basically an exercise in interpersonal collaboration logistics for which physical colocation is still the most common approach. I've long been hopeful that we'd break out of that model and achieve the geographic redistribution that the parent commenter is hopeful for, but that it hasn't happened yet makes me think there is something more to it than it seems.
Yes, there are still plenty of programming jobs in the US, in large part because a key part of the job is translating human requirements into code. That means that knowing the language and culture are valuable assets. Also, English is the lingua franca of software, which helps.
Yeah, I _could_ buy a house somewhere else, just like I _could_ give up on a fulfilling career. But I don't think people are willing to spend the majority of their waking hours in a job they don't like so they can have a house, given the alternative of having a job they do and renting. Everything is a life choice, and home ownership is not be all and end all, but I think it seems very wrong that the dichotomy of career vs home-ownership is as harsh as it is.
In New York you can get an apartment in Jackson Heights for $200k and take the F train to work.
In the Bay Area it's expensive near job centers but it's still expensive 40 miles away. The sprawling mess is too low density to sensibly cover with trains so people end up with insane highway commutes.
California's problem is property taxes. Tax people fairly - not based on the time they joined the class of property owners - and our problems go away.
This isn't true. I've known Googlers who worked in Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh and NYC. I've enjoyed many films made in Georgia. Places like NM, Georgia, Austin, etc. are enticing filming there because they know the industry can support more than just one hub in LA. Now filmmakers know they can work and play in Atlanta, Albuquerque or Austin, places cheaper than Hollywood. Places where you don't need family assistance for a down payment on a house. A Googler could do the same in Pittsburgh.
I think it seems very wrong that the dichotomy of career vs home-ownership is as harsh as it is
Is it? OK, I'll grant that it is if you have a singular mindset of "I must own a home right now and I can only have a fulfilling career bay area", but you aren't entitled to live and work in a specific place. And who cares? There's so much more to this world than that.
Most Google engineers still work in CA, and it's easier to get hired for a role at HQ because there are always openings for all kinds of positions. For the smaller offices, they might only be hiring infra or only hiring L6+, etc.
For movies, think about what you'd do as a young actor trying to get a major role. Would you live in Atlanta where a handful of films are shot every year, or would you live in LA where hundreds of opportunities come up every month?
Entertainment is a lot more cost-sensitive to labor than most tech companies and while a lot of regulations on filming can be an issue on occasion I'm pretty sure that all of it is dwarfed by the sheer number of bodies necessary to film some scenes on a non-studio location.
During the Great Recession, movie stars kept their 8+ figure checks but almost everyone else took massive cuts. Similar economics happen in labor markets for tech where we are seeing a very clear bimodal distribution of pay for those in FAANGS companies (or very close to them) and those that aren't.
This is... not accurate.
1) Laws passed in the 1970s that lock in a home's tax value unless/until it's sold, meaning anyone who owned a home in the 70s will never, ever want to sell because their taxes will skyrocket from their fixed 70's values;
2) NIMBYs forbidding the construction of new housing, especially any high-density housing, meaning an area that's massively grown in population has not significantly grown in housing availability;
3) Tech companies insisting on building huge campuses here, attracting more and more people, who use their tech salaries to snap up the extremely limited housing, leading to tech companies needing to pay higher salaries to attract new employees, leading to those higher salaries being used to outbid others on houses, leading to tech companies needing to pay higher salaries...
When we rented our last house, the real estate agent handling the rental asked why we, a Bay Area-salaried DINK couple, weren't buying. We laughed, because the down payment alone on the house we were renting - a dinky, dingy two-bedroom from the 60s which hadn't been significantly upgraded or maintained since - would have been close to our combined yearly income, never mind the taxes and mortgage payments. And that was for one of the crappiest houses in the neighborhood, not one we'd actually consider buying.
Everybody outside of one of these industry hubs always says "Well, why don't major companies just move to areas with lower cost of living, where they can pay their employees less for the same work and be more competitive?" It's never that simple. Flip that comment around and ask an employee in a low-paying industry in a low-paying hub "Well, why don't you just learn data science, get a job at Google or Facebook, and move to the Bay Area so you can partake in these $300-400K/year salaries too?" You'll probably get a response that mentions some combination of family & community roots; it being hard to develop tech skills without mentors and teachers; not fitting in with the political & cultural views of people in Silicon Valley; and difficulty convincing employers that you do in fact possess those skills in the face of stereotypes to the contrary. Now multiply those difficulties by 50,000 employees and you see why corporations don't do this. Companies in knowledge industries are webs of highly-specialized human capital, each of which often has their own family & community roots in the local area and is reluctant to uproot their life just because their employer wants to save a few bucks by moving their headquarters elsewhere.
This was passed by voters of earlier generations. Look at the two leaders of the movement, Howard Jarvis (born 1903) and Paul Gann (born 1912).
Most Boomers were opposed to it b/c they could easily foresee the cuts to social services and education that were coming.
IMO prop 13 worked out really badly but it isn't the main cause of the problem, just one more giant expense for the new homeowner on top of everything else.
Move literally anywhere else if you can.
Mass transit in/out of urban centers like SF/LA are very underdeveloped, so it makes it really difficult to live in a cheaper area outside of the city and bear the commute everyday.
Not re-evaluating property values until sale.
NIMBY zoning laws everywhere.
This is the unwritten law of California first-time home ownership
To say that's the practice now is one thing, but 20 years ago? Hogwash... especially given the 2001 and 2009 drops.
I started to fire a snarky comment about how nice it must be to fit into the category of millennial who have enjoyed the listed privileges, but instead I'll just adopt the position that I am not the "target demographic" here, and maybe that's why after reading that entire article, finding this remark as the closing statement caused me to involuntarily furrow a brow.
From the rich white male Boomer to an immigrant Chinese business owner, everyone seems to feel the need to make more of their struggle than it was. Like, it was already a struggle, why lie and make it seem more so? You started your business by working 12 hour days funded by the pennies in your pocket... And the 300k business loan someone was willing to give you on the basis of your bachelor's in business, which meant a hell of a lot in 1957. Or the classic "came into America on a boat with seven dollars in my pocket," not mentioning the family safety net back home or the fact that the 7$ was more like 7,000 and this was 1965.
But it's obvious why people do that, because people have been doing it for ten thousand years and it's nothing new. We like to feel important, and if our truth doesn't make us feel important we'll lie a bit until we feel important again.
So I'm tired of old people making flippant statements like above about millennials that are either completely off base or simply applicable to every human on the planet, for as long as we've been able to talk. Allow me to engage in my own psychological fallacy - I feel like with enough years under your belt, you should just know that's how we work.
I come across several people in business who all gave the "oh it was so hard in the beginning" while not mentioning their dark pattern websites (people unwittingly buying subscription), wolf-of-wall-street v1 of their broking business, or outright money laundering.
There needs to be a catchy phrase for the "I had it so hard" story.
Strictly speaking, both "I got no help" and "I've done my best" are hyperbole, delusion, or lies. Both are tiring and frustrating. They are also a fairly natural, though crude, way to direct a conversation: "I think you are making excuses" and "I think you are underestimating the challenges".
Let's say, some people are more privileged than others.
Cracks me up every time. It most certainly is.
The few people who I know have "pulled themselves up by the bootstraps" in the proverbial sense, almost never use such dismissive terminology.
This wasn't a rough school - I was in a suburban gifted program.
She continued working there for 6 more years before taking on a Director-role at the local community college, interestingly.
Joke was on her though, because my mother thinks I'm quite handsome heh.
/adds his card neatly to the anecdote pile
For some reason, so many people seem to see "Millennials" as one gigantic person. It's similar to the odd occurrence of someone accusing HN of having conflicting opinions, ignoring the fact that HN is full of different people.
As much as we deride or wish to discourage people from comparing themselves to others, falling behind (in terms of timing or attainment) compared to the median member of a cohort confers a disadvantage towards further progress that would follow the same formula. This is particularly and literally applicable to millennials: after all, the entire generation was told to follow a formula, where getting to college was the first step, and any further clarification of one's ambitions would be expected to materialize once that baseline was cleared.
Now that they're all firmly of working age, it's clear that following that formula blindly -- as if it were just one of those "this is how the world works" societal norms that everyone does, like brushing teeth or obeying stoplights -- was a mistake. But the message was fed by their elders, the same people who are now helping them out if they're able.
And if one had poor parents or hardly a shot at getting to college, what were they supposed to do? They came of age at a time when blue-collar work was precipitously falling, all the well-paying high-demand careers demanded years of education, and years of coddling and lack of substantive discourse about the middle class's economic realities have resulted in a generic, aspirational message like "follow your dreams". Higher education was positioned by public policy and combined wisdom as a tool of opportunity, how was one to know that predatory-sounding trade schools may have been a better bet? And if public policy drove young people towards those schools instead, would we now have tens of thousands of HVAC technicians and automotive mechanics and cybersecurity professionals working in food and retail?
Tangent: I wonder what we'll read in the history books 30 years from now about the shift in labor to becoming a globalized commodity in the era of the Internet, and how it affected economic groups poised best to take advantage of the changing era--compared to how the group equivalent of today's millennials fared during, say, the Industrial revolution as economies swiftly mechanized and labor responded by becoming more-increasingly specialized.
(Edit: and then I wonder, would the people writing such history in 30 years have been millennials today?)
No, jokes aside-I think that's just as valid and interesting of a response to that sort of a take as any. My generation is pretty vocal about the inherent value of the 'individual'; "we aren't a monolith" etc.
Maybe my knee jerk reaction to the quote above is just a manifestation of that, I'll own it for whatever it is.
This happens everywhere, all the time. "Baby Boomers" are as often talked about as a group: "Muslims", "Hipsters", "Hacker News", "Liberals", "Conservatives".
And the people that do need help (like my younger brother), what irks me is that he certainly does not think he pulled himself up from his bootstraps. He knows that he was dealt a bad hand and painfully acknowledges the help he's getting.
This comment from the article is incredibly myopic because either you did in fact bootstrap against harsh circumstances or you know you didn't because the recession has dealt you a tough hand. I think the outlier is the individual who think they did it themselves and really believes that (when they didn't).
The only people I know who own homes, in the markets mentioned, wouldn't consider themselves white so I can't figure out what they're trying to say here.
- Read in the voice of Lt. Commander Data
I tell ya, those millebnials...
"Let go of the idea that you can live as an independent human" have a word with yourself.
I assume your family has a couple generations of America under their belt? If so, I'm not surprised you find the statement your op to taste bad. It's fundamentally opposed to the American value system (though as this article indicates, at odds with the reality of America today).
Are they wrong? If you had time to apply for colleges because you had housing in high school and didn't have to work all day to pay for food and housing, are you truly independent? If you didn't have to fetch your own water every morning and hunt your food? Maybe you think I'm taking the argument too far, but I see where they are coming from. True "freedom" is a bit of a myth, and shouldn't it be? Do you want to be the sole party responsible for ensuring your medicine isn't laced with arsenic?
In any case, other cultures have taken on the idea of familial responsibility and wealth to great success by their own measures. Just because it is different, doesn't mean it's bad.
And tuition ?
> your parents controlling your life past 21.
I think you have some kind of archaic idea of what parents supporting their child looks like. My parents let me pursue my dream (tbf conveniently it was in STEM) and funded my undergrad and masters.
It cost them their life's savings, but it comes with an understanding that I will support my brother's education and we will support them in retirement.
I've been away from home for 8 years at this point, and I can't think of any major restriction on me, as a result of being financially dependent on my parents.
As a family, it is a win-win. My parents get a better retirement through me, both me and my brother can get educated debt free and if anything goes wrong, it would delay our plans but won't destroy us financially the way a $100k loan would. (my parents' annual income is ~12k)
> at 15 I was ready to operate independently
If you still believe that, you might have some maturing to do. Every person I've known at 15 has been too young to live independently without screwing themselves over in some way or form.
> individual freedom to the maximum extent
I have to ask. What are these things that you felt you couldn't do when you were financially dependent on your parents / living with them.
Your experience is not necessarily universal.
> I have to ask. What are these things that you felt you couldn't do when you were financially dependent on your parents / living with them.
I'm from East Texas and I know of many families back home that have a "our money, our roof, our rules" mindset. It's not uncommon for these parents to use the threat of "do what we say or we're pulling your support" to control them. For instance "We don't like your girlfriend, break up with her or we're cutting your support", or "We'll only pay for your college if you major in what we want".
I've also seen these families impose curfews on their adult children, prevent them from drinking at home, prevent them from having certain hobbies or socializing with certain people, etc.
Myself and many of my peers moved away from home and became financially independent from our parents to avoid this situation.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/zetkin/1920/lenin/zetkin1.h... (Probably in the "What About the Men?" section)
Edit: since I was downvoted, and since the Lenin interview is gold, I'll mine some for you... hopefully with enough context:
"I ask you: Is now the time to amuse proletarian women with discussions on how one loves and is loved, how one marries and is married? Of course, in the past, present and future, and among different nations-what is proudly called historical materialism! Now all the thoughts of women comrades, of the women of the working people, must be directed towards the proletarian revolution."
I totally get where you're coming from, but I think you're tilting at something of a straw man here.
Consider my own case: I received quite a bit of assistance from my parents, particularly in my late teens and early twenties. By 30 or so, direct assistance from them was limited to non-essentials - they paid for our annual family vacations, for instance, and bought my wife a new SUV when our second child was born. None of those were necessary, but of course we benefited.
The point of individualism as I see it isn't to be able to say "I accepted help from no one to get to where I am", but to be able to say "I am secure where I am, and need help from no one to maintain that security." It might seem like a subtle difference in phrasing, but it's actually not.
One of the biggest reasons I work as hard as I do to build wealth is so my children will have the best start in life I can give them. That doesn't mean that I'm going to give them a big chunk of cash - or any cash, honestly. That means that we can homeschool them, my wife doesn't have to work outside the home, and we can afford to give them experiences that many (or most) their peers will likely never have.
My dream isn't to create heiresses that never have to work. My dream is to give my daughters a childhood that prepares them to be the absolute best people they can be, and from which they can springboard to the life they decide they want.
To put it another way - if, in thirty years, my daughters are living a life of luxury having never hard to work hard for it or stress about money, I will have failed. If they're living a secure and fulfilling life, then I've succeeded regardless of what socio-economic class they fit into.
> In any case, other cultures have taken on the idea of familial responsibility and wealth to great success by their own measures. Just because it is different, doesn't mean it's bad.
I completely agree here. My parents cared for my maternal grandparents throughout my childhood. First they move them close and kept them in their life (and took advantage of "free" childcare). Over time they moved them closer still until they needed on-site care, at which point they bought a larger home and built out the walk-out basement into an apartment for them. They were part of my family life until I myself was an adult, and my parents took full responsibility for their care.
I'm 35 today, and see myself stepping into the same role for my in-laws. My parents are both healthy and financially secure, but my in-laws are not. They're still able to live on their own (and likely will be for a couple of decades now at least), but I've taken responsibility for their transportation needs and provided them with a reliable, new vehicle that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford. I'm working on expanding my personal investment portfolio into residential real estate, and expect that within a few years I will have moved them into a "rental" property that my wife and I own, at which point I will consider myself responsible for their housing. If the time comes that one or both of them need 24/7 onsite care, then they'll probably be living either in our home or very nearby.
From my perspective, this is what family means.
At the same time, there is an underside to this. No one gets to choose their family, and a cultural that presumes familiar support is a cultural that makes life harder for those who happen to be born into dysfunctional or tragic families.
Maybe the way to thread the needle is to have a culture that says "we're in this together" and is based on more "family" as defined by the people you choose to make part of your life and less people you happen to share DNA with.
I'd say it's the exact opposite. A culture that does not presume family support is one that feels it unnecessary to lend a helping hand to those without strong family networks to draw upon.
Family support is, for most people, a given -- to pretend it doesn't exist is to deny reality. When someone faces life without it, he can't help but feel a bit cheated. When one considers family help to be unremarkable, then those who succeed without it look all the more exceptional.
Two of my Chinese American friends own property in a high COL area due to help from their family (none of them are rich) but they are far from "ashamed" of it nor do they think they did it all by themselves. The "flipside" is that the sons and daughters are expected to house and take care of the parents once they reach very old age and do the same thing their parents did to them with their own children.
I suspect the real difference is between middle/upper-middle-class Americans and everyone else. There was a brief spell when a kid from a middle class household could go to college at 18 and afford to start a family, and not look back. The NYT finds it remarkable that its often no longer true. But it wasn't true for much of America even in the 20th century. Multi-generational entanglement was always common.
> Maybe. The O.P. seems so sure in his conviction that "South Asia's" culture in this regard is superior without evidence.
It's not a conviction. I'm not wedded to any side (nor is this an issue with a side). I didn't say in my post that any one thing was better than others. I'm simply saying that there are other places on Earth where finances are more intertwined and people don't feel shame about that. We can learn from other people and cultures and maybe in the process lose what is not a particularly helpful narrative in our society.
Is any one culture perfect? No. South Asia has many problems. But one problem I see less of is this idea that taking money from your family is bad. In America we all get money from our relatives when they're dead, and we do so guilt free. Why do we fret about it just because they're alive and can see us actually enjoy it?
Changes opinions to be against estate taxes (my family earned this money why do you get to tax it)?
Establishes expectations of inter-generational help or wealth?
I'm not sure I see even one argument against the safety net specifically. A semi-argument seems to be that a familial safety net will somehow reduce other safety nets, but that sounds like a false dichotomy at best.
Slightly off-topic, but in recent memory: The woman from Alabama who joined ISIS had experienced poor family relations and is now stuck in a refugee/detention camp in Syria. Because of the poor relationships, her ignorance in Islam and ISIS enabled them to turn her to support their cause, which she seems to now renounce.
But I question whether this is “new.” None of this would be unusual in the least in Bangladesh, where my family is from. I strongly suspect that it’s not new in the US either, or at least was only unusual compared to a status quo that existed only for a blip of time during the 20th century.
You're entirely correct. I'll go a step further and say it never even went away--at least in my experience as a child of lower middle class White baby boomer parents in the South.
I have a great uncle on my mom's side who stayed at home while he finished college and then him and his wife lived with his parents for a while after he graduated.
My dad's oldest brother and his wife lived with their parents for a while.
My dad's youngest brother lived with his parents for years.
My grandparents eventually moved in with my dad and his wife--partially because they were getting too old to maintain a house, but also to help him afford a new house after he'd gone through a bankruptcy.
Both sets of grandparents also provided my parents with free childcare, and my parents and aunts and uncles all borrowed plenty of money from my grandparents over the years.
I have many friends who've had similar experiences.
> Historians Alan Macfarlane and Peter Laslett postulated that nuclear families have been a primary arrangement in England since the 13th century. This primary arrangement was different than the normal arrangements in Southern Europe, in parts of Asia, and the Middle East where it was common for young adults to remain in or marry into the family home. In England multi-generational households were uncommon because young adults would save enough money to move out, into their own household once they married. [...]
> Critics of the term "traditional family" point out that in most cultures and at most times, the extended family model has been most common, not the nuclear family, though it has had a longer tradition in England than in other parts of Europe and Asia which contributed large numbers of immigrants to the Americas. The nuclear family became the most common form in the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s.
It's difficult to find a trustworthy source on the matter if you're just doing a quick google search.
Probably the primary reason that multi-generational households were less common in England people married much later there than in the rest of Europe (Laslett does mention this in The World We Have Lost).
To be clear I'm not talking about seasonal migrant farm labor, more like (for example) the decline of the rust belt & coal belt, and the rise of tech hubs.
It's not very effective if kids move away to find work. Then it fails both the grandparents & the parents. That might be its greatest shortcoming.
I wish they had separated the unpaid labor from financial support. Grandparents helping raise the kids is a tradition as old as time; the labor portion is not the surprising part here.
It can be the difference between someone being a stay at home mom/dad vs providing a second income stream for their family.
The financial impact is that big.
If anything, having other family members in the child-rearing process is something of a luxury. If you have 'good-enough' parents and siblings, I'd imagine that you'd want the whole family involved.
I can't imagine how toxic a relationship you'd have to have with your family to see child-rearing in terms of dollars and cents.
Are there any articles or studies done on young people from working-class families or families that aren't affluent enough to support them?
There's been a fair bit written about this:
The entire trope is 'well off kid ends up working in coffee shop whilst subsidised by mum and will never buy a home'.
It's a strange microcosm.
People like me that have solidly working class backgrounds yet haven't been abject failures just completely disappear in this worldview.
I guess that's just identity politics. At this point, trying to engage meaningfully seems like a waste of time to me.
I do sometimes point to this article as something of note, that resonates with me as a member of that particular social group. Of course with many things, YMMV as to how much of this also happens to relate to you and whatever social group you happen to be a member of--since there are valid parallels across the socio-economic fabric.
That link can also be found in this article, which resonated pretty well with me for similar reasons.
Same caveat here: article doesn't necessarily go into the aspects of how Black millennial fare with parental-financial assistance, but I'm definitely keeping an eye out for such an article. Maybe I should write an anecdote laden response to the NYT piece here, and publish it on medium (mild sarcasm in use here).
> I find the tone of this article just stunning. Since when is there a sacrosanct right to live in the most expensive housing markets in the country? NYC is not newly expensive - it has always been expensive. When I graduated from college many years ago, I got a job in Manhattan, but certainly couldn't afford to live there. So I did what most people in my situation did: I lived where I could afford and commuted to work over an hour each way on public transportation. This is hardly a radical proposition except to those who somehow think they are entitled to have what they want when they want it. Sometimes you have to learn to defer gratification. The easiest time to do this is when you are young. After 8 years of saving, I was able to make a down payment on a house. 4 years after that I finished paying off my student loans. There is great value in learning to live within one's means and I am grateful that my parents found it more important to foster self-reliance than to insulate me from disappointment.
I find the tone of the criticism stunning, even if it were about the article and not millenials. The article is laying out how millenials have it different than previous generations. Yes NYC was always expensive but even now places that are 1 hour commute are out of reach for your average 30 something. It's tough to say when the commentor came up but the article is painting a picture that the game has changed and it isn't as easy as it once was to delay gratification for 8 years because it's more like double that amount of time. At that point we need to start asking questions to understand if this is sustainable.
It’s quite explicitly a criticism of the article’s tone, which suggests millennials should feel entitled to certain luxuries. This is markedly different than arguing that millennials hold an entitlement attitude.
> The article is laying out how millenials have it different than previous generations. Yes NYC was always expensive but even now places that are 1 hour commute are out of reach for your average 30 something.
Perhaps that is the case the article means to make, but it supports itself with anecdotes about how a down-on-her-luck millennial was able to buy a $400K San Diego condo on the beach thanks to a $40K gift from her parents. That might sound reasonable to a New Yorker, but to the rest of the country that is incredibly tone deaf.
This isn’t dunking on millennials—I’m a millennial in my lower 30s and I come from a lower middle class background. I’m renting downtown in a major US city, and I’m saving to buy property, so I’m very much the demographic in question. Still, I can’t imagine expecting my parents to help financially (they didn’t help with college either). The economy is perhaps worse, but the salaries in the article are still perfectly manageable if you don’t have to go out to eat every week or take annual international vacations or live in the hottest neighborhoods.
That being said, we are still probably the second-richest generation in the history of the world. Look at the squalor people lived in only 80 or 100 years ago: whole families in one-bedroom houses with no central heat or A/C, a chamberpot in the corner of the room, wood-burning stove providing all heat and cooking, and almost certain death by most diseases. If they wanted to start a business, they'd have to save enough capital to start a brick-and-mortar enterprise in a local market.
We have the ability to buy a $500 computer and start a business or learn a new skill from anywhere. We have access to wondrous modern healthcare (yes, which gov't interference has increased the price of, but the quality is nonetheless excellent). Cars are much better than they used to be---your 10-year old Japanese car with power windows will run until the bumpers fall off, and then probably keep going.
I'm certainly nowhere near where I want to be financially, but perhaps I'm striking an optimistic tone today because I watched They Shall Not Grow Old over the weekend. One of the veterans talks about how he was retreating after an offensive and saw a fellow 16-year-old writhing on the ground in pain after being blown to bits. He knew the boy was done for, and put him out of his misery. By comparison to what they endured, we live in Heaven-on-Earth.
> “But she wasn’t considering the fact that she graduated without any student-loan debt, came from a two-income household, as opposed to me. I am starting with negative wealth because I have loans to pay off and was raised in a family with only one income.”
The easiest thing would be to increase progressive tax brackets (why does it stop at 600k?), raise taxes on inheritance over $10 million, establish new multiple payroll taxes to help SSA (why do the brackets stop at 500k?).
The rich are destroying the earth through greed and society by destroying the middle class.
They had their fun, it's time for 99% of other people to enjoy the government.
Being in favor of a better world tomorrow doesn't mean that you can't play by the rules of the world today.
Every election, I vote for policies that will considerably increase my taxes, but at the same time, I expect my CPA to make sure that I only pay the taxes that I'm legally required to pay.
For example, when you are born poor, you develop skills that someone who is wealthier does not have the opportunity to learn.
So you can still have grandma watch your kid all you like, while the person who has no living relatives can still have a kid and hold a job by taking advantage of subsidized daycare.
Maybe parents shouldn't get to make decisions.
I am not liking where this thread is going.
Not vaccinating your children not only affects your immediately family, but everyone's children around you. That is the most obvious example, others include indoctrinating children in religion is another.
For me, it is very natural that family will always be a priority over greater society. This by no means insinuates that I have no loyalty to the people in my community, or my country-- I think that's too extreme of a conclusion to come to. If there's (God forbid) some natural disaster, a fire, a shooter on the loose, etc. I am always going to first check on and ensure the well being of my immediate family before that of others.