Generation screwed—and working-class
from David Ruccio
We all know that the Millennials, notwithstanding their constant battering in the media, are generation screwed.
The members of Generation Y know it, too, which is why they see themselves not as middle-class, but as working-class.
The number of millennials – who are also known as Generation Y and number about 80 million in the US – describing themselves as middle class has fallen in almost every survey conducted every other year, dropping from 45.6% in 2002 to a record low of 34.8% in 2014. In that year, 8% of millennials considered themselves to be lower class and less than 1% considered themselves to be upper class.
The large downshift in class identity among young adults may have helped explain the surprisingly strong performance in Democratic primaries of the insurgent presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has promised to scrap college tuition fees and raise minimum wages.
And, as members of the working-class, they’re beginning to challenge their employers over exploitation. That’s especially true when Millennials are forced to have the freedom to take unpaid internships.
The usual excuse is that, whether on political campaigns or in media outlets, interns are gaining experience, contacts, and references. However,
not everyone believes “experience” or connections are enough of a payout for weeks and months of labour. Over the past five years, former interns at Condé Nast, Harper’s Bazaar, Gawker Media, NBC Universal and Fox Searchlight have filed lawsuits against their employers, accusing them of exploitation.
Clearly, within contemporary capitalism, Millennials are getting screwed—and, as workers, they’re beginning to fight back