My last post all the way back in 2014 was about salaries remaining stagnant despite massive increases in productivity, focusing on the USA. Recently I’m seeing more and more discussion about the difficulty that new college grads have getting work, and the headlines tend to be along the lines of “Millennials Increasingly Unable To Afford To Live!”
One thing that people keep trying to do which they shouldn’t is compare with the past. We’re not living in the past, it’s a different world! You can say that in the 1960s and 1970s that our parents were able to afford a 4-bedroom house with a car and annual vacations on only one salary, but the fact is there were HALF the number of people on this earth back then! 3.6 billion in 1970 compared to 7.2 billion now! That’s a crazy amount of growth. Technology and industrial processes have rapidly improved meaning that productivity has increased massively.
This means that land/property is becoming more valuable, and labour is becoming cheaper.
This is not the fault of the Boomer generation, nor is it the fault of the government. It’s progress, and this is exactly what should be expected (note I’m not commenting on whether this kind of progress is good or bad, it’s just progress.) It will take a change in civilisation at this point to halt the trend of consumerism that is driving this. And at the end of the day, most people don’t want that.
The same people that complain that they can’t find jobs are often the same people wishing for free college tuition for all. It’s not free, until teachers and colleges are willing to provide the services for free. Someone must pay. And if everyone has a college degree, how do businesses differentiate between candidates when so many people apply for the same jobs, and so many people study for worthless degrees?
The same college grads complaining about low entry level salaries are often the same people that consider smartphones to be essential, when in fact they are just adult toys. Very few people can honestly claim they need a smartphone to lead a full life without impacting their social or professional lives. If you have a low salary, don’t buy a smartphone!
Yeah, it sucks that houses in places like the USA and UK cost 10-15 times the average salary, when our parents paid 3-4 times their salary. But what are YOU going to do about it? Here’s a tip: don’t compare, don’t complain. What you’re really asking for is to slow down population growth and stop promoting consumerism. So, get rid of that iPhone and HD satellite package, adopt a child, have a small wedding, stop buying useless crap, eat out less, and do something useful.