Transcript: Busting the myth of the lazy millennial

Hard Truths: Episode 2

April 15, 2022 
Listen to the full episode here

Angie Chan (00:02):

Hello everyone. I'm Angie Chan.

Paul Kershaw (00:05):

And I'm Paul Kershaw.

Angie Chan (00:06):

We're the host of Hard Truths. A podcast brought to you by Gen Squeeze, about Canada's broken generational system and how to fix it. Everyone I'm feeling good!

Angie Chan (00:20):

Today. We talk about the power of stories, clichés, and stereotypes. We talk about how these narratives regularly make their way into our daily lives and they keep intergenerational inequities alive and well, no, no, no, no, no. Don't worry. I'm not going down a sad rabbit hole. I do that enough, elsewhere. But today I am feeling hopeful, because while narratives have power over us, we have power over narratives. We can pick 'em up, drop them, question them, change them. Today we're going to bust some powerful myths that work to keep our generational system broken. I wish we had the rights to the ghost busters theme song right now.

Paul Kershaw (01:00):

Oh, me too.

Angie Chan (01:02):

Like bustin' makes me feel good!

Paul Kershaw (01:06):

Well, we don't need it, if you can sing it that well.

Angie Chan (01:09):

It is the best lyric, but anyways, bustin' makes us feel good. Paul, where shall we begin?

Paul Kershaw (01:16):

Well, today let's talk about two myths. The first is gonna be the myth of the lazy millennial. And this second is gonna be the myth of the poor senior. They shape our beliefs about who is deserving, a sympathy and support and who is not. And they work in opposite ways. One disadvantages, younger Canadians, the other strengthens support for our aging population. And so I really want us to think about them together.

Angie Chan (01:40):

Let's start with the lazy millennial. I, I actually hate that phrase. We've all heard this myth.

Voices on the street (01:47):

And what are like some of the stereotypes about your generation that you, that kind bother you?

Oh, so many, so many...

We don't want to work and are lazy. Yeah. Yeah. That's a big thing.

Maybe we would, would wanna work. If we knew that our work could actually amount to anything that we could save and actually, like, buy a house to live in. Meanwhile, we're gonna be living paycheck to paycheck. Exactly. So maybe that's why we don't wanna work.

It's not that we don't want to work. It's just that we want our work to be worth more.

Angie Chan (02:14):

Sound familiar?

Voices:

Yeah. Yeah. It's not fair.

Angie Chan (02:18):

When I think about my generation and younger generations options for accumulating wealth, the paths seem limited. We can work, but wages are a joke. They haven't even remotely kept pace with inflation. And I know you're gonna tell me that relative wages have been getting worse over time. So...

Paul Kershaw (02:24):

I am.

Angie Chan (02:26):

Great. Great. Uh, we can buy real estate, but oh yeah. That's increasingly out of reach. And then there's investing in finance, but frankly, at least for someone like me, I think I'm called a retail investor? Um, the system seems really complex and opaque. And by the way, can someone tell me what cryptocurrency is? I mean, really? I have to admit this is when I start to feel uncomfortable because I think I get dangerously close to being accused of not being grateful or not recognizing my privileges, not taking responsibility for my choices. I think about those things a lot. And I hesitate actually to talk about a lot of these things I do feel on uncomfortable.

Paul Kershaw (03:19):

Well, I don't think you should feel uncomfortable. I don't think others should either. Even though I do think we all should feel grateful for our privileges when we have them and we absolutely should take responsibility for our choices, but that doesn't mean we should accept myths that ultimately distract public attention away from how choices of our younger people today are being constrained by comparison with the past. And, and the thing I wanna do more than anything in this episode is to bust the myth that younger generations or millennials are lazy. It is just such BS. It is absolute crap because younger Canadians are twice as likely to get post-secondary degree and they pay more for the privilege and they're more willing to work hard for less. The reality is that full time earnings are down thousands of bucks after we adjust for inflation for young people today, by comparison with when baby boomers started out as young workers and young folks are today, less likely to land jobs that pay generous pensions or have extended medical benefits.

Paul Kershaw (04:22):

And so we all have this growing concern and rightly so for the gig economy. Now are younger Canadians entitled? Well, if you look at government entitlements, the reality is that retirees receive three times as much government support as do younger people. Are we consumerist? Well, I think every age group in Canada in the Western World really for that matter could have a really hard and long look in the mirror on this issue. And we are struggling as a planet to stay within what our earth can sustain as a result of our buying practices. And so I think we all have to look in that mirror on that front, but if you consider who's buying the big homes with the granite countertops or taking multiple cruises a year, there definitely is a grayish tinge to that hair color. And, and if you think about who's best positioned to be able to consume our most costly thing, housing. It's remarkable how much younger Canadians are having to give up on houses with yards in our cities. And heck many are having to give up on ownership altogether. So consuming that most important part of our standard of living is definitely getting further and further out of reach for younger Canadians. And I guess the last point, maybe like are younger Canadians whiny?

Angie Chan (05:39):

Yeah, I actually, I I've definitely heard that. I'm sort of like a yeah, “Cry me river” or “In my day ,when I was growing up, we lived through the depression or we lived through this recession.” I get it. Every generation has had some experience, some phenomenon that's been very challenging that they've had to, to struggle through. But does that mean that current and future generations aren't allowed to also point out how challenging things are right now?

Paul Kershaw (06:07):

Well, I think that actually we're not whiny enough. Gen Squeeze would argue younger generations need to raise our voices louder and louder, especially in the world of politics saying, "This isn't working for us!" And we did some recent polling on housing, uh, Gen Squeeze, lately. And it's so interesting to see how the myth of young folks being whiny seems to be like sinking in, in harmful ways. Cause we asked this question, do you think the housing system is as fair for younger Canadians? It is for older Canadians. And what blew me away is that older Canadians were more likely to agree that the housing system is not as fair for younger people. And that means younger Canadians can only think that the housing system is working in a fair way for them, if they're buying into the idea that I made some bad decision, I didn't choose the right.

Paul Kershaw (06:58):

I'm not working hard enough, I'm lazy. And the moment people believe such things. You know, we risk believing that we are personally responsible for our squeezed financial circumstances, rather than recognizing that we're inheriting this generational system that's harmful and villainous and broken because it is tolerating our hard work not paying off like it used to in the past. And the moment anyone believes such things, this devious mean-spirited generational system gets what it wants. Because it distracts younger Canadians from voicing their frustrations effectively in the world of politics. And since we know politics responds to those who organize and show up, socializing younger generations to be silent in the political world is a great way for that devious generational system to sustain its status quo.

Angie Chan (07:48):

I don't know why I feel uncomfortable noting these generational divides. I, you know, if I were to talk to I'll just say my husband, he would probably say, "you're, you're not radical enough!" But yeah, young people are getting put through the ringer and it seems like…United…what is it?

Paul Kershaw (08:08):

United we stand …

Angie Chan (08:09):

Divided, divided we fall. And this myth is a great tool for dividing us. What are the narratives we play into with regards to seniors then?

Paul Kershaw (08:19):

Well, whereas the myth about the lazy millennial implies that young people are personally responsible for their challenging financial circumstances. The myth of the poor senior does the exact opposite. And so we'll hear that seniors are vulnerable economically, which will then make them more deserving of ongoing political adaptation. And let's just be clear. The reality to human experience is that as we grow older, physical frailty becomes more common. My grandmother passed away when she was 103 and I had the privilege of spending decades being her primary caregiver, as she was experiencing more and more the frailty that comes with when you're in your nineties and into your early hundreds. And so that's a reality and there's no getting around that. And we need societies that work for all generations to, to adapt and be ready to prevent harms that can fall upon people as they experience that biological frailty.

Paul Kershaw (09:14):

And we witnessed that during the pandemic and we have seen way too many seniors in extended care facilities in really troubling circumstances. That's a problem and we need to do something about that. And we also know that there are some poor seniors out there too many, and we should do something about that as well. But actually the data are really, really clear: seniors aren't especially likely to be poor in Canada, by comparison with working age people or kids. And economic vulnerability has really shifted from older to younger a generation ago. In like the mid 1970s when my grandmother was starting out as being a senior, that's when there were especially high rates of poverty for seniors, but that has shifted since then. And in addition to poverty going down for seniors, wealth has been on the rise in no small part because home prices have been going up and up and up and seniors got in the housing market decades ago. So they benefited from that. And what I find especially striking is that there's this company called Zoomer media that bought the Canadian association of retired persons, which is the main lobby group for Canadian retirees in Canada. And the website of Zoomer media is really explicit about that. It says their demographic has the most wealth in Canada and they make the case so that they can attract more advertising dollars.

Angie Chan (10:34):

Wow. Wow. I did not know that. And I mean, you can't have it both ways. Can you, you know, we're poor seniors, but also the wealthiest strata of the society?

Paul Kershaw (10:44):

Well, I guess at certain moments when you're wanting to run a business around advocacy for seniors, it can be useful to spread that language about, Hey, there's real wealth here. But the problem is that the myth of the poor senior gets in the way of the reality of the data. And unfortunately governments will tend to believe the myth that retirees are economically vulnerable and not just biologically frail. And when they believe that myth, they fail to recognize that the big social problems of the past are no longer really the problems of the present. And when we fail direct that, then we have less reason to adapt our policy, which is exactly what that devious villainous, broken intergenerational system wants. It wants to sustain the status quo. So as we deflect away, the idea that young folks are inherently responsible for their squeezed economic circumstances. We simultaneously need to bust the myth that seniors aren't always economically vulnerable. And in fact many have privilege and wealth.

Angie Chan (11:45):

Yeah. I think you bring up a really good point that I'd like to explore a little bit more with you. And that's like, who are the people who perpetuate these myths?

Paul Kershaw (11:57):

Yeah, it's a really good question. And I think that I don't think people are going out like today, I'm gonna reinforce this myth. I think that the power of the myth is so pervasive that people repeat it, without having to think about it. It's like a cultural habit. So I think in my view, the power of the myth is at the systems level. It socializes us to not question how things have changed from the past. And so it leaves us stuck trying to fix yesterday's problem rather than adapting to new realities. Right? But what do you think, maybe you have your own, you've got a different take maybe? Well, Maybe you are more radical than you think?

Angie Chan (12:33):

I, I gotta be honest. I don't hear the poor senior myth as live as I hear the lazy millennial one. I think the default, when I think about senior is wealthy because in my mind now they are the ones who are the homeowners and they're the ones who are doing that well, wealth transfer down to their family, their descendants. But the cynic in me says, it's politicians that push out the poor senior trope when it's convenient for them. And it makes me think that they're trying to signal, "We see you poor seniors. We're not gonna let anything harm you. We're gonna protect you." And I don't hear the same kind of sympathy, championing of young people as I, as I do with our seniors.

Paul Kershaw (13:25):

Well maybe we don't care about it as much in other spaces because that's part of its power. It works for you.

Angie Chan (13:31):

Yeah.

Paul Kershaw (13:32):

And I can't tell you how I often I will go and take meetings with any of a range of MPs, MLAs, and this idea will come up of like who is deserving. Yes. And that's, I think really critical. Like one thing that seniors have going for them is that they have typically worked for decades before, like they put in the time. And so that, that time of hard work and effort makes people deserving. Whereas early in your lives, especially in sort of Western cultures, if you aren't taking personal responsibility for yourself, then you are failing on that front. And that is what the lazy millennial myth is all about. And the moment you're not willing to work hard is the moment that we can then say, you're not deserving of our adaptation. It's your fault. Yeah. And that's the risk because we are telling generations of younger people, ah, you are at fault for a system that is not rewarding hard work like it used to.

Paul Kershaw (14:26):

And like the facts are beyond contestation. I heard that line in a movie. I just love it. Like they are beyond contestation! The data show that full-time, the earnings are down thousands of dollars, once you adjust for inflation for young folks. And all the while, we know home prices are up hundreds of thousands of dollars. So when, in terms of like your major costs of living, hard work doesn't cover it like it used to. And that is no young person's fault. That is a societal problem. And you nailed our reticence to deal with it in the world of politics, because dealing with it partly means we need to disrupt the idea that seniors are poor and may need to say, "No you're powerful and wealthy." And that's a hard thing to tell anybody.

Angie Chan (15:13):

Yeah. Yeah. I think when we say seniors are powerful and wealthy, we're not saying that seniors have not worked hard, but we've all drunk the Kool-Aid in some way, in that we're all at the same time, the subjects of these myths and tropes, but we're also the writers, the tellers, the willing listeners of these stories. So then it's Hard Truth time is our system broken? Or is it doing exactly what we designed it to do? Is this the system we deserve?

Paul Kershaw (15:47):

Yeah. I think that's such a powerful question. I think that we need to recognize we are getting the systems that we are tolerating and unintentionally maybe designed and we need then to recognize what sustains that, you know, makes me think of... Have you ever heard the phrase, “the bank of mom and dad”?

Angie Chan (16:05):

Yes.

Paul Kershaw (16:07):

I hate that phrase. I love the idea that within families, families want to help one another, depending on you know, who older generation sees their kids or grandkids certainly wanna do. So I love that part. I wanna harness that and bring it into the world of politics. But in the world of politics, the bank of mom and dad is so harmful for young folks because it infantilizes adults, saying, "you know what? You can't make a go of it as an adult, unless you continue to rely on your parents to help support you." But it doesn't flip that around and say, "why the heck is the bank of mom and dad so damn rich? Where did all this money come from? Where did all this wealth they have in their home, this equity, where did it come from?" And it comes from younger folks who have gone to post-secondary more to land jobs that pay less, and then they work their tails off to pay more for housing. Many are then trying to borrow more money from banks and bid up the price of housing as they're trying to compete for what's available. All of that generates the wealth that enriches the bank of mom and dad. And so I think we need to be really careful about these kinds of phrases, like the lazy millennial or this really generous older generation that is continuing to deal with the failings of their kids. It's not that! It's the failings of the economic system. It's the failings of the generational system.

Angie Chan (17:25):

This takes me back to episode one where we were, you had provided that great overview of the three principles of generational fairness. So being a good steward, fostering generational reciprocity planning for all ages. So do these myths then, these two that we've discussed so far, and there are probably several other myths that keep the status quo alive. Do these myths inhibit our ability to act on these principles?

Paul Kershaw (17:52):

I think they totally do. In fact, that's the, some of the service that they provide to this villain is dysfunctional, mean-spirited, generational system. We're less likely to be good stewards, protecting things that matter for those who follow things that are sacred, like a healthy childhood or a good home. If we think people raising young kids are responsible for their struggles, cuz they're lazy or they make dumb choices about drinking coffee and avocado toast, et cetera. And retirees are less likely to foster generational reciprocity with those who follow by revisiting the amount of tax dollars, let's say that they either claiming or contributing if they and others buy into the inaccurate idea that today's seniors are especially likely to be economically vulnerable, which obscures the reality that they actually have lower levels of poverty and more wealth than other groups. And the myth definitely keep us from planning for all ages. If we don't know who's really struggling, if we're confused by that because our myths don't allow us to actually see the present accurately, then we have little motivation to shift our focus from past problems in order to fix the primary challenges facing us today.

Angie Chan (19:01):

I wanna go back to your point about identifying who's really struggling and figuring out ways to do right by them. In general. I think our society accepts that when we do harm to someone, we need to reckon with the damage. So if I break your window, I need to fix it. Right. We, we get that climate change seems to be an area where the world has at least paid lip service to the idea that older generations will be leaving future generations with an environment that will actually harm them. Um, and I feel like there's movement to address those harms in our conversation. So far, we've been talking about economic fairness and justice. And I'm wondering if you could elaborate on the harms resulting from generational inequities that we need to reckon with.

Paul Kershaw (19:47):

So first I think actually the environmental question is absolutely economic. And if you think about just the fight that Canada has gone on for years to try and normalize the idea that polluters should pay for their pollution. And that ultimately is what led us to put a price on pollution and heck your husband led Gen Squeeze into the Supreme Court of Canada to defend the idea that if we don't put a price on pollution, we are discriminating against, uh, younger and future generations. Cuz we are putting at risk, the very conditions that sustain the economy and conditions for their health today and going forward. And then more generally like what are the harms that we are leaving and not thinking about how to pay for? Well, an affordable home that is in reach for what people earn that have enough bedrooms for their kids with enough access to the ground.

Paul Kershaw (20:33):

So you could send them to play in the backyard, rather than play on a balcony, like that has been lost in so many of our cities. But the moment a group like Gen Squeeze says, okay, those of us who are benefiting from the rising wealth, we're accumulating because prices are rising eroding affordability. For those who follow the moment we put under the radar, the possibility that we should contribute slightly more in taxation, we will get angry emails saying “F--- off and die!” Literally that's what will come into our inbox. And then think about our country in Canada has been especially slow who invest in the generation, raising young kids when it comes to childcare. Like we were at the bottom of the international barrel. We're below the United States on that front. And it's only in the last months that we have actually been making some headway on this vision of $10 day childcare. And having our federal government invest serious dollars to make that come to fruition. In the years ahead, it's taken literally since 1970 and there was a Royal Commission on the status of women that first proposed a national childcare program. And these are symptoms of the intergenerational disease that is causing those who are creating harm to think that they don't have responsibilities to fix it.

Angie Chan (21:46):

Yeah. I, I, I think when we're talking about how to contribute to generational fairness, there are some people who will be moved by a moral imperative to do so. And I'm wondering, okay, for others who aren't moved in that way, what might be the self-interested motivations for us to work in solidarity across all the generations?

Paul Kershaw (22:08):

Well, I can definitely give you the financial sort of self-interested side, no matter what. As we have an aging population that puts pressures on our federal and provincial budgets, whether you want retirement income support or you're wanting medical care as you're aging. And you need people who follow in your footsteps to be paying for that, like you need them to be successful enough to contribute the tax dollars that are gonna keep those services available. But we talked about something that I think is actually much more powerful to motivate people last time, episode one again, and that is love!

Angie Chan (22:38):

Love.

Paul Kershaw (22:39):

You know, I use language of the aging population and it's kind of like a dehumanizing phrase. It's our aging parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles who gen really love us and they wanna get it right for their kids and grandchildren. Grandmothers in particular, I think are such a darn powerful force in society. And what I want though was more and more was grandmothers to raise their voices here in Canada, to draw attention to our broken intergenerational system because the prospects for the decades ahead... When you think about the combination of climate change, hand in hand with an economy that is not making hard work payoff because our major cost of living is so out of reach, those are big challenges ahead. And I don't think that's the legacy that our aging parents and grandparents had wanted to leave. And so rather than their thinking, what it's in my financial interest, I think the very love they have for their kids and grandchildren can motivate it so long as they retain enough love, not just for their kids and not just for their grandchildren, but the generations in which their kids and grandchildren belong because it's spreading it from the, the family table to the political table.

Paul Kershaw (23:51):

And that's where we need that love to extend.

Angie Chan (23:54):

Yes. Quick shout out to my grandma, speaking of the power of grandmothers and the love of grandmothers, she straight up asked my husband and I, this is the election time, by the way, she's like, you know what, I'm at the end of my life, you tell me how to vote in the way that serves you best. And I'm like, what? But she's thinking about it like that. We were floored and all your grandparents out there, if you're looking for some ideas on how to support kids and grandkids, that's, there's an idea for you.

Paul Kershaw (24:26):

That's a powerful question.

Angie Chan (24:28):

I know. So, so far we've been talking about two very powerful myths that have really served to both maintain the status quo and distract us from doing some really great work in identifying the problems honestly, and also addressing them. So of course I'm wondering of, okay, where's our superhero and I'm looking right at you, Paul, Gen Squeeze to the rescue! Tell us, tell us about some of the work that you've been doing in this area.

Paul Kershaw (24:56):

Well, it absolutely is the case at the organization of Gen Squeeze has really tried to see its role in being this Myth Buster on behalf of literally generations. And we've spent over a decade now engaging with mainstream media and political leaders to make the case that economic vulnerability has shifted from older to younger generations. And like in 2019, we were working with the federal government on their budget, and we convinced them to have an entire annex in that budget that focused on the squeeze facing younger generations. And then the pandemic came and in a really interesting way, given that as we've discussed, COVID inflicts the highest rates of mortality on the elderly people in our lives, who we love. We didn't want to distract from the important work needed to protect seniors. And we went quiet much more quiet on this theme than we had in previous years.

Paul Kershaw (25:49):

And it'll be interesting to see, like, you know, with this podcast, we're like bringing it back up and, and I hope we're doing that in a constructive, empathetic artful way, but no matter how... And when we focus on the myth of the poor senior, we need to bust harmful myths about younger Canadians. We desperately work hard to have younger folks, I hope listening to this podcast, now see that financial squeeze you're facing today is not a personal failure. Something bigger is going on in society. That's causing hard work in Canada today to not pay off like it used to for young people. And the moment we have that knowledge, we can move from a place of self-doubt to one of confidence, and I hope even constructive frustration, enough frustration to bring our voices into the world of politics, where we're gonna demand policy adaptations to restore housing affordability, to restore family affordability, to restore more opportunity for work life balance, to fight climate change and yes, to protect the seniors in our lives and the gains that we have made for an aging population. Because if we can use our voices to that effect, we genuinely make this country work for all generations.

Angie Chan (26:59):

Yeah. And I think when we feel strong and calm, when we're not driven by fear, we are able to be more loving and more generous. And so I, I love this as like a, the first step in having this knowledge of being aware of these myths and being able to question them and wonder, who's saying it, why for what purpose? So I wanna get to though some of the critics, some of the hate mail, what would you say to the critics who would point out that there are inequalities within generations? There are really well to do millennials and there are really poor seniors. That is a fact focus on intergenerational effects and intergenerational tension. Why is this a generational struggle and not a class struggle ?

Paul Kershaw (27:48):

Because we can walk and chew gum at the same time. It's both, it's "both and" not "either or." And we can talk about, you know, in the academy, say the intersection of ageism with classism and sexism and racism. And, and so Gen Squeeze is really focused on the age analysis into these other areas, these other inequalities, because we tend to think that there's only people who are rich. If you're part of the 1%, this came out of the occupy movement, like we are the 99%. And it's just the massive inequality between like the Jeff Bezos of the Elon Musks of the world and the rest of us. And it's true. And that is a part of inequality in society that we absolutely need to pay attention to. But I am concerned that those on the sort of left of center also have now have created an outdated understanding of who is affluent and it's failing to recognize how and why the middle class is being hollowed out.

Paul Kershaw (28:44):

It's actually compelling many older Canadians into the category of the more affluent in no small part because of the rising housing wealth that homeowners enjoy while it's locking many younger Canadians out of the middle class, because the rewards from full-time work no longer pay for secure housing and these were things that many in the middle class took for granted just a few decades ago. And so when I hear like the, we are the 99%, or when I hear, for instance, the federal NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, talk about those are the 1%, they need to contribute more. I'm like, yes. And let's look within the 99%. There are big differences there. And I'm one of them like I, as I, you university professor, I have a good income. I live in a Metro Vancouver where as a homeowner, I've been remarkably rewarded. I am no Jeff Bezos.

Paul Kershaw (29:34):

I am no Elon Musk, but I could be asked to contribute more. And in doing so take pressure off the incomes of renters who are in the middle of the income spectrum and who are in the lower parts of the income spectrum. And I think as we come back out of the pandemic, we have these massive government deficits, and I am shocked by the lack of conversation about who's gonna pay for all of the benefits that we have so rightly been distributing during this massive pandemic disruption. But if we don't talk now about who's gonna pay for them, the implication is we leave the bill for down the road and that's, today's younger Canadians and future generations. And that's just another way in which a broken generational system is further saddling, younger demographics with undeserved debt.

Angie Chan (30:22):

And I think this takes us back to generational solidarity. So it it's recognizing the differences within the 99%, but also finding commonality and reason to really act together and to take care of each other. So it's funny. I don't actually identify with one of these generational markers and I'm trying to think, okay, how do I contribute to this generational fairness? One of the first steps that we've talked about today is to recognize and question the myths so that we can be more honest about who's really struggling. And then what, like, do I need to determine which generation I'm in before I can then decide on how to improve things? I guess when we ask people to act in solidarity or to live in solidarity with other generations, what are we actually asking of them?

Paul Kershaw (31:20):

Well, if I hear you correctly, I think you're asking like, do I have to feel strongly that I belong to a particular generation before I can start thinking about being in solidarity with other generations? And I think that's, you know, it's kind of funny for a group like Generation Squeeze. And this is our second episode about generational fairness and Gen Squeeze as an organization, doesn't care if people identify with a particular generation, but what we do care about at Gen Squeeze, is that people recognize that there is a lottery of timing. The era in which one starts out as a young adult, makes a really big difference for the way in which the economy will reward their hard work. And at Gen Squeeze, we have used that phrase to bundle together gen X and gen Y and gen Z, in the recognition that all of those age groups have had economic circumstances that are worse than boomers.

Paul Kershaw (32:11):

When it comes specifically to the earnings that they're making relative to the major cost of living like the data are very clear. And that isn't to say that boomers didn't leave some really important generat improvements. Like we've made improvements in regards to fighting sexism and heterosexism and racism and colonialism. And so we owe boomers a lot for that and such improvements to those systems can remind us that we can fix broken systems. And I hope that we take hope from that, but it doesn't mean that it matters that you like, oh, I'm a millennial. And I really care about that. No, we have to care about just making it work later in the life course, earlier in the life course. And for those who are not yet born. That's working for intergenerational solidarity that Gen Squeeze is trying to promote.

Angie Chan (33:04):

All right, wrapping up. What I always get from you, Paul, is hope. What are some next steps for us?

Paul Kershaw (33:10):

So Andrea, we've been talking a lot about how Gen Squeeze has been in the business of myth busting to try and disrupt our broken intergenerational system. But you know, there's a child care movement out there. There's a housing justice movement out there. There's a movement for climate justice. There is a movement for better wages. These are all movements that are actually contributing important ways to breaking myths at sustain the economic system that is harming a range of groups, including a younger demographic. And so we're trying to, to invite our listeners in this podcast to join us in the quest in making sure that as we get it right economically and socially, environmentally, we're being mindful of the tensions that exist between young and old and future generations. And so when you hear generational keywords, like the lazy young person, or the vulnerable senior, your ears prick up and question them. Not in a way that's an intended to be combative or mean spirited or pit groups against one another, but to try and make sure we're fixing the problems facing us today, rather than ones that were in the past.

Angie Chan (34:12):

Thank you everyone for lending us your ears today. Please join us for our next episode where we talk about the budget. The sexy budget. Budgets that are sexy...

 

 

Transcript: Busting the myth of the lazy millennial
Transcript: Busting the myth of the lazy millennial
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