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Updated by UBI Advocates on Jun 11, 2018
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Stories from the next generation

Public posts by the individuals who are expected to face the near future

1

It's impossible to "work on myself" when I can't earn enough money to move out of my parents' house

I earn $21/hr as a self-taught web developer in North NJ (minimum rent is $1200 a month -- so half my salary) and it's impossible to focus on either job skills or hobbies when I'm living with my parents. The noise level is unacceptable for concentration, and frankly I'm too depressed to go to the library. It's a vicious cycle and I have no clue what to do except post online

2

One of the most frustrating features of these times is this insistence that "things have never been better."

I hope I don't come across as an insufferable keyboard intellectual, but I don't think people in general understand how uneven the post-Great Recession recovery has been.
We've come to this point where we aren't "supposed" to be struggling anymore because of "record job growth", "record low unemployment rates", and "record market surges."
It doesn't matter that labor statistics don't reflect part-time, minimum wage, zero-benefit employment trends or would-be workers who have given up on employment altogether, we're just factually wrong, so get out of mamma's basement and get to work, bum!
I want to make it clear that I don't take our technological luxuries and services for granted; in some ways, things have never been more amazing, but in the fundamental ways, things have rarely been worse in the Western world.
That we live in the time of relatively free internet, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and social media doesn't make up for the affordable housing crisis, gentrification and urbanization trends, urban overpopulation, crumbling infrastructure, booming transient populations, the opiate crisis, stagnating wages, skyrocketing health care costs, unreasonable employment qualification requirements, unpaid internships, declining union participation rates, automation disruptions, and a rapidly deteriorating environment.
We're clearly in a lot of trouble, and there's little indication that anything of substance is being "done" about any of these issues, so this insistence that us kids don't know how "good" we have it is absolutely unacceptable.
I hear a lot about how America in particular has never been safer. It's true that violent crime is trending down long-term, but this smug optimism ignores the culture of social and racial unrest and lone-shooterism that's become the new normal.
The cultural fear is less quantifiable than violent crimes rates (and I'd be a moron to ignore them), but isn't it intellectually dishonest to insist that we've never been safer when we live in a world of anxiety about stadium bombers and tower shooters?
I guess it comes down to the 2010's class division: if you're a certain kind of person in a certain context, things probably have never been better.
If you're one of the overwhelming majority of us working (or non-working) class folks, it ain't as pretty.
EDIT: I should have said "...things have rarely been worse in America" instead of "the Western world." I wouldn't compare the time period to the Black Death or the world wars, for example.

3

Enrolling at a Community College for extra student loans..

To pay emergency debt I had to take on due to a boyfriend with a chronic debilitating illness being unable to work but it takes 6 months to get an $800/month disability check.
Thank God that'll replace about 1/3 his prior income.

4

I hate being beaten over the head with the failure to be an adult.

I've buried a parent, been homeless three times, and sacrificed the best life I had known in NZ to in theory build a sustainable life back "home" in the US.
And I am asked what I want to be when I "grow up."
I want to see one of my closest friends married. I have missed the weddings of three cousins, my sister, and my oldest friend - out of distance/thrift. I have missed important funerals. I am tired of missing out on the big moments.
I don't want to be bankrupt in 18 months and suicidal as I wonder how I can recover from that (i.e. debt and homelessness).
I want my life to be worth living - to enjoy it with people that I love. That means having work/money to function within in.

My birthday tomorrow will be awesome. (sarcasm)

5

Open Enrollment started today... No surprise, premiums are way up.

I know my premium is still much lower than a lot of people, but at my income level, it's really starting to sting. In 2016, the premium for my husband and I, after the tax credit, were paying only $37 a month. Our copayments were low and so was our deductible. I was over the moon! I couldn't believe it! This year, it went up to $90 a month. Still very low cost, but definitely a decent increase. I was still Very happy though, and my copayments didn't go up. For 2018? It's going to be $250 a month, and my copayments have more than tripled. The ACA made it so that we could have insurance. I finally get treatment for my OCD. My husband has been able to see the dermatologist (family history of skin cancer and he works outdoors.) I'm so grateful for it.
But at this rate, if our income doesn't increase a good bit in 2018, we won't be able to afford it in 2019... I'm worried. Not just for myself, but for all the people who NEED insurance but are at risk.

We need a better solution. We need it soon.

6

Is our generation having alot less sex?

So aside from financial woes that seem to plague this sub, is our generation also suffering in the sex department as well?
It seems like everyone I know and myself included aren't having as much sex or really much intimate relationships as previous generations. Is this due to the economic situation where we can't make enough to move out our parents homes or have to work all day and night thus having no social life?
Anyone else notice this trend of the sorts. Maybe it's just me and my social group but it just seems to me like our generation isn't as interested in intimacy as much.

I'll be blunt.
No one wants to have an intimate physical relationship you when you're broke/depressed/can't take care of yourself/have no prospects of stability for child-rearing, etc.
I honestly don't even try anymore. I haven't been with a woman in around six years now. It sucks, but what can ya do? It's horrible, and I live day by day now as a 31 year old wondering if I'm "supposed" to live a life with zero affection. One of the most terrible thoughts I have is, once my parents are gone... that's it. I'll be a wanderer (if that).

And before anyone chimes in... there are women that probably have similar issues as well due to economic stability and "not being good enough". This isn't a gender thing... it's a class thing.

7

Do any of you put off medical care & treatment that you need because you can't afford it?

Do any of you put off medical care & treatment that you need because you can't afford it?
I'm finding myself in this situation. Even with paying for high priced insurance through my employer, the out of pocket costs is more than I can afford.

8

How many of you think about offing yourselves at least once a week, and what keeps you from doing the deed?

Source: 31. Living at home. Haven't been with anyone else for over 5 years. Not EVEN applying for jobs, because it's all the same manipulative/exploitative garbage. I've had chronic depression since I was 15 years old, and the only thing that really keeps me focused/makes me feel good is lifting weights nowadays (when I have the energy to do so). What's your story? How do you cope with the relentless, anti-human garbage that is going on nowadays? ... I'm really sorry that so many of you feel this way. I actually wanted to respond to each and every one of you, but I'm not sure I can, really. I have zero answers for pretty much anything. It's overwhelming to read some of this stuff, actually. Please be well, each and every one of you.

9

I am lost and in need of direction

I graduated high school in 2016. Throughout high school, I worked long and often and was able to save up $11,000. With that money, I spent a little over one year traveling. I returned in July of 2017 to begin college at a Community College in my city in Texas. I have been working near full time with school and have been able to save up another $8,000 since returning.
My quality of life is horrible. I live in a dysfunctional and ugly city with no scenery and crazy hot weather. Every day I know my brother and sister go to jobs which they hate to pay off obscene student loans. I look at everyone around me and many are overweight and over worked. I am confused how we all have become so wrapped up in consumerism and working to pay off the frivolous debt which we have collected. I am miserable because I am being groomed for this same existence. I am going to Community College to save money, but will still leave with somewhere between 20-30 thousand dollars of debt. I need to live in a better city, but out of state tuition is so expensive. I know that with that amount of debt, it will be necessary to work a job which I do not enjoy. No corporate latter for me. Having the freedom of traveling for a year allowed me to see different viewpoints.
Money is not the end goal for me, and I find that it is for so many other people. This being said, I understand it is a necessary tool for living and do not want to be impoverished/no savings. Anyone who is in their late twenties have any insight on this period of their life? I am deciding between being stuck in a place I do not enjoy for four more years, finishing with debt, or moving somewhere else and potentially gaining residency for school (1 year minimum). Thanks!
tl;dr College or no college? No interest in debt or climbing a corporate latter as I do not need much money.

10

Living back at home, out of work for a year and a half

Living back at home, out of work for a year and a half, no g/f in 5 years as well. Did "everything right" by going to college and getting a degree, but no dice in the job market even for McJobs. Getting a dog changed a lot for me. Now I'm focusing on just enjoying my time with him and myself rather than constantly worrying about shit I can't change. Believe it or not, if you're fortunate enough to have little or no debt, you're doing better than a lot of other people who are swimming in it despite how well their situation may appear.

11

I'll sum up the reason why I'm thinking about offing myself once a week

I'll sum up the reason why I'm thinking about offing myself once a week: Being a welfare check for my chronically unemployed over 50 year old parents and being constantly invalidated, platitude spouted, and gaslighted by people when I seek help. I've been putting up with this for 3 years and I have lost any interest I usually have and I don't have the mental energy for them. All the things I used to enjoy is basically work to prove to my parents that i won't walk out or kill myself.
I don't feel I exist except as a punching bag from STEM lords, platitude receptacle, and a welfare check. I would have been debt free by now and would have gone to Taiwan for a month to escape from the political insanity this country. But instead I'm living paycheck to paycheck and have to constantly put up with how great the country is again and how unemployment is low by closeted neoliberals, while people write articles make me look like shit for even attempting to use video games escaping from the trumphobia. Sadly the only way my parents would have accept my death is if I get killed. If by suicide they will be distraught that they will be homeless.

12

You ever notice how people would rather believe that you choose to be helpless than believe that you can be in a situ...

Basically, people want to believe that you choose to be helpless because it makes people feel better about their situation. My guess is that they feel like they can't be living in a "just" world if it is by no fault of your own that your life isn't working out. Really, though, the motive for this mistaken belief doesn't matter. Maybe people are just ignorant. Whatever. It's their behavior that concerns me.

If calling out the system is always taken as whiny, how can it be expected to change for the better? Do you have to always be a public policy analyst ready with a plan to restructure x or y just to call out that x or y isn't working?

When you lay out the real practical choices, it's obvious that you have a right to complain.
Universal healthcare works in lots of other places, but when we try to pass the lite version with a mere public option and some price controls, it's murder. Automation will take away jobs and at the very least change which jobs are available. The bare minimum that we should provide (if we're earnest about keeping a civilization together) is a way to help displaced workers. Instead, we change the unemployment numbers to not include those who are hopelessly unemployed and make education/accreditation difficult in terms of both time and money. (Let's not get started on the implicit underlying assumption that those who are truthfully less intelligent don't deserve to live after losing their job. That's the practicality of an ever-increasing intelligence requirement for the newer jobs. I'm not even going to call that out as right or wrong, but you sure don't see defenders of this "reeducation" stance advertising that particular aspect.) And if you even dare suggest that maybe labor is an obsolete way to value human life in the face of increasing automation you are taken to be either a science fiction nerd or deranged lunatic. And the biggie, even if it turns out you choose to be hopeless, what does that say about how you were raised? It's not like behavior springs up out of a vacuum. Do people really blame movies and TV or some shit? Maybe they need to look inwards. Ultimately, the state of the country/society as something which doesn't provide opportunity for your generation is in the hands of the previous generation(s), unless we mistakenly assume that the mechanism by which this helplessness occurs is some widespread viral neurosis which spreads only among those who were seeking initial employment during a given time period. In reality, of course it's about infrastructure, public policy, and the economy, but even if it wasnt, that still doesn't mean the blame is on you. Hold yourself blameless. That's what people are trying to avoid. Blame. The worst part about the situation and the thing people don't want to admit is that you aren't to blame.
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
The most recent tree which has been planted by the older generations is already bearing fruit. Consider "Justice" Neil Gorsuch (age 50 bless him). Justices are kinda like trees in that you'll plant one and it'll stick around until after you're dead. Surely, this man has in his heart the well-being of future generations. I mean, he said: not to decide cases based on their own moral convictions or the policy consequences they believe might serve society best and also to retain existing law [banning assisted suicide and euthanasia] on the basis that human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and that the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong
which are totally in-line with each other. Also, we can tell his more literal reading of previous law and the constitution is the right thing to expect. I mean, who wouldn't want a justice that thinks
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime[...], shall exist within the United States[...]." is just a miracle of natural law writ into the constitution. And, with mounting student debt and the repealing of protections, I'm sure there's no worry for debtor's prison. Betsy DeVos would never aid in the practice of loan companies providing inconsistent information to those at-risk of defaulting. And it's not even reasonable to expect you to reply to every comment attacking or asking about your stance. That's just too much work, when the information is plainly available. And besides, you likely wouldn't be fighting in an argument, but challenging an ideology, which basically just means comments that continue unproductively beyond the limit to be viewed by default. ...I got on a rant there. The point was... There's no point. Just, good luck, I guess.

--- reply:
This mentality is a key point of the zombie ideology known as Neoliberalism:
ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376

13

the brainwashed gladly acting against their own self interest to support a status quo they're teetering on the edge of.

The fantasy narrative has already won. My co-worker has been a contract worker for four years with no sign of being taken on as permanent an the only benefits are some unpaid vacation days. His wife had a mental breakdown and is about to lose her nursing job and insurance, he's already calculated its going to be -36,000 a year in lost income and added expenses, but he goes on to start complaining about all these undeserving people and how no one is willing to work or make good choices. He's completely at the whim of the corporation that employes us and hes cheering for the safety net he needs to be taken away so we can finally punish the welfare queens. He's already paycheck to paycheck and in his late 40's and totally willing to accept poverty thinking he'll just get another job and work back out. Its been said before but I had to get out my version or I was going to have a stroke.

--- American neoliberalism is a hell of a drug. He's hypernormalized and nothing will break him out until he loses everything! In Australia, the goal of politics and the desire of most people is to maintain the status quo. Despite the fact we face huge indirect issues that will eventually have a negative impact on our lives, no one wants to upset what looks to be a good thing in front of them. So long as people can go out for breakfast on the weekend, watch the bachelor, and potentially get rich from sports betting, no one wants anything to change. It's the most frustrating thing.

14

I would never allow a job to possess me like that

My parents are workaholics who make a good wage but are obsessed with their work. They are always working and always miserable about work. I've made my mind up since I was 11 that I would never allow a job to possess me like that. I am now pursuing a career in the Mental Health/non-profit field. It really sucks now due to the mediocre wages and high cost of living in Denver, but the work is meaningful. My biggest concern is just making enough for a meager house/condo and living expenses. If I can do that, I actually feel that I'll have a happier and more content life than my richer parents. I just hope the cost of living doesn't leave me behind.

15

I don't care about not being successful. I just hate that (more than it did in my parents and grandparents generation...

Like my grandmother and mother and aunts and uncles went through phases where they were less than successful, but even during that time, they had all these cool experiences and got to express themselves artistically and live in major cities. I'm broke as fuck and for the majority of my time I have to work, when I am not working I rarely have money to go out and do anything and I live in the middle of nowhere and all there is around here is bars, restaurants, and shopping centers. Any activities to actually DO are super expensive. Supplies for crafts and arts are out of reach. Just meeting up with people in the country where I live is hard because of gas and distances. I am so done with it but of course I can't afford to move, either.

16

On the magical promise of "AI"

The reason the promise of "AI" is so popular and alluring, is because the concept promises a future where people can continue to sit around on their asses and do nothing... except now we have some magical computer fix all of our problems...somehow. It will wave its ethereal arms and sunshine and rainbows will cover the earth. A paradise will result. That is why it is magical. Pure fantasy.
The dirty truth that no one wants to face, is that no one is coming to save us. Not AI, not Trump...We have the burden of solving our own problems... and for the wealthy and community leaders - the problems of our neighbors.

17

My dad

My dad put himself through college working as a dish washer. After working 5 years, he bought a house. If you finish college today, you're in debt for $20,000+ and your most likely job is shift lead at Starbucks/McD's.

18

"Luxuries" I Have Recently Given Up

As my SO enters his 9th month of unemployment despite a degree from a well known regional university and 4 years of case management experience, we have begun giving up more and more. Like... -haircuts -new clothes (including socks and underwear) -cable (never had it anyway) -an entire car (we split one now) -any sort of travel/fun activities . We are lucky in the sense that my salary covers rent, food, and needed bills, but it just sucks. . My coworker made a comment that I must really like the 5-7 outfits that I often wear. I wanted to cry because it's literally all I have other than the casual stuff I wear on the weekends. - I just don't understand how people do it. I feel like homeownership is completely out of reach. I feel like my SO will never find employment that pays more than $2 over minimum wage. I'm just fed up.

----"I just don't understand how people do it." --- Most people in our generation are just not "doing it". You are definitely not alone.
The only obvious things I can think of to help are moving in with family to save on rent and utilities or having your SO go back to school as a job.