Boomers Destroyed the Planet & Economy, Millennials Trying to Save Both

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For the first time in a very long time an entire generation will be worse of than their parents. The wheels are in motion for that truth to be a set reality that requires drastic change that society likely can’t handle. Still, millennials are going to try to make the world better than they found it in the hopes that the next generation will be OK.

Over at HuffPo they have a great article that outlines how we find ourselves in this position and what we can do about.

But they’re right about one thing: We’re going to need government structures that respond to the way we work now. “Portable benefits,” an idea that’s been bouncing around for years, attempts to break down the zero-sum distinction between full-time employees who get government-backed worker protections and independent contractors who get nothing. The way to solve this, when you think about it, is ridiculously simple: Attach benefits to work instead of jobs. The existing proposals vary, but the good ones are based on the same principle: For every hour you work, your boss chips in to a fund that pays out when you get sick, pregnant, old or fired. The fund follows you from job to job, and companies have to contribute to it whether you work there a day, a month or a year.

Small-scale versions of this idea have been offsetting the inherent insecurity of the gig economy since long before we called it that. Some construction workers have an “hour bank” that fills up when they’re working and provides benefits even when they’re between jobs. Hollywood actors and technical staff have health and pension plans that follow them from movie to movie. In both cases, the benefits are negotiated by unions, but they don’t have to be. Since 1962, California has offered “elective coverage” insurance that allows independent contractors to file for payouts if their kids get sick or if they get injured on the job. “The offloading of risks onto workers and families was not a natural occurrence,” says Hacker, the Yale political scientist. “It was a deliberate effort. And we can roll it back the same way.”

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One thought on “Boomers Destroyed the Planet & Economy, Millennials Trying to Save Both

  1. It’s disingenuous to blame Boomers for destroying the planet. That’s a multi-generational problem that goes back to the age of coal and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. What’s important is how we have chosen to live since we became aware of this environmental catastrophe.

    As for the economic disaster, I wouldn’t consider Hayek or Friedman, Thatcher or Reagan, as Boomers, would you? I know many millennials, including my own children and their friends. Frankly, I find their levels of social consciousness and environmental awareness rather disappointing, especially as they’re going to have to deal with such a difficult future. They’re sailing into uncharted waters and yet they often seem oblivious to it.

    The young should be championing progressive causes. My experience of these organizations is that the Millennials are noticeably under represented. Like every generation before theirs they’re focused on jobs and career, financial security and advancement, and, most amazingly, procreation.

    Sorry, Adam, but I think your account lacks both realism and balance.

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