COVID-19 is Further Proof That America Has Failed Millennials, and Everyone Coming Up After Them.

The coronavirus aftermath is just another reminder that we deserve so much better.

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Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

As the coronavirus continues to spread and leave not only a health but an economic crisis in it’s wake, a recent study on the impact it’s having offered some incredibly sobering statistics in regards to who’s feeling the brunt of the economic devastation.

According to the executive summary of the study conducted by Data for Progress,

“The financial impact of the coronavirus is hitting Americans hard: thirty-three percent of voters have already lost their job, been furloughed, placed on temporary leave, or had hours reduced, with 41 percent of those who’ve lost a job already reporting having trouble covering basic costs. Black Americans are feeling the worst of the financial crisis with almost half (45 percent) reporting they’ve lost jobs, hours, or been put on leave. A $1,200 check for adults and $500 for children is inadequate to cover expenses for more than a month for most voters.”

A graphic offering a visual in to more of the details of the study provided some even more devastating statistics.

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Image via Data for Progress

Of those surveyed that are 45 and under — in other words, millennials and Gen Z — 52 percent of them have reported losing their jobs, lost hours, or been put on leave. Another 8 percent expect those outcomes, for a grand total of 60 percent of younger Americans suffering a loss of their job or job insecurity in the wake of this devastating epidemic.

I just turned twenty five in February. I have already seen an economic recession, and am in the midst of experiencing what is very likely to turn out to be a depression. Being right in the middle of what people consider to be the youngest of millennials and the oldest of Gen Z, it’s clear to me that COVID-19 is just further proof of the fact that the United States has failed both of these generations, and those that are coming up after them.

If not failure, what else should we call it when 52% of those 45 and under have not only lost all or some of their income at a time when 62% of us are already living paycheck to paycheck, but they’ve lost their health insurance as well? What else should we call it when millennials were coming of age in the midst of an economic recession in which those responsible were giving themselves bonus’ with taxpayer money, only to have another even worse financial crisis happen twelve or thirteen years later that results in us getting means tested for crumbs of relief?

In the richest country on earth, it didn’t have to get this bad.

We are responsible for making this nation more profitable than any other time before, and yet a significant percentage of us have never known what it felt like to see the fruits of that labor. Companies like Amazon don’t pay a penny in taxes, and yet their workers are struggling to even get paid if they’re ill. As the class warfare only becomes more and more brazen, younger Americans are experiencing firsthand the consequences of how end-stage capitalism is costing not just jobs, but human lives and the long-term stability of entire generations.

As I looked at the graph shown above, I couldn’t help but once again think of Bernie Sanders, and how since the beginning of his emergence on the national stage his largest demographic of supporters has been young people. When we see numbers like those, is it any surprise why?

On a more personal note it is incredibly difficult not to feel resentful. But my feelings I’m sure are nothing in comparison to those of some sixteen and seventeen year olds across the country who’s parents are no longer working with no health insurance in the middle of a pandemic, knowing that there are voters particularly of the older generations who are quite literally dooming them to a fate that they currently have absolutely no control over. As a nation, we have failed them, and the sooner we come to terms with that the sooner we can stop something like this from ever happening again.

If we don’t do something to help protect the younger Americans bearing the brunt of the economic devastation this crisis has caused, then we are just another step closer to becoming the end-stage capitalist failed state it feels as though we’re currently destined to be.

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