News & Politics

Salon: Millennials Aren't Saving Because They Think Capitalism Will Fall

Salon: Millennials Aren't Saving Because They Think Capitalism Will Fall
Image Via Shutterstock, a pretty brunette millennial on her laptop sipping coffee outside.

Millennials are an interesting generation. On one hand, this is the generation that will burn down their own school because they don’t like the speaker. On the other hand, they’re apparently more likely to support the Second Amendment than anyone thought they would be. This dichotomy is odd, to say the least, but it also means that millennials don’t actually speak with one voice.

Which is why Salon’s claim that millennials aren’t saving because they don’t believe capitalism will be around when they’re old is so laughable.

Salon’s Keith A. Spencer writes, “CNN reported last week that 66 percent of millennials aged 21 to 32 have nothing saved for retirement. And while their writer chalks up this inequity to student loans, ‘stagnant wages’ and ‘high unemployment,’ there may yet be a deeper cause: many millennials honestly don’t see a future for our economic system.”

Spencer adds: “The idea that we millennials’ only hope for retirement is the end of capitalism or the end of the world is actually quite common sentiment among the millennial left.”

However, Spencer then included a large number of anecdotes from people convinced that capitalism’s days are numbered and that only socialism can save us.

Haven’t we heard that before?

Oh, yeah. It’s only the mantra of every socialist since the day Marx published his screed masquerading as economics more than a century and a half ago. Socialists are always predicting the inevitable end of capitalism. Meanwhile, it just keeps on making everything better.

Funny how that happens.

Spencer’s sources don’t speak for their generation, and capitalism will never be “doomed.” America’s poor, for example, still have some of the highest standards of living in the world. It’s socialism that is dead on the drawing board: see how socialism failed exactly as predicted in Venezuela? Even soldiers are eating from the trash there.

Oddly enough, I think most millennials know this. I think, as in Spencer’s post, we are simply hearing from a vocal minority that drowns out the voices of saner members of their generation.

Why are so many failing to save?

For most, it’s simply a matter of logistics. They don’t save any money because they don’t have any.

Far too many of them got crap degrees and are working crap jobs now, but still have to pay back student loans. Others are just being irresponsible — kind of like how I was in my 20s. They figure they have plenty of time, so they don’t worry about retirement, not grasping the power of compound interest.

But without some hard data to back up Spencer’s thesis, I’m not ready to believe that most millennials are really that stupid. Even if they are now, it’s unlikely they will continue to be so foolish as they become adults with responsibility.