The Second Wall

One of the retrospective revelations of the 2016 election was that many millenials voted for Trump because they were worried about the future. "A new study ... by the Millennial Impact Report ... found that millennials had considered education to be the most important topic during the election ... however, this changed when respondents were surveyed between Nov. 9 and Nov. 14. The survey showed employment and wages were the primary concern for millennial voters."

The study also showed roughly 80 percent of all millennials surveyed said they voted in the election. In addition, the survey showed that the number of millennial voters who said they voted for Republican candidate Donald Trump nearly doubled postelection compared to those who said they were voting for him before the election. ... Most millennials who gave their rationale for voting for Trump said he had the highest possibility of improving the economy since he was a businessman.

They had reason to worry.  The Associated Press cites a study based on Federal Reserve data showing that "millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated".  They are on track to be poorer than their parents despite all that progress.

The analysis being released Friday gives concrete details about a troubling generational divide that helps to explain much of the anxiety that defined the 2016 election. Millennials have half the net worth of boomers. Their home ownership rate is lower, while their student debt is drastically higher. ...

Andrea Ledesma, 28, says her parents owned a house and were raising kids by her age.

Not so for her. Ledesma graduated from college four years ago. After moving through a series of jobs, she now earns $18,000 making pizza at Classic Slice in Milwaukee, shares a two-bedroom apartment with her boyfriend and has $33,000 in student debt. ...

The generational gap is a central dilemma for the incoming presidency of Donald Trump, who essentially pledged a return to the prosperity of post-World War II America. The analysis also hints at the issues of culture and identity that divided many voters, showing that white millennials — who still earn much more than their blacks and Latino peers — have seen their incomes plummet the most relative to boomers.

Millennials, having been assured they were winning each of the last 8 years in Obama's term, looked up at the final score and suddenly noticed they were 50 points behind.  The shock drove at least some of them to Trump.  Americans are not alone.  According to the International Labor Organization "global youth unemployment is one the rise again".   Nowhere are prospects more catastrophic than in southern Europe where youth unemployment is an astonishing 46.5% in Greece, 43.6% in Spain, 36.4% in Italy and 25.8% in France.  Only 3 countries in the EU have figures below that of the US: the Czech Republic, Netherlands and Germany.  Europe, according to a study cited by Josh Lowe of Newsweek, is creating a "lost generation" of people who will never know what it is to hold a job.