In an article titled, “Dear Millennials, Our Avocado Toast Is Prosperity,” Evie Magazine pushes back against millennials such as Charlotte Alter and AOC who say that “people our age have never experienced American prosperity in our adult lives.” Evie continues on to explain that “the statements of the two young women are indicative of a subset of millennials entirely out of touch with and ungrateful for the privileges of modern American society.”
For those of us who fall into the same generation, it can be easy to see where they’re coming from. Accustomed to everything at our fingertips, we forget that we live in a golden age. While some may truly have great obstacles and difficult circumstances to overcome, most of us enjoy lives without unmet hunger or basic needs. Many millennials enjoy their juice bars and spin classes but continue to bemoan the lack of American prosperity.
What do they think prosperity looks like?
Evie illustrates the problematic mentality of many millennials:
the notion that the American system is intrinsically rigged against us millennials, and that we have never been able to experience the benefits of the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world.
The sense that the “system is rigged against us” has pervaded America’s younger generations. Instead of realizing the incredible comfort and privilege we enjoy, many have turned to democratic socialism, forgetting the history lessons of yesterday and today. Despite being unable to cite a nation where socialism has not brought great ruin and suffering (Scandinavian countries are not socialist), millennials are drawn to the promises of socialism in contrast to the “cold-hearted” free-markets and policies of capitalism.
Evie argues that “it is not a distrust in capitalism that is leading to the acceptance of socialism, but an unawareness and ingratitude of its benefits.” An example immediately springs to my mind: at a prominent Ivy league school this past spring, the Baccalaureate speaker, whose speech, although coming from a conservative viewpoint, argued predominantly for dialogue and listening to differing opinions, was greeted by protesting graduates.
Unsatisfied with the effects of their protest and enraged by the speaker’s words, the class president took it upon himself to respond the next day with “thanks for the advice, but we don’t need it.” The class president’s statement elicited loud cheers from the graduating class listening that day.
This example is one among many of why millennials are turning to socialism. Our arrogance, founded upon an unawareness of the charmed lives we lead, encourages us to think that while socialism has not worked in the past, somehow, we know the secret to its success.
Evie magazine’s article provides an overview of our prosperity, from smartphones to spending on entertainment, to the cost of essentials like shelter, utilities, food and clothes. We’re more highly educated, live longer, and have more job opportunities, particularly for minorities.
Evie provides some context for millennials:
While America is by no means perfect, to call it rigged is an ungrateful and inaccurate assessment of the freest and most prosperous nation in human history. The great prosperity we are actually experiencing, the real privilege we have is the American privilege. We are all riding on the coattails of those who have gone before us in establishing the freedoms of this great nation. Those who have given their lives to end slavery, those who created a public education system for all, those who have fought for a woman’s right to vote, those who ensured students with any disabilities have just as many (if not more) rights than traditional students, these are the people that have appreciated and promoted American prosperity.
Amen sister. Let’s try to remember the benefits we enjoy and preserve the same American prosperity for future generations.