Generational Changes

Daily Prompt: Generation

My teenage years were spent entirely in the 1990s when half-hour sitcoms ruled television and when the internet was just in its beginning. In high school it was strongly advised that we attend post secondary after or there would be a very good chance that we would become losers because a high school education isn’t good enough any more they said.

Post secondary education was probably advised to generations graduating high school a decade before I graduated but I get the sense that it wasn’t as strongly urged. If you were an adult in the 1980s there were still quite a few of those slacker union jobs you could get straight out of high school.

Back then a clerk at a big supermarket chain could earn twenty-something dollars an hour in a time when life was also less expensive. All those jobs are gone now.

The good pensions have become fewer. Most companies seem to be offering a matching contribution instead of the defined benefit plan that promises you a guaranteed monthly amount for life that you can also pass on to your spouse. The outcome of the former which is still much better than nothing is largely dependant on how the financial markets perform. If the stock market goes to shit and never recovers, your pension could be worth crap.

A detached home is not affordable for most people where I’m living. I’m not sure if most people have comfortably accepted that idea yet. Some can afford an apartment and many others will have to rent for the rest of their lives. Home ownership was a means for retirement for many. If you don’t own a home or a pension, you’d better hope you inherit something or that you earn a decent income.

The standard of living for the unambitious in Canada and America has declined. It’s getting worse but compared to most of history this era ranks way up there. Unfortunately, people have a very difficult time adjusting to going backwards.

I might be in trouble. Hopefully some of you out there will like me enough one day to take me in if need be. I make pretty good oatmeal.



13 comments on “Generational Changes

  1. Lousy Minx says:

    I’d say the standard of living has also declined for the ambitious. Yet, in terms of generational differences, you could also argue as to what a proper “standard of living” is these days. I’ve seen later millenials and whatever this generation coming up behind them is complain about being poor when they are somehow still able to buy 2-3 drinks a day at Starbucks and live in luxury apartments. But you know, they have to drive a used Acura in lieu of a new Range Rover.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MrJohnson says:

      Consumerism seems to be more of a thing in this era. There’s just so much more to spend your money on. The standard of living has probably gone down for most but I think the middle class are most affected. The ambitious spend their money freely assuming the future holds bigger things for them. I could never get myself to continue a 2-3 Starbucks


    • MrJohnson says:

      Shit..pressed send by accident. …I could never get myself to continue a 2-3 Starbucks drink habit. Maybe I’m just Even a daily $5 unnecessary habit makes me nervous.


      • Lousy Minx says:

        I don’t think that’s cheap, per se, it’s just wise. I don’t have any daily go-to habits either. Least of all Starbucks. It helps that I’ve never had coffee a day in my life. I don’t think the smell is attractive and the rare times I’ve tasted anything with even a hint of coffee in it, I have not been impressed.

        The middle class is always hit the hardest because they are pretty much the red-headed stepchild class. If you’re poor, you get help from the government. If you’re rich…well, you don’t need any help from the government. Plus the fact that the poverty line doesn’t move as rapidly as inflation does, so some people that might be classified as “middle class” these days essentially aren’t. The U.S. poverty line for a single person household is somewhere around $12,000. And that’s pre-tax.


        • MrJohnson says:

          I call it cheap just to be self-deprecating. I also like to refer to myself as being good with my money. I like coffee with my meals but even decaf gets me pretty wired to the point that I don’t feel well. It’s good that you don’t have to be a victim of that habit. I used to have a wine habit but that was when I had a lot of disposable income and didn’t care about anything. I’m sure that day will come around again one day.

          Yeah, middle class has an ever-changing definition. They’ll have to redefine the standard of living measures for the term ‘middle class’ to make sense.


  2. nannygrannie says:

    Very interesting. Quite a different world.


  3. Very true! We will own our own house one day when we’re old and finished paying a mortgage, but by then if we need care in our later years we will be expected to sell all we’ve worked for to pay for that care. My sons have resigned themselves to never being able to buy a property even though they both earn brilliant wages, it’s still not enough to buy. I’m grateful we have a roof over our heads and we eat and keep warm, luckier than some, but I never thought I would still struggle financially at this stage in my life.


  4. I love oatmeal!!! But unfortunately you and I both will need a place to stay! Times definitely have changed and I fear for the future. I, myself, am a renter… I plan to buy in the next few years but I have some work to do. I jumped out of the “work for others” world (officially) this year because I couldn’t understand the low wages because of the cost of living. I am also stuck in the city (not a great one) because the towns around are so freaking expensive… Now that I have vented my frustrations… got to get to work.


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