On Tuesday’s episode of “The Michael Knowles Show,” the host breaks down the financial constraints that are affecting the Millennial generation and how they will be forced to deal with it in the future. Video and partial transcript below.
According to the Global Millennial Survey, 52 percent of millennials said that earning a high salary was a top priority and 48 percent of millennials don't care about earning a high salary. Why not? The charitable view is well we're just not attached to stuff, we don't need your corporate structure. I think a more realistic view is millennials are kind of lazy. It's just socialism — why would you work hard if you're not going to get that much more out of it? Why would you say, I'd be willing to settle for an okay salary if I don't have to work hard? The people who build things, the people who do great things and the people who really succeed at the top, they all work super hard. They're not willing to settle. In terms of money, if they make a hundred thousand dollars a year, they want to make a million dollars a year.
Some people if they make a hundred thousand dollars a year, they say okay cool I'm going to only work this hard for the rest of my life — great. But people who really build things and work really hard, they'll say no I want more. Even if they don't get more, a hundred thousand dollars is a great salary, but they say no I'm going to work even harder. The people that I've met who are really succeeding at the top of their game — the ones who have made a ton of money or have gotten super famous or have been really effective in politics — the one thing I notice about all of them is they are working all the time; they are workhorses.
I think there's this myth that a lot of millennials have bought into because they bought into socialism, which is that the guys at the top are all lazy fat cats who just sit at their desk with their feet up, and they're counting their money like the guy on the Monopoly box while puffing cigars, and they're not working — and it's really all the people who aren't making a lot of money, they're just the ones working all the time. In my experience I've known a lot of people who don't make a lot of money, I know a lot of people who make an okay amount of money, and I've known some people who have made a lot of money. The ones who make a lot of money are the hardest workers. They work all the time because there's not a lot of room at the top and you've got to fight really hard to get up there and they do it. I think millennials are missing that message. Millennials think I don't want to work, the system's rigged against me. That means I'm going to have to subordinate my will, and I'm going to not be able to indulge in everything I want to indulge in and I'm going to have to make a mortgage payment and I'm going to have to settle in a place in a town and I'm I have to like know people and know my neighbors. That doesn't sound fun at all. I want to do me.
The only moral rule that we follow in this culture is if it feels good to do it. You see this expressed in how we treat sex, in just a hookup culture rather than a more "traditional" culture. You see it in how we approach our free time. What do people do in their free time? They play video games and they watch porn and that is the definition of if it feels good do it. You see the same thing in our jobs as you see in this social survey that 49% of millennials would, if possible, quit their current jobs within two years. Why? Because they're dissatisfied with pay and they are not advancing as fast as they would like. They come in and they want to be the boss on the first day. Less than three in ten millennials expect to stay at a current job for the next five years — because jobs aren't fun, even fun jobs aren't fun all the time.
When you come from a generation where you get a participation trophy and you get really high grades even though you don't know that much, you're going to be dissatisfied with the real professional world. I was not good at baseball and guess how many baseball trophies I have? Eight. Guess how many times my team won anything any championship? None, zero times, but I have eight trophies because they gave him to me.
You'll notice in colleges now the average GPA is much, much higher than it was in the '60s and '70s. They would attack George Bush when Bush was running for president because he was a C student, but he actually had higher grades than John Kerry who he was running against him. It's because a lot of people had C grades then. Now very few people get C's because of grade inflation and now people get A's. When I was in college, it was hard to get below a B+ and you had to pretty much punch the professor in the face to get below a B+.
At Harvard, Harvey Mansfield, who is probably the last conservative faculty member there, he gives students two grades. He gives them the grade they deserve and then the much higher grade for their transcript because grade inflation is a reality.
So, you come out of that world where you're told your super-duper special and everything you do is great. You come into the professional world and then most people start out as grunts. I've worked plenty of grunt jobs and if you'd been told your whole life that you're a winner and everything you do is great and you're better than this and you get into a job where you just have to be a grunt, you'll be dissatisfied with that and you'll want to leave it within the next two to five years.
The percentage of millennials who see starting a family is very important is now down to 39%, and that's way down from the generation before us and the generation before that.
The bright side is actually it's a little bit higher for members of Gen Z. So, it's not just that things are getting progressively worse all the time, it's actually that Millennials are the most stuck in childhood. Millennials are the most miserable. In terms of the behaviors that describe the difference between adulthood and childhood.
The generation that came right before us, Gen X, exhibits them at a higher rate than millennials and the generation that's coming right after us is exhibiting it at a higher rate than millennials. There's just something about our generation which especially won't grow up.