The stereotype of the millennial generation is that we are spoiled, emotionally soft, never far away from our devices and that we expect the world to bow at our feet.
That is a lie, according to Malcolm Harris. His new book, Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials, explores the truth of the millennial generation in an eye-opening way that I don’t think has been explored previously. Mr. Harris (born 1988) breaks the stereotypes of an entire generation. He points that we work our butts off, we have been taught that working for free is both acceptable and normal and our financial and employment situations are far from secure.
What Mr. Harris wrote struck a cord with me. It struck a cord because he is not afraid to tell the truth about this generation. While our parents and teachers may have been well meaning, they didn’t make things easier for us. The chapters that hit home for me were the ones about work and college. In the past, the path Americans took was pretty straight forward: after graduating high school, attend college (and by extension graduate on time), work at a well paying job for thirty or forty years before retiring around the age of sixty. That path is a thing of the past. Massive student debt, a lack of steady good paying jobs with benefits jobs and the ability to attend college and graduate within four years is the reality for many twenty and thirty somethings these days.
This book is a must read not only because it opens our collective eyes not only the wrongs that have been unknowingly done on the millennial generation, but it also shows today’s parents and teachers what has to be done to prevent the next generation from living with the same mistakes.
Do I recommend it? Yes.