Millennials Are Experiencing American Prosperity
excerpt: Charlotte Alter of Time magazine, who just wrote a lengthy and positive profile of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, declares “AOC and I were born the same year. She was a Dunkaroos kid—I liked fruit roll-ups. People our age have never experienced American prosperity in our adult lives— which is why so many millennials are embracing Democratic socialism.” Charlotte Alter’s father is Jonathan Alter, the longtime columnist and former senior editor of Newsweek, producer of television series and documentaries and author of several books. Her mother is Emily Jane Lazar, who was the executive producer of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. Charlotte Alter graduated from Harvard University in 2012 and before coming to Time in 2013 she worked for HBO’s TV show Girls. Her brother is a producer for HBO sports, and her other sister is a venture capitalist. Not a lot of journalism students are working for Time magazine within two years of graduation. Not many folks get to work on a critically-acclaimed premium cable series as their stepping-stone job. Maybe Alter was paid poorly on those jobs; if she lives in the New York City area, she’s undoubtedly coping with a high cost of living. But to claim she’s “never experienced American prosperity” is, no pun intended, rich. But let’s move beyond Alter. The two women were born in 1989; let’s assume 2009 as the starting date for their adulthood. No doubt, the depths of the Great Recession were the hardest time in two generations. But the U.S. economy has added jobs for 100 consecutive months, and there are seven million unfilled jobs in the country. The housing market either quickly or gradually recovered depending upon your region, and auto production recovered, both at companies that received government bailouts and those that did not. There’s not too much inflation or deflation. Energy prices declined as U.S. domestic production boomed. Wage growth has been slow, but some research indicates this reflects companies hiring more young workers, who generally earn less than older, more experienced workers. Scott Lincicome lays out how more Americans households can afford more products. The stock market hit new highs last year. In late 2018, the World Economic Forum ranked the United States the world’s most competitive economy for the first time in a decade. Even the more pessimistic economists concede that the U.S. economy’s problems are smaller and less severe than anyone else’s.