Are Millennials Actually Lazy?

Release Date
January 4, 2017

Topic

Basic Economics Economics
Description

Those “lazy, self-centered, millennials” get a bad rap. Jared Meyer, author of “Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young” explains how this generation both has higher standards of living and more government barriers to success than any other.

The Shocking Truth About Student Debt (video): Professor Daniel Lin outlines solutions to rising student debt, a problem that has made planning for the future difficult for millennials.
Government Goes into Debt to Help the Poor, Ends up Stealing from Them Instead (blog post): Professor Michael Munger explains how government debt and entitlements end up hurting the poor.

Evan: You hear things like, Millennials are lazy, and they live with their parents and they don’t want to work. All they want to do is tweet and whatever. That perception can be really offensive to productive Millennials, but is there a point there? Is there a point when Baby Boomers say that they were further along in their lives and their careers, and they owned property, that we take longer as a generation to basically become adults, to grow up. Do you think there’s any truth to that?
Jared: There’s a few things here. First, I would say we are lucky to be born when we were in the late eighties, mid-nineties, things like that. We’re going to have higher standards of living than any other generation on Earth. I will say I’ve never seen in the last 100 years of studying economics an engine … a generation that has had more government barriers to success. That’s what I wanted to point out with Disinherited, is a lot of the reasons why Millennials are buying homes, buying cars, getting married, all these different things. Sure, there’s changing ideas on what we want from the American Dream, but there’s also government standing in the way of our economic success.
I pointed out a lot of different areas, but there’s countless other ones that I’m sure a lot of listeners could think of. It makes you realize that when people are calling Millennials lazy, or self-centered or any of these other words, I think that applies to any young generation. If you go back to, I’m sure Gen-X was called that before, and the Baby Boomers were called selfish and crazy. You know, they’re going to burn the world down. What we need to realize, and I give this advice whenever I talk to older groups of business owners. Millennials are very hard-working, but they need to find something they’re more passionate about, and find that they really own a project. We don’t view work in general, from what I’ve talked to, all my friends, all the students I talk with, we don’t view work as something you just go to to get a paycheck and then you have your separate life-
Evan: Part of your routine-
Jared: Yeah, you want it built into your whole personality and what you’re trying to do, really to either make yourself better and make the world a better place, to empowering young people in the workforce through giving them, maybe, more responsibility or ownership over something is one way that I think you could get over the idea that they’re all lazy, entitled. Actually, speaking of entitled, how about the Baby Boomers?
Evan: Yeah, seriously, right?
Jared: [crosstalk 00:02:23]
Evan: Yeah, I mean