After that he bounced around—selling suits at a Nordstrom outlet, cleaning carpets, waiting tables—until he learned that city bus drivers earn an hour and get full benefits. In theory, Scott could apply for banking jobs again.But his degree is almost eight years old and he has no relevant experience.Salaries have stagnated and entire sectors have cratered.At the same time, the cost of every prerequisite of a secure existence—education, housing and health care—has inflated into the stratosphere.Add it all up and it’s no surprise that we’re the first generation in modern history to end up poorer than our parents..
I heard the same walls-closing-in anxiety from millennials around the country and across the income scale, from cashiers in Detroit to nurses in Seattle.But generalizations about millennials, like those about any other arbitrarily defined group of 75 million people, fall apart under the slightest scrutiny.Contrary to the cliché, the vast majority of millennials did not go to college, do not work as baristas and cannot lean on their parents for help.From job security to the social safety net, all the structures that insulate us from ruin are eroding.And the opportunities leading to a middle-class life—the ones that boomers lucked into—are being lifted out of our reach.The full-scale Tyrannosaurus rex is just one of the prehistoric highlights on display at Portugal's self-proclaimed "dinosaur capital", a new theme park in one of the most fossil-rich regions in Europe."We have 120 large-scale reproductions of 70 different species, spread over 10 hectares (24.7 acres)," Simao Mateus, Dino Park's scientific director told AFP.It’s tempting to look at the recession as the cause of all this, the Great Fuckening from which we are still waiting to recover.But what we are living through now, and what the recession merely accelerated, is a historic convergence of economic maladies, many of them decades in the making.The other applicants described their corporate jobs and listed off graduate degrees. “One time the HR rep told us she did these three times a week,” Scott says.“And I just knew I was never going to get a job.”After six months of applying and interviewing and never hearing back, Scott returned to his high school job at The Old Spaghetti Factory. He still lives at home, chipping in a few hundred bucks every month to help his mom pay the rent.