Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How Technology Can Save or Break Your Life

Centennial Sentinel
Machinery and early industrialism has built the long path to our current technological advances. It is infinitely expanding and advancing each and everyday. Technology has developed and advanced immensely over the past century; it produced many extensive and simple inventions that go unnoticed. For example, the medical field is something that will continue to expand synonymously with the advancement of technology.  However, "at this very moment, technology and human life cannot be separated. We use technology; depend on technology in our daily life and our needs and demands for technology keep on rising"[3]. The field and work of technology will continue forever, which is fascinating and remarkable.

Although technology promotes positive products and/or creations, there are negative aspects that come from it too. "Overuse of electronic devices may cause impairment in the development of a child’s social skills. Children who excessively use electronics may become isolated and fail to develop normal communication skills"[2]. It certainly is not uncommon to see a 12 year old glued to their phone to simply play a game. Sadly enough, the advancement of technology is definitely going to negatively impact the upcoming generations for this same reason.

On the contrary, the advancement of technology has been able to save more lives, create simpler communication, and explore outer space. With that being said, space exploration has been one of the most technologically driven fields that relies on the expansion of human intelligence. Although space exploration may be costly, it is necessary to have since they possess a key role in protecting Earth. The main positive outcome is that, "it helps scientists learn more about the earth’s atmosphere by better predicting the weather and natural disasters[sic]. Others, meanwhile, focus on looking for planets that can support human life, which may be the solution to the earth’s growing population"[1]. Life on this planet would be in danger if we did not invest in technology for NASA to use.

The current generation will continue to develop and create advancements that will only benefit future generations. Ultimately, this will produce future inventions that can lead to other breakthroughs.

By: Nicky Vasquez
__________________

SOURCES:
[1] Future of Working. 7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Space Exploration. 22 April 2016. 
[2] Ortiz, Adrianne A. USA Today. 19 April 2017. 
[3] Ramey, Karehka. TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY – IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON SOCIETY. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Millennials Are Witnessing the Rise of an Era of Geopolitical Tension

Nicky Vasquez
International politics has played a key role in global development in the 21st century. The geopolitical tension among nations domestically and abroad have heightened since many leaders want to maximize their ‘power.’ Just a few decades ago, the United States was the strongest country in the world. Now, there is a rising China, Russia, and Israel. Going from a ‘unipolar world’ to a ‘multipolar’ one, is a new adjustment for many. Countries like the United States and Russia are power hungry and cannot stand to see each other getting stronger.

Tensions arise from several factors. One of the biggest is militarization. This entails threatening a country with armed forces or with nuclear arms, by beefing up their military or nuclear arsenal. Millennial’s are learning about WMD’s (Weapons of Mass Destruction) more and more within contemporary politics. Another factor is the economy. Geopolitical tensions are driving the market at the moment.[1] Each nation wants to have a strong economy, however, other factors such as exports, imports, currencies, interest rates, etc. influence market strength. When one market is failing, it can severely impact many others, which creates more pressure and tension. To add, a lot of tension is deriving from the Middle East. With Syria becoming a failed state, ISIS gaining momentum, and oil being in most of the Middle Eastern possession, this all creates a scary situation. Geopolitics is rarely a zero-sum game. But in the case of shale oil, it is.[2] 

Let us not forget that the United States is simply the biggest contributor to this tension. Simply because there are American bases that encircle the globe.[3] Although these bases are taken for granted or are overlooked entirely, they still exist and when the bubble is about to burst, it is likely the United States will utilize these bases in combat. Many millennial’s may know more about the army domestically and internationally simply because times have changed. Budget and size of military is often spoken more now than it ever was before. Today’s media has been more effective and efficient in uncovering government secrets. It is a fact, that the United States spends the most money on their military in the world. With that being said, do you think that this creates some of this ‘geopolitical tension’ nationally and internationally? 

Nonetheless, other global events or entities such as: the refugee crisis/migration, UK leaving the EU, the United Nations, alliances, and the troubled Middle East all contribute to the geopolitical risks we face this very day.[4] These are the top risks many millennials should know about or have at least some knowledge about. With there being a competition of who can achieve the ultimate power first, do you think millennials will be the generation to see World War III? Only time will tell to determine whether the United States will continue to hold the strongest military or to see if the United States will engage in war with North Korea. 


By: Nicky Vasquez
__________________

SOURCES:
[1] Shawn Hoopman. Geopolitical Tensions Affect the Markets. Sharp Trader. April 13, 2017. Web. http://www.sharptrader.com/geopolitical-tensions-affect-markets/
[2] Geopolitical Futures. Shale Oil: Another Layer of US Power. June 15, 2017. Web. https://geopoliticalfutures.com/shale-oil-another-layer-us-power/
[3] David Vine. Base NationL How the U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World. The American Empire Project. Book. August 25, 2015. http://americanempireproject.com/base-nation/
[4] Ian Bremmer. The Top 5 Geopolitical Risks for 2016. Time Magazine.  January 7, 2016. Article. http://time.com/4170785/the-top-5-geopolitical-risks-for-2016/

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NJ's Silent Killer: The Heroin Epidemic in America

Laura Criscione
An epidemic is sweeping the nation and many people may be unaware of its severity, or even its existence. The number of accidental deaths within the United States has skyrocketed over the past decade, and they’re not from gun violence or car accidents. They’re from drugs! Drug poisoning and overdoses now statistically kill more people than guns and car accidents, compared to 20 years ago.[1] Specifically, heroin deaths are increasing nationwide.

According to CBS News, “there were about one million heroin users in the U.S. as of 2014, almost three times the number in 2003. Deaths related to heroin use have increased five-fold since 2000.”[2] Heroin use more than doubled among young adults from ages 18-25 within the past 10 years.[3] So how do these people become addicted to heroin? These victims did not start taking Heroin right off the bat, they most likely started taking opioids, prescription painkillers, which then led up to finding and abusing heroin. Statistics have shown that 45% of those who have used heroin before, were also addicted to prescription opioids.[4] The real war is on opioid painkillers that lead to heroin. Regardless, the numbers show staggering deaths in cities across the country.

The United States is fixated on curing every ailment with pain medication. “The U.S. makes up only 4.6% of the world's population — but we consume 80% of the world's opioids, according to ABC News.”[5]  This conception of curing every ailment with medication has escalated the overuse of drugs. For example, the number of prescriptions for Vicodin shot up back in 2011 from all types of doctors; such as surgeons, podiatrists and primary care physicians.[6] In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioids.[7] These extensively numerous prescriptions from doctors are easily leading patients to accidental overdose and addiction. 

Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 new heroin addicts started out abusing prescription painkiller medication prior. Because of this, the numbers of heroin related deaths in the United States almost quadrupled. From 2010 to 2013, the rate of heroin overdose skyrocketed 37% per year.[8] Some states are worse than others; West Virginia, New Hampshire and Kentucky were the states with largest number of death per 100,000 people in 2015.[9] 

Within New Jersey, as everywhere else, the number of deaths have greatly increased within the last decade. Heroin overdose in New Jersey triples the national average. According to NJ.com, “the 741 heroin-related deaths in 2013 account for 8.3 deaths per 100,000 people in the state, far outpacing the national figure of 2.6 for the same year.”[10] Southern and central Jersey have the highest numbers of heroin overdose deaths. In Camden and the Atlantic counties, this drug kills more people per year than the flu and pneumonia combined. Even more surprising than these numbers are the people who are using them. Statistics have shown that a large percentage of users here are under 30 years old. “Women, white people, adults aged 18 to 25 and people in higher income brackets – historically at low risk for heroin usage – have all been part of the dramatic spikes in abuse of heroin and prescription opioids in recent years.”[11] Across the United States, heroin use among 18-25 year olds has more than doubled between 2002 -2004 and 2011 through 2013.[12]

These numbers show that there is a very serious drug problem within the United States. Many would think that upper class, white young adults would not be involved in such a thing, but this is not true. The ages and demographics of the victims of drug abuse vary across the country, but these numbers show that anyone can get addicted to harmful drugs; whether they started out as a prescription for pain medication or recreational drug use. Millennials are just as susceptible to this as anyone else is. 


By: Laura Criscione 
__________________

SOURCES:
[1]  Christensen, Jen, and Sergio Hernandez. "This Is America on Drugs: A Visual Guide." CNN. Cable News Network, 14 Oct. 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016. 
[2]  Marcus, Mary. "Heroin Use in U.S. Reaches "alarming" 20-year High." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 23 June 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016. 
[3]  "Today’s Heroin Epidemic Infographics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 07 July 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2016. 
[4]  "Today’s Heroin Epidemic Infographics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[5]  Avila, Jim, and Michael Murray. "Prescription Painkiller Use at Record High for Americans." ABC News. ABC News Network, 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2016. 
[6]  Avila, Jim, and Michael Murray. "Prescription Painkiller Use at Record High for Americans."
[7] "Today’s Heroin Epidemic Infographics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[8]  "Opioid Painkiller Prescribing." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 01 July 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2016. 
[9] Christensen, Jen, and Sergio Hernandez. "This Is America on Drugs: A Visual Guide." CNN.
[10]  Stirling, Stephen. "N.J. Heroin Overdose Death Rate Is Triple the Soaring U.S. Rate." NJ.com. N.p., 08 July 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2016. 
[11]  Stirling, Stephen. "N.J. Heroin Overdose Death Rate Is Triple the Soaring U.S. Rate." NJ.com.
[12] "Today’s Heroin Epidemic Infographics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What is the difference between a small business and a startup?

Laura Criscione
There are many articles stating the fact that the millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, has a very strong entrepreneurial mindset. They want to start their own businesses, be successful and have an impact on the world. Despite this grandiose mentality of theirs, millennials unfortunately do not possess the funds and means to start their own businesses at such a young age.

Entrepreneurs can be divided into two sectors: those who start their own business, such as running their own restaurant or daycare, or those who can run a startup. Many people get confused distinguishing the two since the phrases are quite similar. As a Forbes article explains, “First off, the biggest difference between these two company types is in their top objectives. Small businesses are driven by profitability and stable long-term value, while startups are focused on top-end revenue and growth potential.”[1] Startup businesses involve much more risk and the unknown as many of these new ideas have never been done before and have a large chance of failing. On the other hand, starting your own business involves stability, running a business to maintain your lifestyle and having much less risk. Cofounder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal, stated “a startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed.”[2] Opening your own pizzeria is starting your own business, running a startup, like Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook, is a much riskier business.

Both of these types of businesses derived from the entrepreneurial mindset that many young people have. However, startups are much more appealing to Generation Y, as they are more exciting and want to make an impact in the world, not just run a business for monetary stability but make large monetary gains the future. However, both of these businesses require money to start; startups require much funding to truly get off the ground; which here lies the problem. Why are millennials entrepreneurially “built” but not few become successful entrepreneurs? They don’t have the money to back up their dreams.

Millennials have always been the fast-pace generation. They need instant gratification from growing up with social media always at their fingertips. They don’t want to climb the corporate ladder as their parents’ generation did. Why would sit in a cubicle for 40 years if you don’t have to? They want to start their own business, be their own boss and make their own schedule[3] EIG co-founder John Lettieri stated, "Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in history." They admire startup founders and revere self-employment, but are wary of starting businesses in an unforgiving economic environment.[4] A huge 42% of respondents cited insufficient financial means as the largest obstacle to starting a business. According to the EY/EIG survey, millennials make less money and have higher levels of debt than previous generations. 53% of respondents have student loan debt or are expecting to take on student loan debt in the future.[5] A university survey of millennials found that ⅔ of respondents have a desire to start their own business, more than ⅓ would like to work for themselves and ¼ would like to own their own company.[6] Despite these large numbers, “as of 2013, only 3.6% of all businesses were owned by someone under the age of 30. Considering that the youth unemployment rate hovers at 10%, it is no wonder that millennials are delaying starting businesses.[7]

As much as the younger generation would like to have their own businesses and bring their creative inventions to life, it is very difficult to do this without funds to start them. Even if they could have a startup, it is very risky. Unfortunately, it is incredibly difficult to make money if you don't have any. As the old saying goes, money truly does make the world go round.


By: Laura Criscione 
__________________________

SOURCES:
[1] Young Entrepreneur Council. "Are You Building A Small Business - Or A Startup?" Forbes. N.p., 2012. Web. 
[2] Robehmed, Natalie. "What Is A Startup?" Forbes. N.p., 16 Dec. 2013. Web. 
[3] Haber, Jason. "Why Millennials May Just Be the Best Entrepreneurial Generation Ever." Entrepreneur. N.p., 16 June 2016. Web. 09 Dec. 2016. 
[4] "Millennials Want To Be Entrepreneurs, But A Tough Economy Stands In Their Way." NPR. NPR, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 09 Dec. 2016. 
[5] "Millennials Want To Be Entrepreneurs, But A Tough Economy Stands In Their Way." 
[6] Meyer, Jared. "Millennials Want To Be Entrepreneurs, So Why Aren't They Starting Businesses? Part 1." Forbes. N.p., 20 July 2015. Web. 
[7] Meyer, Jared. "Millennials Want To Be Entrepreneurs, So Why Aren't They Starting Businesses? Part 1."

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What’s on The Drink Menu?

Multicultural Millennial Alcohol Beverage Preferences

Laura Criscione
Millennials continue to provide opportunities for many industries due to their different characteristics. This growing generation has proved to be a great target market for alcohol corporations by distinguishing their varying tastes and preferences. “Not only are millennials 77 million strong, they will account for almost 30% of the total consumer product dollars spend by 2020” [1].

When shopping, this younger generation values experience and authenticity; and when purchasing alcohol, it is no different. They rely on online marketing, blog recommendations and in-store drink tastings to get the most relevant and genuine information about a product. “Millennials 21-34 represent about one-fourth of adults 21 and over, but they account for 35% of U.S. beer consumption and 32% of spirit consumption.

Comparatively, they represent only 20% of wine consumption.”[2] These young adults enjoy drinking different types of alcohol in contrasting settings. Beer is typically consumed in destressing and social gatherings with close friends and families. When surveyed, they drank more types of hard alcohol, such as vodka, rum, whiskey and tequila, compared to other generations.[3] “Among liquors, vodka (33%) is the popular choice, with rum (22%) and tequila (21%) vying for the second position.”[4] Yet, they also have a great interest in wine as well.

They are 60% more likely than other American wine drinkers to be intrigued by wine tastings. Millennial wine lovers research various wines on wine apps or use peer reviews to find the best one.[5] According to a study, they favor red and white wine equally, with 28% having purchased each within the past three months. Blush or rosé wine (11%) and champagne or sparkling wine (9%) are less the popular choices.[6]

Disparities can also be seen within Generation Y among the varying ethnicities. Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans all spend their money differently when it comes buying different types of alcohol.

Asian Americans are typically bargain hunters when shopping; they tend to plan ahead when buying alcohol along with fresh produce and meat. This niche also spends more on wine when shopping, illustrating a higher propensity to entertain guests. Studies have shown that these wine enthusiasts are 140% more likely to purchase a bottle of wine worth more than $20 and are 21% more likely to drink wine at dinner.[7] Regarding spirit drinkers, vodka is the most popular drink (59%) followed by tequila (43%) and finally whiskey (37%).[8]

Hispanic Americans, on the other hand, are not as influenced by wine as Asian Americans are. Beer is the most popular alcohol among them (51%), then followed by wine at 38% and hard alcohol at 32%. This group sees no distinction between craft beer to regular beer, even sometimes seeing it as inferior. In addition, Hispanic Americans enjoy fruit flavored alcohol (32%) and they are the only group that drinks tequila and vodka at the same level of  consumption.[9]

African American millennials are not strong beer drinkers like Hispanic Americans are. They are also not so much into bargain shopping as finding a grocery nearby to purchase food and drink. Like Hispanic Americas, 21% see craft beer as inferior. Regarding spirits, vodka is the most popular (57%) followed by cognac and brandy. As for wine, the most favored is sparking wine among African American millennials.[10]

As the statistics have shown, not all millennials are the same. Multicultural millennials have varying preferences when it comes to their favorite types of alcohol. It is imperative for alcoholic beverage corporations understand their differences in order market themselves correctly to each differentiated group.


By: Laura Criscione 

_________________________

SOURCES:
[1]  "They're Thirsty for Deals, But Millennials Won't Sacrifice Taste or Quality in Their Alcoholic Beverages." Nielsen. 28 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Mar. 2016. 
[2] "They're Thirsty for Deals, But Millennials Won't Sacrifice Taste or Quality in Their Alcoholic Beverages." 
[3]"They're Thirsty for Deals, But Millennials Won't Sacrifice Taste or Quality in Their Alcoholic Beverages." 
[4] "Millennials and Alcohol: Whos Drinking What?" MarketingCharts. 31 May 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2016. 
[5] "Millennials & Alcoholic Beverages." FONA International. Web. 25 Mar. 2016. 
[6] "Millennials and Alcohol: Whos Drinking What?" MarketingCharts. 31 May 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2016. 
[7] Asian Americans: Culturally Connected and Forging the Future. Nielsen, June 2015. PDF. 
[8] The Hispanic Millennial Project Wave 4: Food, Beverage & Alcohol: The Impact of Culture on How Multicultural Millennials Eat, Drink and Shop. Aug. 2015. PDF. 
[9] The Hispanic Millennial Project Wave 4: Food, Beverage & Alcohol 
[10] The Hispanic Millennial Project Wave 4: Food, Beverage & Alcohol 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trust is King When Advertising Towards Millennials


Laura Criscione
The world that we live in today is inundated with advertisements. Whether it be television commercials, billboards, radio commercials, magazine and newspaper ads etc. The list goes on. Older generations have become accustomed to this type of advertising and it worked in the past for companies to promote their products and services in this manner. However, Generation Y, the millennials, have completely altered the way businesses need to grab their consumers’ attention.  It is important for companies to get involved with how these young adults are responding to ads, since they “officially make up a majority of the voting age population and the workforce, and they’re close to making up the majority of entrepreneurs.” [1]

Millennials have become immune to traditional advertising. GenY are considered “digital natives”, the first generation to grow up literally attached to smartphones, tablets and laptops, with access to social media and the Internet.”[2] By being surrounded by technology 24/7, they have changed the way they view advertising. Unlike previous generations, such as GenX, “only about 1% of millennials claim that a compelling advertisement influences them. The rest are almost naturally skeptical of advertising. They think it’s all spin, so they don’t bother paying attention.”[3] 

Millennials have learned to ignore the thousands of ads they see every single day. They think ads are invasive, intrusive and untrustworthy. “When deciding to purchase something they communicate with each other far more than any advertising campaign can. When trying to figure out whether something is worth buying, millennials will go to their friends and social networks to see what people think.”[4]  In order for companies to get through to this generation, different tactics are needed. The bottom line is TRUST.

Millennials want authenticity. They want authentic brands, and companies who want to build relationships with them. The best way to show authenticity is by being active on social media and communicating with their consumers on an everyday basis. Connecting online depicts they are willing to learn more about their customers, showing they care. Millennials want to be involved with their favorite brands and expect to get things in return for being so actively involved. “They want to control their messaging. They also are easily incentivized. They expect to be rewarded for their loyalty, for their followers or likes. They want coupons. They want to be among the first to receive updates. They want to be included in a brand’s communications efforts.”[5] This openness between business and consumer allows for relationships to grow and businesses to expand.  

What’s even more important than openness on social media? Content creation is key. “Millennials want more. They want it now. They want it newer. And they want it faster than ever before. They consume and share content like crazy – but it has to be good – innovative, and cutting edge. They want easy and transportable. They want connectivity and share-ability.”[6] Creating content, whether it be on social media, blogs, or business websites, allows for more engagement and trust among these digital savvy young adults. By knowing that their favorite brand is active online, makes them more inclined to do the same. This also leads to building better relationships since they know these companies are authentic and transparent. In addition to businesses giving back to their customers, millennials are also looking for companies to give back to the world and community in the same fashion. “Another factor that attracts millennials is social goodness. If they feel a brand is doing good for the world, giving back, is keen on building and nurturing relationships, and has an authentic voice, they’ll become loyal.”[7] 

Generation Y is all about trust. They won’t trust brands unless they are given a reason to do so. By being open, actively communicating with them, and creating relevant content allows for greater relationships to be made, leading to even more successful businesses in the future.  

By: Laura Criscione

_______________________

Sources:
[1] Tyson, Matthew. "Millennials Want Brands To Be More Authentic. Here's Why That Matters." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Jan. 2016. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
[2] Newman, Daniel. "Research Shows Millennials Don't Respond To Ads." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.
[3] Tyson, Matthew. "Millennials Want Brands To Be More Authentic. Here's Why That Matters."
[4]  Newman, Daniel. "Research Shows Millennials Don't Respond To Ads."
[5] Newman, Daniel. "Research Shows Millennials Don't Respond To Ads."
[6] Newman, Daniel. "Research Shows Millennials Don't Respond To Ads."
[7]  Newman, Daniel. "Millennials Don't Care about Ads: So How Do We Build Community around Them? - Power More." Power More. 23 July 2015. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Millennial American Dream 2.0 or is it a NIGHTMARE!*

Laura Criscione
People refer to The United States of America as the land of opportunities. This is because of the notion of “The American Dream”. It is comprised of the ideals that every citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination. James Truslow Adams defines it as the “dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to the ability or achievement.”Though, he emphasizes that it does not represent a quest for wealth or materials, but a vision for self-actualization and personal fulfillment.[1]

However, many things have changed over the years. The New American Dream 2.0 is different from the first. This new version is all about finding what you want in life and doing whatever you can to achieve it. It doesn’t necessarily refer to the original, like moving to the suburbs and having children while the father works. This new American Dreams varies for each individual person. It could mean for a woman to get her degree and start her own business, or for a couple to travel the globe as world photographers.  The American Dream 2.0 is all about pursuing your passions in life and taking on new experiences to find yourself in order to live out these passions. It is no longer as cliche as having the white picket fence in the backyard.

Despite this, many Americans believe that the “American Dream” is dead.  A large percentage of Americans, especially millennials, are anxious about their future due to economic uncertainty. They don’t believe that hard work and determination will guarantee financial stability.[2]  There are many obstacles millennials have to face that previous generations did not. “Millennials are the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles.”[3] Student debt has become a huge issue, because typically only the rich are financially stable to receive a higher education. Despite the use of scholarships, which are taken advantage of, students are left in a larger amount of debt as out-of-pocket costs continue to rise.

This issue leaves a snowball effect for millennials once they graduate college. Once they receive their degree, many millennials don’t have a job, or a decent one to support themselves, forcing them to move back in with their parents. “Many question whether their degree was worth the investment. Since 1985, college tuition grew by over 500 percent, rising significantly faster than the cost of healthcare, gasoline, shelter, and food. Nearly 70 percent of the class of 2014 graduated with student loan debt, with an average of nearly $30,000 per borrower.”[4]  This enormous amount of debt is extremely difficult to be paid back by new graduates who don’t yet have a stable job. Since millennials don’t have the funds to completely support themselves, it takes them longer to save enough money to move out of their parents’ home. This ultimately pushes back when they buy their first home and when they get married or start a family.

In conjunction with Generation Y moving out and starting families later, having children is a recipe for financial struggle. In the 1950s, it was custom for the father to work in order to support his family while the mother took care of her children and watched over the house. Today, it has become incredibly difficult for one parent to stay home due to all increasing costs. “Home and education costs increases, combined with wage stagnation, mean that families are struggling to make ends meet—and that neither parent has the luxury of staying home any longer. In fact, parenthood has become a financial risk. Authors Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi write that “Having a child is now the single best predictor that a woman will end up in financial collapse.”[5] 

The rise of entrepreneurship has increased over the years leading to more people leaving their stable jobs to start up something on their own. Those who choose this route have a passion to pursue and want a more work-life balance, wanting to be their own boss. Many millennials want to jump on this bandwagon because they are seeking more flexibility in their jobs.[6]  However, “government barriers to starting a new business have made it harder than ever for Millennials to chase after their versions of the American Dream. Government regulations have skyrocketed out of control growing from nearly 10,000 pages in 1954 to over 80,000 by 2013. The complexity of the tax code has also made it difficult to do business.”[7]  As described before, the new American Dream is about pursuing your passions to achieve your goals in life. But due to these governmental constraints, many people are having an even more difficult time starting their own business, whatever that may be, because of such regulations.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, working adults received $6.00 for every $1.00 they contributed. However, this has exponentially declined in which now older people still working are making around 90 cents per $1.00.[8] Social security can no longer be trusted to ensure an easy retirement.  Working hard until the age of 65 and relaxing through retirement is now a thing of the past, unfortunately. Millennials are now on their own when it comes to saving up for retirement.

It can be seen that millennials are and will continue to struggle in the future. Growing up today is very different than it was for the Generation X. With all of the debt they accumulate and stress of financial instability, when will they get to making their own American Dream?


By: Laura Criscione
____________________

SOURCES:

[1] "The American Dream." The Center for a New American Dream. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2016.
[2] Dickerson, Mechele. "Is the American Dream Dead?" Raw Story. N.p., 1 Apr. 2016. Web. 01 May 2016. 
[3]  Barnes, David, Wesley Coopersmith, Jordan Richardson, and Ja'ron Smith. 2016 State of the Millennial Report: A Review of the Challenges and Opportunities for Young Americans. Arlington: Generation Opportunity, n.d. PDF. 
[4] Barnes, David, Wesley Coopersmith, Jordan Richardson, and Ja'ron Smith. 2016 State of the Millennial Report: A Review of the Challenges and Opportunities for Young Americans.
[5]  Escow, Richard. "7 Facts That Show the American Dream Is Dead." Alternet. N.p., 22 Oct. 2014. Web. 01 May 2016. 
[6]  Wade, Sophie. "Behind the Rise of Entrepreneurship." Fortune. N.p., 12 June 2014. Web. 01 May 2016. 
[7] Barnes, David, Wesley Coopersmith, Jordan Richardson, and Ja'ron Smith. 2016 State of the Millennial Report: A Review of the Challenges and Opportunities for Young Americans.
[8] Barnes, David, Wesley Coopersmith, Jordan Richardson, and Ja'ron Smith. 2016 State of the Millennial Report: A Review of the Challenges and Opportunities for Young Americans.