Kids These Days Should Have It Too Easy

Or: Why being a grumpy old fart about younger generations is dumb.

Matthew Maniaci

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Photo by Giacomo Lucarini on Unsplash

We all know the grumpy old man joke. “When I was your age, I walked to school barefoot, in the snow, uphill, both ways!” We would chuckle at our grandfathers or fathers as they told that goofy joke, playing up their suffering for a laugh.

I’m kinda worried that mentality has ruined a lot of discourse in our country. People are griping about everything being too easy. The younger generations are wussies, the older generations say. They’re soft, they have it too easy. They don’t have the same struggles as we had growing up.

I mean, yeah, of course I didn’t have the same struggles my parents did. They didn’t grow up with a box in their pocket that could access all of human knowledge.

Every new generation has it easier than past generations. That’s kind of how progress works. Technology moves forward, and each new generation works to eliminate some problem or another that plagued them in the past.

Unfortunately, we have reached a point where many people — particularly older people but not exclusively — feel like the premise that “kids these days have it too easy” is a dire situation that must be fixed. The problem is, fixing that “problem” means either preventing progress or actively making things harder.

There are strong active pushes against things like socialized healthcare, low-cost or government-subsidized higher education, and higher minimum wages. The younger generations feel like these things would improve their lives drastically and improve the quality of life for everyone. Unfortunately, many older people, who hold a lot more power in government, are against such things.

In the case of something like socialized healthcare, there is the common “socialism=communism” argument that permeates the argument, particularly among the Boomers, who had to deal with the Cold War growing up. What has been missed is that every other first-world power has some form of socialized medicine, and they’re almost all doing better than us in terms of the health of their citizens. They also don’t have to deal with things like medical bankruptcies.

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Matthew Maniaci

I write about everything from my experience with mental illness to politics to philosophy. Much of my so-called "wisdom" is from Tumblr dot com. He/him/his.