A Millennial’s Guide To Fixing The Economy

Does the economy even need to be fixed at all? Yes. Here is one Millennial hipster’s guide to doing such.

1. Make rents lower.

Rents are sky high. A one bedroom apartment that was $1,000 10 years ago is now $1,700 in the metropolitan Mid Atlantic. If you multiply this $700 increase by 12 months of the year, that $8,400. If the building has 100 units, that’s an extra $840,000 in the landlord’s pocket per year. Overall, the landlord makes over $2 million in rent for one year for a 100 unit building at $1,700 a month per rent for you. A 100 unit building could cost the landlord to buy what they call “$30,000 per door.” So a landlord pays about $3 million to buy the entire building. Yes, there are costs associated with owning a building, like fixing kitchen sink clogs and landscaping. However, a landlord of a $3 million building doesn’t need $2 million a year in rent. That would be like a homeowner of a $600,000 home making $400,000 a year at work. If the median yearly income in the United States is about $34,000, the landlord could charge $30/month rent if the building is already paid for and make $36,000. Most buildings are already paid for.

2. Make wages higher.

How would somebody afford a $8,400 increase in rent over 10 years? Is their income $8,400 more? Your rent should be one-third of your income, so you would actually have to make three times $8,400, or over $25,000 more, in the last 10 years. If the median income today is about $34,000, how would that be possible? Can employers be expected to pay more? Maybe. If they have real estate, yes.

3. Universal basic income.

UBI would take money from the topmost richest people in the country (you don’t know any of them) and redistribute it to other people. Yes, I’m an idealist who agrees that if you work hard, you should be able to make as much money as you want, and people shouldn’t take it away from you, no matter what. But capitalism, like every other economic system, perhaps has its limits from human nature. Yes, socialism has worked on some small levels, like for communal living in some countries. Over time, however, people wanted their own possessions and felt short-changed with so much sharing. They felt the disparity between people’s potentials and wanted to find their uniqueness expressed into a monetary rewards system. With capitalism, yes, people like the thrill of hard work paying off, but apparently with success comes greed, like not paying workers enough, or in some cases, charging too much for rent. UBI evens out the greed.

4. Don’t hold onto your stock.

Tradition says that certain stocks are handed down from generations old to younger folks and that you should keep them. Tradition says that certain stocks are patriotic to own. Tradition says that everything comes back eventually. Tradition says that the stock market climbs at about 8% a year. However, the stock market has been down recently, and people with traditional views are suffering. Just because something was handed down doesn’t mean you need to keep it. Trade it in for something you think will be doing better. A lot of stocks are patriotic to own, and perhaps it is patriotic to participate in the New York Stock Exchange at all. Things do so often come back eventually, but other things are going up more reliably, and life is short. The stock market does climb at about 8% a year, but some things do better than that pretty reliably.

5. Don’t be afraid of cryptocurrency.

Okay, be a little afraid, but not in that way. Yes it’s down half the time, but if you’re into crypto culture, that’s part of the beat. Nobody holds onto crypto for more than one day at a time. When things climb too high, it means that it’s more expensive to buy into everything. When things come down low, people buy in and look forward to it recovering to about the same numbers as before. The only thing I feel to really be afraid of is some crypto is a scam. I’d wildly guess that less than half are scams, but it’s hard for me personally to say. Also you have to know computers really well to handle all of the wallets. But if you get the scene, it’s great. So don’t worry about your nephew.

6. Inflation happens.

Honestly, inflation hasn’t happened that much in my lifetime. Some things have actually gone down in price, not to jinx it. The problem here, as I see it, is that people aren’t making a lot of income usually, and rents are very high, so there’s not a lot of wiggle room. If you fix those two things—wages and rent—then inflation won’t matter very much.

7. Yes, we need more jobs.

We keep getting reports of lower and lower unemployment. This is because it doesn’t count people who are no longer looking for work because they’ve given up.

8. Nonprofits are our future, and Millennials can take that initiative in making new ones.

Millennials have had enough work experience at this point to start off on their own, if they haven’t already. Helping others comes naturally to Millennials, ever since Cher in Clueless decided to use her popularity for good. Nonprofits not only help people and change the world, they also enjoy lots of government benefits. You can write so many things off, including a headquarters, a work vehicle, and more. You could actually charge a living wage for services like tutoring people with learning disabilities or web classes for the elderly and the service fee would be tax deductible for them. You could also charge nothing for services and reach out to the wealthy for tax deductible donations to support your nonprofit (with a capped salary for you that’s a living wage). Find something that can’t be automated. Dream big. You can make a website for free these days. And it’s nice to know that some things are still free.