Bring Karl Marx back into the big house

Happy birthday to Karl Marx, who was born 200 years ago on May 5. He was the most astute and influential critic of capitalism in history — and also the most misunderstood.

It is long since time that Marx re-joined the community of ordinary intellectuals, considered as neither the terrifying harbinger of social upheaval, nor a secular pope with the eternally correct description of all human society. He was a genius, but in the end, only another human scholar with a brilliant but incomplete perspective.

Are millennials the canary in the coal mine for the broken economy?

Michael Hobbes on how millennials—those born between 1982 and 2004—have become the canary in the coal mine for the languishing economy in the United States. 

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. Every stereotype of our generation applies only to the tiniest, richest, whitest sliver of young people. And the circumstances we live in are more dire than most people realize.

A few statistics: 

  • We've taken on at least 300% more student debt than our parents

  • We are about half as likely to own a home as young adults were in 1975

  • 1 in five of us is living in poverty

  • Based on current trends, many of us won't be able to retire until we're 75

  • "My father’s first house cost him 20 months of his salary. My first house will cost more than 10 years of mine."

Lot's to chew on here. Not be be an old here, but it's best to read this on a larger screen.