As the cost of living soars in the US, TikTok’s Gen-X Jess confronts the fading American Dream, spotlighting today’s youth’s struggles and questioning its attainability.
The Cost of Living Is Skyrocketing in the US
Traditionally, the American Dream resonated with aspirations of securing a stable job, acquiring a home, and building a family. But as the cost of living skyrockets and well-paying opportunities dwindle, the attainability of such aspirations is cast into doubt.
Concerned for her children’s future, TikTok’s Gen-X Jess highlights these challenges, pointing to rising living costs and fewer good jobs as key issues.
Many Parents Felt the Same
Jess’s feelings resonated with many parents who also felt emotionally tired from tirelessly chasing success.
Hardworking Young People Are Struggling
Hardworking young people feel frustrated as they struggle with money problems, even though they’re doing what society expects.
They’re Sinking In Quicksand
Understanding their challenges, Jess explained the difference between regular difficulties and feeling overwhelmed, comparing it to quicksand, where efforts seem to make things worse.
Reflecting On Her Own Journey
Reflecting on her past experiences, Jess offered a comparison, sharing her own journey when she was their age.
Six-Figure Incomes Aren’t Enough Anymore
She painted a vivid picture of a bygone era where limited earnings were still sufficient to sustain an independent life, compared to the current climate where six-figure incomes have become synonymous with securing even modest living spaces.
‘How Do We Help Them’
Jess’s incredulous query – “What the f— is going on, and how do we help them as parents.”
The Middle Class is Disappearing
Amidst the disheartening scenario, Jess brought to light an alarming trend: the erosion of the middle class, an emblem of the American societal fabric.
Down From 61 Percent to 50
Her concern mirrored a wider trend reported by Fortune, highlighting a decline from 61 percent of U.S. adults being middle class in 1971 to just 50 percent in 2021, as attested by the Pew Research Center.
Her Daughter Worked Hard for a House
Jess’s own daughter’s journey exemplified this crisis, as she diligently worked to secure her dream home, only to face an uphill battle of exorbitant costs that defied logic.
Her Children Are Her Biggest Accomplishment
With her maternal instincts fiercely ignited, Jess passionately defended the sanctity of family aspirations, proclaiming that her children are her ultimate accomplishment.
The World Is Killing Their Dreams
Yet, she contended with a cruel irony – the world they inhabit is structured in a way that endangers these dreams.
The Cost of Daycare Consumes Them
As Jess’s daughter prepares for the arrival of her second child, a stark reality emerges: even with a dedicated husband staying home to care for their children, the cost of daycare threatens to consume his potential earnings.
Hand Up Not Handout
Her solution, while acknowledging the systemic nature of the issue, pivots towards a more compassionate approach, advocating for a “hand up” rather than a “handout.”
She Wants More Opportunities
In her earnest perspective, she suggests a society where collective support and empowering opportunities guide the trajectory of younger generations.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / ANURAK PONGPATIMET. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.