Joel Stein is wrong about millennials, in one chart

May 9, 2013

The me, me, me generation? Really?

To a large extent, the things that Millennials value in life mirror the things older generations value. Family matters most, and fame and fortune are much less important. When asked to rate how important a series of life goals are to them personally, being a good parent ranked at the top for all four generations. Overall, 50% of the public says this is one of the most important things in their lives. An additional 44% say this is very important  but not the most important thing for them personally. Only 5% say this is only somewhat important or not important at all. Although only about a third of Millennials (34%) have children, they are just as likely as their older counterparts to place high value on good parenting. About half (52%) say being a good parent is one of the most important things to them. This compares with 50% of those ages 30 and older.

Seems pretty selfish.

To be fair, Joel Stein's article is more nuanced than Time's cover suggests. But Elspeth Reeve's rebuttal is pretty devastating. And while I'm hardly an unbiased observer, Annie Lowrey's piece on the economic trends buffeting millennials should really be the starting point for discussions about why millennials are the way they are, and what it means.

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