One Reddit user said the system had brainwashed American workers into thinking they deserve less and it has made a basic living unattainable.
The younger generation has grown up with parents and grandparents who lead comfortable lives with their day jobs. But for them, it requires two or sometimes even three jobs to attain the same living standards as their parents'. One person who has made enough money to earn a basic living standard said it finally dawned on them that the American dream is dead. "As a high-income earner, it just dawned on me how brainwashed we are in the U.S," the person titled their post. They detailed their own salary and explained why they were only now able to afford what was once considered a basic standard of living.
"I am a software engineer currently interviewing with a few different companies and I am expecting to receive an offer for more than $140k. I don't say this as a brag, but it is relevant to the point I am about to make," they said before explaining why. "I am super excited for this offer to come in because it will allow me to do the following things: Buy a house, Retire before 60, Save for my kids' future, Afford healthcare, Take a vacation every once in a while, and invest in my hobbies and interests."
They then explained why they were angered despite reaching a point where all of this was attainable. "I have just been thinking about how amazing all of these different things are and how much this is going to positively impact my life and then I realized... WTF? Shouldn't these things just be baseline factors of life for anyone who works? I am a high-income earner and all of a sudden I can finally afford to do basic sh*t with my life! Why do I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to afford basic necessities, invest in my future, and enjoy my life?"
They said all workers should be able to afford a basic standard of living and called on workers to demand more of the system. "I just wanted to share because we need to break down this mindset in the country and demand more. We should expect to be paid enough to afford the basics in our life and be excited when we get more than that," they wrote. "It feels like the default now is to expect to barely scrape by, and be excited when we have just enough at the end of the month to put a few dollars away in savings. We deserve more."
The majority agreed with the Reddit user. "For comparison's sake… my wife and I both work full time. She makes $15/hour and I make $20/hour. Wait till you do that math and see our combined income is half of yours. That being said, I write that from my first home I was able to buy last year! I was happy to be a home-owner by 40 (37 now) and had this same epiphany… why am I happy to be “getting started” nearly 20 years after high school ended," they wrote. "Trickle-down rhetoric has really done a number on American expectations. In the richest country in the history of humanity, we should be expecting a firehose of prosperity. For everyone, and not just a handful of billionaires," commented another user.