30.55 million Americans are officially getting paid unemployment insurance. Our true unemployment rate is upwards of 20 percent which is inching closer to Great Depression levels. It is hard to believe that just in March, our economy was near record low unemployment. However, this number was deceptive since many younger Americans were already living paycheck to paycheck and were barely making it. This pandemic has accelerated the reckoning that many were going to face in say 3 to 5 years and has pulled it into 2020.
It is hard for a cohort to feel that their generation is simply going to have it economically worse than their predecessor, especially in the US. Not that this is a hard and fast rule and we have plenty of cases throughout history where stable and good economies suddenly edge lower. Yet the issue with what is happening right now is that we are back to crony capitalism in that we are bailing out those that least need it and simply sacrificing the poor and younger generations to keep the machinery going. We devalue earned income and over glorify investment income even though as a percentage, very few younger Americans have money in investments. In fact, most Americans do not own a significant portion of stocks: