It’s no secret that life is harder these days for young people. College costs have skyrocketed, housing has become increasingly unaffordable, and the federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised since 2009.
But members of the Boomers and older generations will always tell you how much tougher they had it.
The thing is, it’s not true. Reddit user Gregsw2000 recently chatted with his grandmother and recounted her story in a post on the Antiwork subreddit that quickly went viral. Boomers had it easy.
His grandmother is almost 90 and therefore part of the “Silent Generation” and, honestly, her life sounded pretty sweet. Especially compared to nowadays.
She started working as a payroll clerk in 1951. She made 75 cents an hour, which is the equivalent of $8.46 an hour today.
That’s already above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
But her expenses sounded much, much lower than nowadays. She told her grandson that “there was no reason she could not have supported herself on that .75/hr, because her expenses would have been much less than her income, as even rents around here would have been around 1/3rd of her minimum wage income.”
Oh, and she didn’t even have to apply for her job. Her parents knew the business owner, let them know their daughter needed a job, and the owner approached her about it.
While working, she stayed with her parents until she got married. Then her new husband didn’t want her to work, so he supported her with his job as a shoe cutter.
She estimated that he made less than $1.25 an hour.
Gregsw2000 went on to say that his grandfather “never made good money in his entire life, only working at a single ‘low skill’ factory job.”
And yet, he said, the couple had “everything,” including “a new, standalone, home in 1962, with a 20 year mortgage, for an extremely affordable payment [and] new cars.”
He added that “my grandmother is a self described ‘impulse shopper,’ who would buy all kinds of random shit she’d never use if allowed.”
His grandfather died about five years ago, but his grandmother is still living on Social Security and proceeds from selling their house for 10 times what it cost them.
He finished by writing: “When Boomers try to tell you life was hard during their lives, they’re not telling the truth. The minimum wage almost always supported a decent living, as intended, while they were up and coming.”
This led other people to tell their own stories of parents and grandparents (who also had it MUCH better).
Even some Boomers agreed that things used to be easier.
So if older people start telling you about the good old days, feel free to roll your eyes. This commenter summed it up the best.