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Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, look on at a rally at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena on November 3, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Sanders Report Shows How Millennial Generation Is 'Being Punished With Crushing Student Debt and Low-Paying Jobs'

"In the richest country in the history of the world, we have an obligation to turn this around and make sure our kids live healthier and better lives than we do."

Jake Johnson

A new government study commissioned by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders details how crushing student loan debt and stagnant wages are threatening to make millennials the first U.S. generation with a lower quality of life than their parents.

The Government Accountability Office report (pdf), obtained Wednesday by Teen Vogue, found that millennials between the ages of 25 and 37 have substantially less wealth, lower homeownership rates, and fewer retirement resources than Generation X and the Baby Boomers.

"We must tell the economic elite who have hoarded income growth in America: No, you can no longer have it all."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
"The millennial generation (those born between 1982 and 2000) might not have the same opportunity as previous generations had to fare better economically than their parents," the GAO report states. "Millennial households had significantly lower median and average net worth than Generation X households at similar ages."

In a statement to Teen Vogue, Sanders said the study confirms his fears about the grim financial prospects of young people in the United States.

"If we don't fundamentally transform our economy, we are facing—for the first time in the history of this country—the possibility that our young people will suffer a worse future than their parents had," said Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. "We must tell the economic elite who have hoarded income growth in America: No, you can no longer have it all."

The new study, according to Teen Vogue, shows that "student loan debt is what really differentiates millennial finances from other generations, with millennials more likely to have student debt that exceeds their annual income."

The report says that "high levels of student debt may affect the ability to accumulate wealth, which may be why average net worth levels have decreased for college graduates."

Sanders is the only 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who has proposed wiping out all $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt currently held by around 45 million Americans. The Vermont senator, who consistently polls at the top of the 2020 field among younger voters, has also proposed making public colleges, universities, and trade schools tuition-free.

"It is about time we take a hard look at this research and stand up for our young people who dream of making it into the middle class," Sanders said Wednesday. "In the richest country in the history of the world, we have an obligation to turn this around and make sure our kids live healthier and better lives than we do."

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Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

Looming US Supreme Court Climate Decision Could 'Doom' Hope for Livable Future

"The immediate issue is the limits of the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases," said one scientist. "The broader issue is the ability of federal agencies to regulate anything at all."

Jessica Corbett ·

Supreme Court Takes 'Wrecking Ball' to Separation of Church and State With Prayer Ruling

After decades of affirming that prayers led by school officials are unconstitutional, said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, "the court now charts a different path."

Julia Conley ·

Louisiana Judge Blocks State's Post-Roe Abortion Ban

"Abortion care will resume in the state and a hearing has been set for July 8th," said the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Jake Johnson ·

Progressives Launch 'Four More' Campaign to Demand Supreme Court Expansion

"In a true democracy, power rests with the people," one campaigner asserted. "And the only way to take our power back is to take back the court."

Brett Wilkins ·

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