2012shift

9 Things Millennials Were Accused Of Ruining In 2012

This year, the 18 to 30 set was blamed for destroying everything from the military to the beef industry. And just about everything else.

1. The Auto Industry

Larry Downing / Reuters

Fewer 20-somethings than ever have their licenses, and beyond that, they’re not buying cars. There are plenty of reasonable explanations — people are starting families later, they’re more insecure about finances, and more are living in cities where cars aren’t necessary.

But the bottom line is: car manufacturers are kind of FREAKING out.

2. The Housing Market

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

For many of the same reasons people in their 20s aren’t buying cars, they also aren’t buying homes. A Huffington Post report says: “Millennials could be dragging down the housing market, and — in effect — the national economy.”

Oops.

3. Restaurants

J Pat Carter / AP

in 2012, Millennials, on average, enjoyed one less meal out per week than they did five years ago. Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at researcher NPD Group told USA Today: “This is a shift of biblical proportions for the restaurant industry.”

Biblical! What Would Millennial Jesus Do?

4. The Nation’s Capital

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

An older Washington, D.C. blogger railed against the city’s attempts to engage residents in their 20s this year: “Gracious streets have become clogged with bike lanes, bus shelters are lit up with advertising, and national parkland is threatened with children’s play equipment.”

Advertising and bike lanes: the demise of culture as we know it.

5. The Institution Of Marriage

“Millennials […] are half as likely to be currently married as their parents at the same age,” a June 2012 Focus On The Family Study found [PDF]. Millennials say they want to get married, they just haven’t gotten around it to yet. Such procrastinators, we are.

6. The Military

Allauddin Khan, File / AP

Just 2% of Millennials in the U.S. are on active military duty, according to that same study. But enlistment’s been on a steady decline since their grandparents’ generation.

7. Independent Thinking

Consultant Susanne Goldstein, who calls herself “The Accelerator,” argues that millennials, in general, “aren’t ready to face real challenges.” She writes in Business Insider:

“As they enter the world of work many don’t know how, or where, to start when given an assignment. Without the collective voice of the crowd helping them or their parents telling them what to do, they don’t feel secure in their decision about what to do. This paralysis leads to feelings of anxiety, and worthlessness.”

Facebook has made us all feel so worthless.

8. The Beef Industry

Matthew Mead / AP

According to experts at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, “millennials present some unique marketing challenges the beef industry must meet.”

The farm trade publication explains in its September 2012 issue: “millennials are slightly lower than baby boomers or Generation X members on beef awareness and purchases for nearly every single cut of beef.”

The article adds: “Steak is intimidating to them.”

9. The Environment

The stereotype of the tree-hugging, burlap sack-wearing Millennial? A myth! But wait, the environment — that’s the one thing those young people won’t ruin, right? Nope! A study this year found that Millennials, in fact, “are less interested in the environment and in conserving resources” than their parents were.

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