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Demographics as Destiny?

It is perhaps too strong to say, “Demographics is destiny.” Culture is too complex to make that reductionism stick. But millennials may have the social and economic capital to make the claim stick. New Copernicans are rethinking the core assumptions of human society. If you are not paying attention, then you are an idiot.

The Republican National Committee, the evangelical church, and the International Olympic Committee are three institutions at risk in being bypassed by this generation.

A paper out this week by Swiss Bank UBS underscores the point. “Millennials are about to benefit from “one of the largest intergenerational wealth transfers in history,” according to Tom Naratil, president of UBS Americas, and Jürg Zeltner president of UBS Wealth Management. In just three years global millennial wealth could stand at $24 trillion, up $7 trillion from 2015.

So the constant drum beat of the blame game, should just engender a wry smile on the faces of the coming generation. What is it that millennials are supposedly “killing”: fabric softener, diamonds, home ownership, class, focus groups, running, casinos, golf, anti-aging, cable TV, department stores, light yogurt, marriage, napkins, McDonald’s, bar soap, cruises, spring break, marmalade, credit, dinner dates, movies, gyms, cereal, beer, vacations, chain restaurants (Applebee’s and Buffalo Wings), sex, and lunch.

The “killing” blame only reflects fear. And the wry millennial smile says, “OMG, you don’t know the half of it.” You can take that to the bank.

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