Karl Marx would have loved Reddit. If the German philosopher were alive today, he’d be posting that everyone should get in on trading meme stocks and cryptocurrency. Not to get rich—though that’s a nice side benefit—but to strike back at the investor class. “It’s worthwhile running some risk in order to relieve the enemy of his money,” Marx wrote. I’m right there with you, Karl.
Working-class millennials have been denied the chance to build generational wealth over the course of our professional careers. Many of us are risking what little we have left as a way of raging against a machine we feel is rigged against us. And we’re following in Marx’s footsteps.
After a friend died in 1864, Marx received £820 in a bequest, his biographer recounts. That comes out to roughly $151,500 today after adjusting for inflation and applying current conversion rates. Marx used a portion of his inheritance to become a financial speculator, often engaging in the same sort of penny-stock bubble schemes that the notorious WallStreetBets sub-Reddit has been accused of engaging in this year. “[Stocks] are springing up like mushrooms this year,” Marx wrote in a letter to his uncle, bragging that he had already made £400 from speculation. He added that many of his investments were typically “forced up to quite an unreasonable level and then, for the most part, collapse.”
Marx’s trading stories are difficult to substantiate, but millennials’ love of meme stocks is very real. I’ve already made more this year from trading meme stocks and cryptocurrency than I have as a professional writer. I’ve come to look at the meme stock boom as millennials’ chance to finally build wealth. But if not, we’re content with making the investors largely responsible for our financial woes feel a bit of the pain they’ve inflicted on us. Short-sellers are losing their shirts to the tune of $4.5 billion on meme stocks so far.
As a 34-year-old American, almost every generational stereotype applies to me. HuffPost’s Michael Hobbes summed up millennials’ financial situation best in 2017: “My rent consumes nearly half my income, I haven’t had a steady job since Pluto was a planet and my savings are dwindling faster than the ice caps the baby boomers melted.”
Perhaps because we’re the only American generation to live through two major recessions and two wars in our coming-up years, we’re the first generation to be financially worse off than our parents, despite being
Read more:Why I’m Still Rage-Buying Meme Stocks