Crushing student loan debt ... limited job opportunities ... low wages when they do find work ... parents threatening to throw them out ... soaring rents ... obnoxious roommates in tightly confined living spaces ...
Millennials face those and other bottom-line obstacles in their struggles to attain independent-adult status.
Sure, the Great Recession didn’t hit the Charleston area nearly as hard as it pounded most U.S. communities.
Sure, the unemployment rate is much lower than it was a few years ago. But that decline stems in part from so many people leaving the labor force.
And the lingering validity of the term “jobless recovery” casts a shadow over America’s 20- and 30-somethings.
So it’s reassuring to know that some young adults from these parts are doing quite well financially.
For instance, a 2009 Porter-Gaud graduate who was already making very good money just got a huge raise:
Khris Middleton, age 23, had to get by on a measly $915,000 this past season with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
On Wednesday, though, assorted media outlets reported that he has agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract (that’s $14 million per season for you non-math majors) to stay with the team.
Middleton played three years at Texas A&M (how did the University of South Carolina, Clemson and the College of Charleston let him get away?) before going pro.
Some other young folks from these parts climbing the golden stairs:
Carlos Dunlap, 26, Fort Dorchester High, University of Florida: Cincinnati Bengals defensive end entering third season of six-year, $39.3 million deal.
Andre Ellington, 26, Berkeley High, Clemson: Arizona Cardinals running back entering third season of four-year, $2.26 million deal.
Bruce Ellington, 23, Berkeley High, USC: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver ( Andre’s cousin) entering second season of four-year, $2.7 million deal.
Brett Gardner, 31, Holly Hill Academy, College of Charleston: New York Yankees outfielder in first season of four-year, $52 million deal.
A.J. Green, 26, Summerville High, University of Georgia: Cincinnati wide receiver scheduled to make $10.1 million this coming season, but Bengals are expected to offer him a more lucrative extension.
Byron Maxwell, 27, Fort Dorchester High, Clemson: Cornerback, after helping mighty Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII and reach Super Bowl XLIX, signed VI-year (oops, six-year), $63 million deal with the reeling Philadelphia Eagles in March.
Robert Quinn, 25, Fort Dorchester High, University of North Carolina: St. Louis Rams defensive end entering second year of six-year, $65.6 million deal.
Justin Smoak, 28, Stratford High, USC: Toronto Blue Jays first baseman making mere $1 million this season on one-year deal.
Matt Wieters, 29, Stratford High, Georgia Tech: Baltimore Orioles catcher making $8.3 million this season on one-year deal.
Roddy White, 33, James Island High, South Alabama: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver entering second season of three-year, $18 million deal. Little League baseball coach was my longtime tag-team partner Mike Mooneyham.
Pop quiz: Which of the aforementioned athletes has a father and an uncle who repeatedly struck me out in Dixie Youth League games? (answer at column’s end)
OK, not every dollar in an NFL contract is guaranteed.
OK, few of us can make it to the big money of the big leagues, the NBA or the NFL.
But while ticket prices at pro — and college — games seem exorbitant to many of us old-timers, they do reflect the inexorable power of supply-and-demand forces.
Perhaps if more Americans of all ages would learn that basic lesson of capitalism, they would develop more respect for the free market — and put less faith in unsustainable Nanny State promises. They also should notice how many highly paid athletes take their talents to Florida and Texas, in part because those states don’t have income taxes.
Yes, sports salaries have grown incredibly high.
Yes, cops, firefighters, teachers and newspaper people — particularly editorial writers/columnists — should make much more money.
Then again, few Americans will pay to watch us work.
Answer: Billy Wieters (St. Andrews High, Class of ’71), Matt’s uncle, and Richard Wieters (St. Andrews, Class of ’73), Matt’s dad, helped make Wappoo Red and White a powerhouse that always beat First Federal way back when I was on that losing end at St. Andrews Playground. Billy and Richard went on to star in baseball at The Citadel. Richard was even a fifth-round draft choice by the Atlanta Braves and made it to class Double-A in the minors as a pitcher.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.