By Carl Gibson
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.”