What if Millennials’ aversion to car-buying isn’t a temporary side effect of the recession, but part of a permanent generational shift in tastes and spending habits? It’s a question that applies not only to cars, but to several other traditional categories of big spending—most notably, housing. And its answer has large implications for the future shape of the economy—and for the speed of recovery.
Read more. [Image: Kagan McLeod]
It’s safe to say that a decent number of Tumblr users are a part of the Millennial generation. So, tell us: Do you own a car or house? If not, why?
IT’S BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO DISPOSABLE INCOME YOU THUNDERING IDIOTS. Fucking preference has nothing to do with it. 50% of college graduates have no job! They all have the most student loan debt ever! What are you asking this question for?!
Also: housing is a good bit more expensive now.
My parents got a 15-year mortgage on a new house in the mid-70s. The house was $32,000. Average home price in that area now? $190,000.
So, home prices went up. Food prices went up. Health care prices went WAY UP. Rent prices went up. Higher education went up so damn high that some of us forgo that all together. Energy prices went up. Car prices went up.
Prices of prices went up.
We also pay cell phone bills, internet bills, data plans, text plans, online subscriptions, cable/satellite tv, netflix, DVR subscriptions — bills that didn’t even exist 30-40 years ago. We also use computers and smartphones and microwaves and other consumer electronics that didn’t exist 20-50 years ago.
We need medications and doctors and contact lenses and tampons and maxi pads and other things that cost money just to be alive and keep us healthy.
Most of us can’t afford to:
- Get married and have a “Traditional” big wedding
- Buy a house
- Buy a new car
- PLAN to have children
- Take two, consecutive weeks of vacation.
Jobs that paid 50k in the late 1990s now pay between 30-35. Interest rates that favor consumers have gone down.
So I say, no. We are not choosing not to buy homes. We’re not choosing to take the bus in cities where there’s no good public transit. WE ARE NOT CHOOSING TO LIVE WHAT SOCIETY DEEMS AS AN UNDESIRABLE LIFESTYLE.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that these two people in the picture are young white hipsters. Young lack and brown folks have been forgoing homeownership and buying new cars for decades, this shit isn’t new, pal. You’re just acting like this shit is new because it’s hitting white folks.
anyway, my point is: We are fucking broke.
Some nights i lie awake praying for the day I get cancer and my private insurance won’t cover the treatments for some bullshit reason and my house gets foreclosed on! Think of how super cool it will be when I get to live in a tent in the woods and eat ramen noodles dry and occasionally get robbed by hippies while everyone who got lucky with their finances and voted against social welfare looks down on me and calls me irresponsible <3 <3 <3
I LOVE ALL THIS FREEDOM THX TONS TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS WHEE IT’S LIKE BEING A KID FOREVER
I have already decided if I get something that requires expensive treatment, or if I have a really bad asthma attack, I’m just going to forego treatment. I can’t afford to be in further debt if I live, especially if it’s chronic. So… well… I’ll do the fiscally responsible thing and let nature remove one more poor person from the population. That’s life without insurance. You think about those things.
We own a house because I couldn’t handle dealing with the landlords in this area, and we have a safety net if we both end up out of work for an extended period. But, most people our age do not have a safety net, so we are the only ones of our friends who are home owners. We have a car that we share because Monster’s grandfather was kind enough to sell us one for half price. Again, most people don’t have that option. We can afford a mortgage and car insurance because we have chosen to never have children. We would never have the money to raise a child in the fashion we would like, and my mental illness has increased in the last five years because of stress and lack of stability, so I would not be a good parent anyway. I only have one cat, my therapy animal, because the costs of vet care have risen so much that I can’t even afford to temp foster, let alone own another animal. Currently I am keeping Luna healthy by keeping her inside, feeding her high quality food, and hoping a lot. My friend can’t even afford to do that much, so she comes over to play with Luna a few times a week instead of owning her own cat. I don’t want to sound too glum, I have a great life, but I will never have the traditional American Dream. And, considering that most people my age are in the same position, if not a worse one, I think the American Dream is pretty much dead.
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