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.
SERIOUSLY. Cheap and broke are not the same thing, motherfuckers.
If 60% of my income wasn’t going to paying debt, I’d be all over the shit that made my life easier. Car not held together with duct tape? Yes please! My own space away from my parents where I could actually begin building a life for myself? I’ll have one of those, if you’re offering!
Oh but wait, you’re not really offering, because there is no possible way for someone in my situation to give you what you want for it. If I hadn’t believe the lie of continuous prosperity I was spoon fed for 28 years, maybe I’d be in a position to be the good little consumer you want me to be.
I co-sign all of this. Some are barely scrapping by even with living with parents or having 5 roommates. Trust me, when I was still living in the States, I wanted nothing more than my own place and to begin building some kind of life for myself and I did almost everything right by society’s standards.
You know how I’ve finally gotten a bit of a cushion? I moved to the other side of the fucking world. Teaching ESL in Korea was the only way for me to get out of debt and save up some money, but it’s taken two years. Now I’m facing going back home and frankly the thought fucking terrifies me.
…… Seriously? I would love to buy a house. Too bad I make peanuts lol
Yeah I’m sure those On The Road -lookin assholes in the picture might have a choice, but my husband and I sure can’t afford to buy a house right now, and both of us are driving ten year old cars that we pray my husband can fix if anything goes wrong. The only way we were able to afford a wedding was because a friend offered to hold it in her backyard, and we were only able to invite a handful of people.
It’s not because we like being fun, carefree spirits, not tied down by boring shit like mortgages and house payments, man. If I could buy a house I would, but I can’t, because the goddamn economy collapsed when I was two thirds of the way through my degree and now that I have one I’m still making barely above minimum wage.
What a fucking tone-deaf post.
Half of my paycheck goes towards student loan payments for college that society was insisting i follow through with and now they want me to buy a house and a car?
Do the writers at the Atlantic live at the center of the earth or
Can I punch whoever wrote this article? Like… in the throat? Is that allowed?
Wow, how out of touch with reality do you have to be to even think that’s a valid opinion to have.
Assuming my wage doesn’t increase, at the current rate it’ll take probably 2-4 years to pay off my student loans, and my loans are TINY compared to the vast majority of graduates of college/university. Even though I was very qualified it took almost 3 months to get a job out of school and I was applying for 2-10 jobs per day for 3 months, day after day.
With the money I make, rent will take up almost half of my earned cash, and probably another 3rd will go to internet, phone, food and other expenses.
At the end of the month I’ll have some money, but a significant chunk will have to go to paying off my loans. Anything left over I might treat myself by going to a movie, concert or buying something useful for me. So, yeah, I’m sorry but I can’t buy a car or house anytime soon. I don’t even have a license, because there’s almost no point. It’ll be a while before I can afford even a crappy, old vehicle.
There are better jobs I can get down the road with more experience, but realistically that’s years away. And I don’t think I’m the only one in a similar situation.