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Why Aren't 20 Somethings Buying Homes and Cars?

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Why Aren't 20 Somethings Buying Homes and Cars?

Old 09-01-12, 07:36 PM
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Dahon.Steve
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Why Aren't 20 Somethings Buying Homes and Cars?

I stumbled onto this old article from the Atlantic and while it was OK, the responses below are FAR better! Many of the those who contributed to the thread were quite intelligent and very well written. It came as a surprise the attitude those born after the year 2000 have about the autocentric society we live in. I truly believe a whole generation of young people are growing up to hate what we call the "American Dream" of home and car ownership.

It makes me worry about the future because our economy requires people to load up on mortgages and car loans after completing a four year degree. All the spending on new cars enables even the carfree to enjoy a prosperous economy. Folks, we are headed for tough times if the next generation becomes frugual living in apartments and taking public transportation. If you read all the responses, it makes you feel sad for this coming generation which is NOT going to live as good as their parents.

I hate to say this but we are all the benefactors of a car dependant society.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/...houses/261490/

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Old 09-01-12, 07:53 PM
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Also because we now have WHOPPING student loans to take car of first.
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Old 09-01-12, 08:25 PM
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Well, as a twenty-something myself I can tell you that I never plan to own a car or a house because both of those things are basically huge economic traps. I think I learned my lesson about signing myself into pseudo-slavery after having done it with student debt. Why would anyone add to that?
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Old 09-01-12, 08:42 PM
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The reason our economy is so sick is mostly structural, and a lot of it is related to cars. Instead of building cities and small towns that were bicycle friendly (which many were before WW2), post WW2 we went nuts and built for cars that ran on cheap gasoline. Long commutes in from the suburbs, and suburbs with no grocery stores (unlike the old neighborhoods one sees back east) in the neighborhoods requiring commutes for shopping trips as well. Keeping the house and cars going is a never ending expense. Sure, it fuels the economy, but what good is an economy based on structure like that? The Dutch saw what was coming back in the 70's and built differently than us, and now they have the rewards of a bike centered culture while we watch our gas costs go up and up and up---and wonder how we will afford to get to work.
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Old 09-01-12, 09:47 PM
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Have we stopped looking at the obvious? https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1264241.html

if people aren't working they aren't buying car, houses, or much of anything else. With big student loans and no job they aren't getting credit either.

However someone is buying homes even if only a bit better than the crash. https://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...425_story.html
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Old 09-01-12, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by loneviking61 View Post
The reason our economy is so sick is mostly structural, and a lot of it is related to cars.
Good point.

There's no question we have a structural problem because we have been fighting wars for energy related to cars but for also for everything else. Now we need an economic bouble to bring things back to normal with full employment only to watch it implod along with all the gains. Make not doubt about, a change to a cycle-centric society will not bring the back the good times.

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Old 09-01-12, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
Have we stopped looking at the obvious? https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1264241.html

if people aren't working they aren't buying car, houses, or much of anything else. With big student loans and no job they aren't getting credit either.

However someone is buying homes even if only a bit better than the crash. https://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...425_story.html
Holy Cow! Did you watch that video! Young men under about 17 are paying 4,000 sterling in car insurance!! That's incredible!!!! Folks, I believe that's close to 8K in US dollars!

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Old 09-01-12, 10:35 PM
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Employment is part of the issue. When my SO finished at the university, we moved out to the country to be near family (staying with someone now looking for employment), and thinking there would be something out here besides retail. We're mistaken. There's almost nothing out here but service-related work (retail and restaurants), as the rest is getting snatched up. The large majority of people commute over an hour back to the city, where again there's not much in the way of work.

I see such sad things as manufacturing and assembly plants left to rust, with developers making bids to turn it into 'industry chic' living spaces, while any industry is dwindling.

My SO has an interview for a job that would take us back to the metropolitan area, within reach of public transportation. I wouldn't have nearly so long to commute to my crappy job (still working there to have *some* sort of income), and times when, like now, the car is on the fritz again won't be such an issue.

My SO? Yeah, never learned how to drive. We were going to remedy that if we settled in the country, but if we go back to the city we may not worry about it, and just use the car for trips out of the city, and other things together (I'm the only one of us keen on bicycles lol). In the city, it's not necessary so much. I'm kind of looking forward to it.
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Old 09-01-12, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
if people aren't working they aren't buying car, houses, or much of anything else. With big student loans and no job they aren't getting credit either.
+1 the job market sux unless you want 3 minimum wagers. Student loans and medical insurances are through the roof.

There are no single income families anymore compared to the Ideal 50's lifestyle.
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Old 09-02-12, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Good point.

There's no question we have a structural problem because we have been fighting wars for energy related to cars but for everything else. Now we need an economic bouble to bring things back to normal with full employment only to watch it implod along with all the gains. Make not doubt about, a change to a cycle-centric society will not bring the back the good times.
No, it won't bring back the good times but it will pave the way to a better tomorrow---eventually. A society that is either too poor (or unwilling to) spend money on cars will have to have some way to get around. If cities make cycling safer and more convenient, the flight to the suburbs reverses itself. Cities are going to have to re-invent themselves and go back to what many of them once were as a collection of largely self contained neighborhoods. Small shops, small industries, corner grocery stores/cafes/resturants, parks and greenbelts, community gardens, all connected together by easily used bikeways. Again, this is just one small piece of a puzzle that needs to be worked out to build a better tomorrow.
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Old 09-02-12, 01:57 AM
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Here's a video that shows how making a city more cycling friendly can reverse the suburban flight and begin to turn things around locally:

https://vimeo.com/29468556
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Old 09-02-12, 02:47 AM
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I always figured that young people were not buying cars or homes because they blow all their money on things like iphone, plasma tv, computer, internet, games, etc. Us older people did not have such compulsion to have all this junk in our youth so we socked away our pennies to save for the big things. Modern day advertising is very persuasive, so much so that young folks probably believe they would not even be able to socialise without this new electronic junk.
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Old 09-02-12, 05:00 AM
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It could be that us young-folk are looking at you elders and your lifestyle and activities, finding some wisdom in them, and trying to imitate them
Besides, as has been discussed before, bikes are a LOT cheaper than cars, especially for us college-age folk that may not have a lot of money to spend on repairs and maintenance for MVs.
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Old 09-02-12, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
I always figured that young people were not buying cars or homes because they blow all their money on things like iphone, plasma tv, computer, internet, games, etc.
If you read the responses below the article, you'll understand why the young kids are spending their money on plasma tv's and internet. It's much cheaper to buy a plasma tv or Iphone than to save up money for a new house. Buying car insurance for a young adult is enough to pay for an Iphone and intenet access for a whole year with enough money left over to buy in inexpensive plasma TV!
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Old 09-02-12, 09:30 AM
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Interesting analysis... I suggest that anyone who thinks this represents a shift in the basic traits of the specified group take a little historical perspective... Not too long ago their was an entire generation that was going to 'change the world' and such--all while living off of their parents largess... Once they had to start supporting themselves, their youthful 'beliefs' lost in a conflict with more practical values...
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Old 09-02-12, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
I always figured that young people were not buying cars or homes because they blow all their money on things like iphone, plasma tv, computer, internet, games, etc. Us older people did not have such compulsion to have all this junk in our youth so we socked away our pennies to save for the big things. Modern day advertising is very persuasive, so much so that young folks probably believe they would not even be able to socialise without this new electronic junk.
Blow is such a strong word. Have you counted up how many iPhones it would take to equal the cost of a car? Us older people, Geezers In Training (GITs), are living electronically too.

I can remember when it was normal to upgrade your car every 2-3 years with a new one. We bought new color TVs, audio systems, jet skis, motorcycles, fancy 10 speed bicycles, vacations in exotic places. Socking away our pennies? Who do you think were buying all those Mc Mansions in brand new suburbs 50 miles from work? It's not modern day advertising that leads non-GITs to lead an electronic life. It's the whole world around them.

I know you have internet access, I suspect you have a cell phone, both things that very few people had in 1990. Life has changed since then. It's been a mind boggling change, especially for those of us who were conditioned to believe that reality is based on freeways, suburban houses and TV. Our apple cart has been upset. But that doesn't give us the knowledge to declare that others with different values are blowing their money. From reports I hear, generally they are harder pressed and less likely to spend frivolously.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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Old 09-02-12, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
Once they had to start supporting themselves, their youthful 'beliefs' lost in a conflict with more practical values...
I am part of that generation, and everyone I knew was self supporting. The big change I observed was when people became parents. It's hard to change the world when you are changing diapers.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 09-02-12, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
I always figured that young people were not buying cars or homes because they blow all their money on things like iphone, plasma tv, computer, internet, games, etc. Us older people did not have such compulsion to have all this junk in our youth so we socked away our pennies to save for the big things. Modern day advertising is very persuasive, so much so that young folks probably believe they would not even be able to socialise without this new electronic junk.
Plus ca changes, plus c'est la meme chose. (the more things change, the more they stay the same.)

I remember the early 70s, when I spent $400 on a stereo (equiv. to almost $2500 today) and dozens of LP records for $5 each ($25 each in 2010 dollars). I also had a French bicycle that cost about $200 (~ a grand).

Of course I didn't have a car until a little later, when I got a steady career type job.
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Old 09-02-12, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
I am part of that generation, and everyone I knew was self supporting. The big change I observed was when people became parents. It's hard to change the world when you are changing diapers.
When baby boomers came of age, there were frequent recessions, also severe inflation and gas crisis.
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Old 09-02-12, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
Interesting analysis... I suggest that anyone who thinks this represents a shift in the basic traits of the specified group take a little historical perspective... Not too long ago their was an entire generation that was going to 'change the world' and such--all while living off of their parents largess... Once they had to start supporting themselves, their youthful 'beliefs' lost in a conflict with more practical values...
Or some of us learned that changing the world required sacrifices, some of those including changing our lifestyle. Not every one of us in this "entire generation" sacrificed our desire for change for luxury and practicality. They can coexist, and riding bikes is one of many methods through which that coexistence can take place.

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Old 09-02-12, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Plus ca changes, plus c'est la meme chose. (the more things change, the more they stay the same.)

I remember the early 70s, when I spent $400 on a stereo (equiv. to almost $2500 today) and dozens of LP records for $5 each ($25 each in 2010 dollars). I also had a French bicycle that cost about $200 (~ a grand).
And contrary to the OP's surprise, car insurance for youthful males has been outrageously expensive for decades. Especially if they pick a sporty car or live in a high cost area.
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Old 09-02-12, 12:37 PM
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My landlord is grumpy enough with twenty tenants and a building supply company that probably almost pulled him underwater. You can't buy a house on Disability benefits, no matter what they tell you and the danged things either cost a fortune or you fall for a disaster area of a property.

Then you are told to go to college like it's your only hope, it costs too much and there are too many junk schools that promise the world if you want to learn skills that don't seem to have any applications in the real job market but sound warm and good.

Mind you, I'm 46 and I graduated high school 28 years ago but for the for the majority of that time it was either go to college or join the military and hope to afford to learn a career on the 'new GI Bill'. When I was a new college bound 18 year old in 1984 very few of us had a clue what we'd actually do other than move out and start a family like our parents. Somehow we became education fanatics, for god forbid our kids should should become losers or something.

It got away from us. I myself am disillusioned with the whole thing. College football seems to be far more important than the education for older people in some cases. Compete against this, beat that. Lose where you came in.

Here is the thing I know...my parents never lived in one house for more than five years and I've rented this place for seven. What happened to that 30 year mortgage, grow old and grey here stuff?

Luxury is in the eye of of the beholden and practicality is knowing who you are and dealing with it. It's never how you get about but what you did during and inbetween.
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Old 09-02-12, 01:06 PM
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Capitalism.

You make shoes. Then you make a machine that makes 10 times more shoes in the same time. Instead of having more free time, you end up working 2 times as hard, since the machine will put 9 out of 10 shoe makers out of work (one will be sufficient to service the machine). It's based on "profit" (money is a virtual value, you can't eat it). Such economy will come to a problem once natural resources stop becoming easily acquired and "growth" becomes impossible. So I expect a lot more poor people, very few middle class and even less rich ones owning it all.

Any kind of credit is like slavery.
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Old 09-02-12, 01:33 PM
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I don't want to get into it with anyone regarding Elizabeth Warren's politics because frankly I don't care, but this lecture on the coming collapse of the middle class really hits the nail on the head. There is absolutely NO COMPARISON between the economic freedom Boomers experienced in the 70s paired with what young people deal with today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A
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Old 09-02-12, 02:05 PM
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All of this is likely as irrelevant as it was in the 15th century and will ever be. Somebody is always goofing around and inventing your future by pure chance.

40 million other people have to believe you are the right goofball however.
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