Why Don’t The Kids Buy Houses?
This is why:
I’m still waiting for that oh-so-desired housing market crash.
Will suck for the boomers, but hey, maybe then I could actually afford a house! It’s about time for the boomers to actually sacrifice something for the younger generations.
Their house value has tripled. While our salaries and wages haven’t kept up at all. Our paycheck may be bigger than their old $2.50 an hour (that they oh so often like to comment about), but our purchasing power has barely budged. We’re making the same when adjusted for inflation, while expected to pay three times more for every single thing:
After adjusting for inflation, however, today’s average hourly wage has just about the same purchasing power it did in 1978, following a long slide in the 1980s and early 1990s and bumpy, inconsistent growth since then. In fact, in real terms average hourly earnings peaked more than 45 years ago: The $4.03-an-hour rate recorded in January 1973 had the same purchasing power that $23.68 would today.
I’m not too jaded, just annoyed. Especially when it is nearly constant that the older generations act like they had it so difficult. By every economic metric, they sure didn’t. By every economic metric, they had it easier by an absolutely insane multiplier.
The idea that I could make the same today and buy a house for 3 times less while having nearly no debt because car/education prices were dramatically lower is incomprehensible. I truthfully can’t even imagine it. Life would be so much easier.
But hey, who needs an easy life? In many respects, that’d be a worse punishment, because then I wouldn’t know struggle. And from struggle comes strength. I’d much rather be mentally strong and morally upright rather than set up for a material-based life.
Still, I can’t help but get a laugh when those of the older generation talk down upon any of the Gen X and younger crowd. It was their generation’s policies, mostly immigration and fiscal, that trapped us in this situation in the first place. Just like how I can’t comprehend owning my sixth vacation home, they can’t comprehend purchasing power parity and how we need three college degrees before we could make the equivalent of what they did straight out of high school.
Their own policies lead to our generation’s massive financial decline and then they wonder why we don’t just do things like they did. The simple answer is because we can’t. There isn’t any money to do so.
So to all the boomers: You are why we are not buying houses. But to all the younger generations: Embrace it. From this comes the opportunity for spiritual and intellectual development that the Boomer generation never had.
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