Friday, August 24, 2012

YUPPIEs No More

I read this article today and I found it interesting because while they touch upon some of the core reasons why millennials aren't buying homes and cars it goes into the usual spiel about millenials being an urban generation that wants to live in the city.  As a millennial I can tell you this isn't exactly true, while millenials do live in the city it's not because we (in the royal sense) disdain suburbs in the way New Urbanists would disdain the suburbs. It's simply because cities are were all the partying action is, and because suburbs are the domain of families.  Every single friend I have that I spoke to said that the first thing they would do when they finally get decided to get married, and have kids, they would get out of the city and move into a nice, safe, and quiet suburban city.  The reason why more millennial are staying in the city is simply because marriage comes at a later date than it had in years past.

The fact is, all this talk about lower consumption and sharing of resources, which misses a major mark.  While there are a subset of people who want to do this, and this means use zip car, shop at thrift stores, and live in an urban village, the majority of us are forced into this situation by necessity not choice.  The fact is that if consumption goods were manufactured like they used to be, not as a disposable consumption item, and millenials developed some technical know how then we would be living lifestyles closure to that of our grandparents than this strange existence we have now, which is really just a different form of consumption.

But despite the attempts to look at the positive aspects of whats going on the simple fact is that millenials aren't buying houses and cars are because we can't afford them.  Even if a millennial can get a job that isn't a BBW (Bartending, Barista, Waiter) job then the pay isn't close enough to fund a lifestyle that would have been normal in later years.  For example, I have a friend that recently got full time job, after working as a contract worker for almost two years, that didn't even crack $ 40,000.  Now I know there are some people out there who live in rural or lost cost areas that would think this salary is a pretty good sum.  But in an urban area with a high cost of living, studio apartments average around a cool grand, and the realities of taxes and student loans the income isn't sufficient enough to support a lifestyle of buying new cars and new homes.  Yes this person will be able to make enough to live, have some fun, and save a little after student loans have been taken care of; but the simple fact is that the YUPPIE as we used to conceive of it, is simply no more.

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Seattle resident whose real name is Kevin Daniels. This blog covers the following topics, libertarian philosophy, realpolitik, western culture, history and the pursuit of truth from the perspective of a libertarian traditionalist.