generation is different, but in America, there’s one thing that is constant:
our love of cars. Owning a car has been a celebrated rite of passage for
Americans since, … well, since the invention of cars.
Until today. It seems that the Millenials have broken that tradition
(they also don’t like to buy houses), and that shift in attitude can cause
a huge shift in the economy.
Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic explains:
… Millennials have turned against both cars and houses in dramatic
and historic fashion. Just as car sales have plummeted among their age
cohort, the share of young people getting their first mortgage between
2009 and 2011 is half what it was just 10 years ago, according to a
Federal Reserve study.
Needless to say, the Great Recession is responsible for some of the
decline. But it’s highly possible that a perfect storm of economic
and demographic factors—from high gas prices, to re-urbanization,
to stagnating wages, to new technologies enabling a different kind of
consumption—has fundamentally changed the game for Millennials.
The largest generation in American history might never spend as lavishly
as its parents did—nor on the same things. Since the end of World
War II, new cars and suburban houses have powered the world’s
largest economy and propelled our most impressive recoveries. Millennials
may have lost interest in both.