June 25, 2014

MILLENIALS SKIP THE RING AND THE MORTGAGE.

They’re living at home in growing numbers. They’re not buying homes, which creates ripple effects throughout the housing market. They’re having more babies out of wedlock than in it. Why can’t millennials get it together?

The first and most obvious answer is “jobs.” If you can’t find a stable job, it’s hard to move out of Mom’s basement. It’s hard to commit to a mortgage or a spouse. It’s hard, in other words, to launch into the middle-class life that constitutes the American Dream.

Millennials are some of the biggest victims of the financial crisis. Those without a college degree face high rates of unemployment, while those who have a sheepskin are more and more likely to be underemployed in a job that doesn’t require their degree. Even if the student loan crisis has been overstated, the rising cost of college tuition certainly doesn’t help.

Yes, kids can live through a few years’ worth of frustration; they’re young, they’ll get over it. The question is not whether it is frustrating, however, but whether it is permanent.

It is if they keep electing politicians who add to the tax and regulatory burden.