"Mr. Gill owes about $45,000 in federal student loans, plus another $40,000 to his parents. That investment in his future has led to a secure job with decent pay and good benefits. But it has left him with tremendous financial constraints, as he faces chipping away at the debt for years on end.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in a new study, found that 30-year-olds with student loans were now less likely to have debts like home mortgages than 30-year-olds without student loans — even though most of those with student loans are better educated and can expect to earn more money over their lifetimes. The same pattern holds true for 25-year-olds and car loans.
This is surely a different start than any modern generation has had before? Can you buy a car? Can you own a home? Can you afford to have children? What does it mean for how you live your life?
Is this why so many young don't and have to find another way?
Is this why car sharing has to be a new reality? Is this why renting will become so important? Is this why owning stuff will have to be less important? Is this why in the UK so many 30 plus year olds still live with their parents?
With a 37% unemployment rate for this generation in the US, what does 10 + years of no job also add to this equation?
Isn't our economy and our culture is centred on owning stuff. It has been since the dawn of agriculture. But the Millennials cannot own stuff. A whole generation will grow into middle age with few assets that they "Own".
A marker of this is car sales. Cars sales have dropped in Europe for 18 months in a row. Car sales are down 10% in Europe and 17% in Germany! Demand also sank in other major continental markets, falling 14.5% in France, 13.9% in Spain and 4.9% in Italy. The UK was the only major bright spot for car makers, with sales up 5.9%.
What does this mean to an economy that is based on selling more and more stuff?
What will this mean to marriage and family? At the moment single people and single parents are at an all time high. Can a person survive as a single in this kind of world where sharing may be the only way to have what we need?
Now combine this with the Boomers who do not have enough assets and savings to make it thorugh old age and we have a cultural revolution. The Millenials and the Boomers need each other to make it through having kids and getting through old age.
We cannot know how this will be in any detail. But this is will be very different from any generation for 10,000 years.
It could mean the re-emergence of a society that is based on sharing and on the tribe. We used to live like this. Huans lived like this for all time - Except the last 10,000 years after the dawn of agriculture.
My book - You Don't Need a Job - offers some insight into what is going on.