Millennials Are Abandoning the Postwar Engines of Growth: Suburbs and Autos, by Charles Hugh Smith

Millennials don’t want live off in the burbs, commute several hours a day, and buy lots of things on credit at the local mall. They represent a dire threat to the American way of life. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Where’s the growth going to come from as the dominant generation makes less, borrows less, spends less, saves more and turns away from long commutes, malls and suburban living and abandons the worship of private vehicles?

If anything defined the postwar economy between 1946 and 1999, it was the exodus of the middle class from cities to suburbs and the glorification of what Jim Kunstler calls Happy Motoring: freeways, cars and trucks, ten lanes of private vehicles, the vast majority of which are transporting one person.

Ol’ 55 (freeway cars and trucks) (written by Tom Waits, performed by The Eagles)

The build-out of suburbia drove growth for decades: millions of new suburban homes, miles of new freeways, sprawling shopping malls, and tens of millions of new autos, trucks, and SUVs, transforming one-car households into three vehicle households. Then there was all the furnishings for those expansive new homes, and the credit necessary to fund the homes, vehicles, furnishings, etc.

Now the Millennial generation is turning its back on both of these bedrock engines of growth. As various metrics reveal, the Millennials are fine with taking Uber to work, buying their shoes from Zappos (return them if they don’t fit, no problem), and making whatever tradeoffs are necessary to live in urban cores.

Simply put, the natural progression of this generation is away from suburban malls, suburban home ownership and the car-centric commuter lifestyle that goes with suburban homeownership.

Saddled with insanely high student debt loads imposed by the rapaciously predatory higher education cartel, Millennials avoid additional debt like the plague. Millennials have relatively high savings rates. As for a lifetime of penury to service debt–hey, they already have that, thanks to their “I borrowed $100,000 and all I got was this worthless college degree” student loans.

To continue reading; Millennials Are Abandoning the Postwar Engines of Growth: Suburbs and Autos

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One response to “Millennials Are Abandoning the Postwar Engines of Growth: Suburbs and Autos, by Charles Hugh Smith

  1. Another interesting and useful reblog.

    Like

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