Author Topic: Young people don't buy cars because "They’re narcissistic. Apathetic. Pampered."  (Read 47084 times)

Le Dérisoire

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http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/real-reason-millennials-don-t-buy-cars-homes-153340750.html;_ylt=AmsogZ4Knx.wfRveUcUOxAKiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN1ajlwYjdpBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIE1lZ2F0cm9uIDIEcGtnAzE1Zjc5ZGMzLWQ3NGItM2FkNy04NDFjLTg3OWFlZjQyNzQ2ZQRwb3MDMQRzZWMDbWVnYXRyb24EdmVyAzgyY2Y0NjIyLWNhMDctMTFlMi05YmZmLWE3NDY0MzQxZTViNA--;_ylg=X3oDMTFkcW51ZGliBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3BtaA--;_ylv=3

Sorry for the long link.

According to this article on yahoo finance, my generation is a serious threat to the economy because we don't buy enough cars and houses. The reason behind that fact is that we are narcissistic and pampered. For real. I don't think the author is sarcastic.

We deny ourselves the freedom of having a car. You know... that's what freedom is all about. Having a car.

But there is hope. Sociologists say that it's only a matter of time before we turn into materialistic spenders.

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The Real Reason Millennials Don’t Buy Cars and Homes

They’re narcissistic. Apathetic. Pampered. And addicted to their four-inch screens.

If you believe the conventional wisdom about the millennial generation — those 16 to 34 years of age, by most calculations — you’ve got considerable reason to worry about the future of the U.S. economy. Millennials show far less interest in buying cars, homes and other big-ticket items than their parents did at the same age, which has generated an intense effort among companies that produce those things to crack the code of these crazy kids and figure out how to sell them stuff.
[...]
One of the biggest mysteries of millennials is why they seem to have little interest in cars, which have been an irresistible source of freedom and mobility for young people since the interstate highway system opened the whole country to Chevys and Mercurys in the 1950s.
[...]
Once millennials find their financial footing, however, they might just turn into materialistic spenders who love cars and other costly things — just like their parents.

bkru21

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Whatever...

I am a millennial. If they want me to buy a house, then don't make them so damn expensive. Houses have jumped 20% in price in my area, and investors are the blame (plus short supply)! I have enough for a downpayment, but when a house has 20 offers and half are in cash, I am left in the dust.

ToeInTheWater

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think this may be a big part of it:

Many young people have done what they’ve been told to do and gone to college, since education remains an important pathway to success. But many are graduating with heavy student-debt burdens and finding they can’t get jobs that pay enough to make the hefty payments on those loans


i have 3 millennial kids - 2 bought used cars, 1 lives in a big city & doesn't own a car.
for the 2 that bought used - 1 was concentrating on paying off student loans, 1 back in school for a 2nd degree.

b

CptPoo

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Scooters are where its at, they are way more hip!

In all seriousness, our parent's generation doesn't want to hire us and we are massively in debt (take my generalities with a grain of salt, please) its no wonder we don't want expensive, depreciating assets like cars. I plan on driving my car into the dirt and then I'll buy another inexpensive car to do the same.

Houses are a bit different for me though, mostly because I live in an area that was hard hit in 2007 and prices have barely increased since then. Not to mention that many houses around here can be purchased for about as much as a new car.

Jamesqf

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Could be right about the 4-inch screen thing, but it's not down to narcissism.  Instead, it's because they've spent most of their lives living second-hand, through TV, movies, video games.  So many of them approach the gamer stereotype, never coming outside except for work (if they can't get mom & dad to support them), and if they never interact with the real world (and the even realer world outside the 'urbs), why do they need cars?  Or bikes, running shoes, &c. 

But there's probably a growing market for plug-in feeding & waste tubes.

Undecided

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Could be right about the 4-inch screen thing, but it's not down to narcissism.  Instead, it's because they've spent most of their lives living second-hand, through TV, movies, video games.  So many of them approach the gamer stereotype, never coming outside except for work (if they can't get mom & dad to support them), and if they never interact with the real world (and the even realer world outside the 'urbs), why do they need cars?  Or bikes, running shoes, &c. 

But there's probably a growing market for plug-in feeding & waste tubes.

I think the baby boomer generation proved there's no tension between narcissism and consumerism, so I wasn't sure why that particular insult was used to introduce the article. Anyway, your post reminded me of a publication I saw from California State Parks that may make your head explode: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/795/files/millennials%20final_03_08_10.pdf

grantmeaname

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Could be right about the 4-inch screen thing, but it's not down to narcissism.  Instead, it's because they've spent most of their lives living second-hand, through TV, movies, video games.  So many of them approach the gamer stereotype, never coming outside except for work (if they can't get mom & dad to support them), and if they never interact with the real world (and the even realer world outside the 'urbs), why do they need cars?  Or bikes, running shoes, &c. 

But there's probably a growing market for plug-in feeding & waste tubes.
Makes me feel like you've never met anyone within 5 years of my age in person. Insults painted with broad brushstrokes are not the foundation of productive conversations.

dragoncar

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I think it's an interesting question.  I'd speculate that millenials find freedom in information and communication vs. crusing the highways.  In flexibility (zip car) vs. obligation (6 year car loan).  In short, Freedom with a capital F.

Crash87

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I like that the article implies that we seem to have blown our house down payments on cell phones... How much does the author think cell phones cost?


I won't bother to go into how I don't fit the stereotype... I'm on the MMM forum. Nuf said

Zikoris

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I'm a millennial and don't intend to ever buy a car or house - I'm incapable of obtaining a drivers license, and the places I enjoy living have sky-high home prices(yet low rent apartments, conveniently).

Joet

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^thats understandable in Vancouver [IIRC, the bubbliest of the bubbles in Canadian housing]

also the millennials are also the first of the "we dont keep score" generation in T-ball [it's their parents fault, though, really]. I get it though, I'm too old. Heh. My little bro is a millenial, though, we seem to be more alike than different. Each generation is a bit different than the last. Don't forget the ones before you were the REAL PROBLEM, aka the gen X slackers. Well, here I am. slacking slacking slacking :)

matchewed

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Could be right about the 4-inch screen thing, but it's not down to narcissism.  Instead, it's because they've spent most of their lives living second-hand, through TV, movies, video games.  So many of them approach the gamer stereotype, never coming outside except for work (if they can't get mom & dad to support them), and if they never interact with the real world (and the even realer world outside the 'urbs), why do they need cars?  Or bikes, running shoes, &c. 

But there's probably a growing market for plug-in feeding & waste tubes.

My apathy just doesn't give a crap. And all the incredible amount of pampering I've received through my feeding tube has sedated me to the point of... well... more apathy. I'll just have my mom & dad type out a snarky response to you.

Sarcasm aside you really think the reason millennials don't buy cars is because of phones, TV, movies, and video games?

Haven't we had enough demonizing of a new generations media/cultural preferences? Haven't TV and movies been blamed for the corruption of youth for a few generations now? And are those fears finally coming to fruition? Will I be grumping about those darn kids and the brain jacks thirty years from now? Yes, yes, probably not, and I hope so brain jacks would be cool (much cooler than feeding tubes).

TwoWheels

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Man this is a stupid article. It's founded on the never-questioned American assumption that more consumption is inherently good, and our self-worth as a nation should be tied to it.

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It’s as if America’s youth are rejecting social conventions that generations have held in common for decades.

Gosh, no generation has ever rejected long-held social conventions before!!! Someone call Ripley!!!

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Maybe living with their parents and saving money is just what millennials need to do to become the powerhouse purchasers of the future.

Except that's not how it works, generally speaking. Heavy consumers don't start out as savers and then suddenly start pissing their savings away. Instead they start out barely making it and fall prey to lifestyle inflation as their incomes rise.

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One of the biggest mysteries of millennials is why they seem to have little interest in cars, which have been an irresistible source of freedom and mobility for young people since the interstate highway system opened the whole country to Chevys and Mercurys in the 1950s. Yet millennials seem to scoff at the open road.

I've got nothing against "the open road", but to me foregoing the financial ball and chain of vehicle ownership allows me a much greater and more satisfying freedom than the ability to travel large distances on a whim. My idea of "freedom and mobility"? Being able to wake up every day and decide what the hell *I* want to do, without having to answer to anyone. That to me is orders of magnitude more valuable than any product money could buy.

Of course, financial independence is not the motivation for most millennials. But most of my friends don't fit the description in the article. Now that the whole "driving is terrible for the earth" thing is out of the bag, could it be that the rosy image of driving as a quintessential component of American freedom is starting to look laughably dated? And that after watching housing prices lurch all over the place, people my age are hesitant about jumping into the housing market?

Nah, must be those damn four-inch screens.

mpbaker22

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I like that the article implies that we seem to have blown our house down payments on cell phones... How much does the author think cell phones cost?


I won't bother to go into how I don't fit the stereotype... I'm on the MMM forum. Nuf said

The normal cost is probably 100*60+500 ($200 every 2 years for a new phone and $100/month for service)  That comes out to $13,000 ignoring investment income on those numbers.  At 5%, that's a down payment on a $260,000 house.  We have to remember how 'normal' people operate sometimes.

mpbaker22

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Whatever...

I am a millennial. If they want me to buy a house, then don't make them so damn expensive. Houses have jumped 20% in price in my area, and investors are the blame (plus short supply)! I have enough for a downpayment, but when a house has 20 offers and half are in cash, I am left in the dust.

Yep, it's crazy.  A decent house in my area starts at $150,000 (most go much higher) even though the average income is in the $40Ks.  People are still spending up to, and past, 28% of their income on housing. 
If they think I ought to do that, then they're going to be complaining for a long time.  I have enough for a substantial cash down-payment, but it's just not worth it.

Kriegsspiel

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"Hey old people: Fuck you."

- The Millennials.


Jamesqf

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Makes me feel like you've never met anyone within 5 years of my age in person. Insults painted with broad brushstrokes are not the foundation of productive conversations.

Where are the insults?  I don't see any in plain statements of fact.

As for the broad brushstrokes, it's inherent in the nature of statistics.  The article is not claiming that NO "millenials" are buying cars &c, just that significantly fewer are.  Likewise, some fraction of people that age are doing the gamer/media thing to the exclusion of outside life - and yes, I do know some people like that.  That's not saying they all are, 'cause I also know some who get outside at every opportunity.  But it seems as though there easily could be enough of the first sort to explain the changed numbers.

nktokyo

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I'd like to think people are seeing their parents having to work past 65 after spending their whole lives and thinking things through properly....

but it probably has more to do with student debt.

ep114

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There's just something in the human condition that makes people think younger generations are entitled, lazy, etc.
Dont' worry Millennials, it's happened to those that came before you, and in 20 or 30 years you might be doing it too.
Along with complaining about the music. That's mandatory.   

Crash87

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The normal cost is probably 100*60+500 ($200 every 2 years for a new phone and $100/month for service)  That comes out to $13,000 ignoring investment income on those numbers.  At 5%, that's a down payment on a $260,000 house.  We have to remember how 'normal' people operate sometimes.

How could my generation be so foolish as to not have the foresight to save money for an entire decade to purchase a home like prior generations!

I agree that my generation spends too much money on stupid stuff. But I disagree that my generation spends so much more on stupid stuff than prior generations that we can't afford homes.

limeandpepper

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Yep, it's crazy.  A decent house in my area starts at $150,000 (most go much higher) even though the average income is in the $40Ks.

Consider yourself lucky. My income is less than $50k and the not-fancy, but admittedly nicely located two-bedroom apartment I'm in would cost $500k+ to buy. Luckily, I'm only renting. :)

mpbaker22

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The normal cost is probably 100*60+500 ($200 every 2 years for a new phone and $100/month for service)  That comes out to $13,000 ignoring investment income on those numbers.  At 5%, that's a down payment on a $260,000 house.  We have to remember how 'normal' people operate sometimes.

How could my generation be so foolish as to not have the foresight to save money for an entire decade to purchase a home like prior generations!

I agree that my generation spends too much money on stupid stuff. But I disagree that my generation spends so much more on stupid stuff than prior generations that we can't afford homes.
Don't get me wrong.  I don't think that's actually happening, but you could pay a down-payment with a typical cell phone bill over 5 years.  I was just responding to the original post that if you got rid of a typical cell phone bill for 5 years it would becomes a down payment under the loose down payment rules.

mpbaker22

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Yep, it's crazy.  A decent house in my area starts at $150,000 (most go much higher) even though the average income is in the $40Ks.

Consider yourself lucky. My income is less than $50k and the not-fancy, but admittedly nicely located two-bedroom apartment I'm in would cost $500k+ to buy. Luckily, I'm only renting. :)

That's exactly my point.  Most people in your situation are probably trying to buy the $500K houses - and that is actually driving the prices up higher which then make people more willing to pay more - what a cycle.  Yet it doesn't even make sense for me to buy a $150K house - a third of that cost.

Jamesqf

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Further, gasoline was CHEAP! You could heat a house and drive a car for next to nothing.

Sorry, but you're not doing the math properly.  You're looking at the cost of gasoline in dollars, and thinking a 1973 dollar is the same as a 2013 dollar.  If instead you figure the miles you can drive for an hour of minimum-wage work, it actually can be cheaper today, as long as you buy a fuel-efficient used car instead of an oversized guzzler.

Same with home heating.  Yes, a gallon of fuel was cheaper, but houses back then had minimal insulation, single-pane windows (often with aluminum frames, and other energy wasters, which meant that you burned through 5 or 10 times as many gallons to keep your house at the same temperature.

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Today, when you buy a car (new or used) you get murdered on licencing, insurance, maintenance and fuel.

Nope.  You CAN, if you make the wrong choices, but I manage to spend very little on cars.  Drive a 2000 Insight, 70+ mpg, $70/year registration, about $300 insurance, next to nothing on maintenance & repairs...  I'd bet I pay less per month for the car than the typical millenial pays for that smart phone.  (I pay $7/month for the phone - again, it's about choices.)

Grigory

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about $300 insurance
$300 a year, I presume? I won't take apart all of your points, James - only this one. How old are you? I'll assume you're in your 40s. In case you don't know, insurance companies charge young people a lot of money for the same insurance coverage you get for $300. I'm 26, I've been in 2 accidents (got rear-ended, I wasn't at fault) and I pay $1,300 a year in insurance. That's $1,000 more than you do. Please, James, tell me again about how my generation has it so easy and chooses to be lazy.

Donovan

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$300 a year, I presume? I won't take apart all of your points, James - only this one. How old are you? I'll assume you're in your 40s. In case you don't know, insurance companies charge young people a lot of money for the same insurance coverage you get for $300. I'm 26, I've been in 2 accidents (got rear-ended, I wasn't at fault) and I pay $1,300 a year in insurance. That's $1,000 more than you do. Please, James, tell me again about how my generation has it so easy and chooses to be lazy.

I'm actually curious what you are driving and what your payments were before the accidents.  I'm 23 and I only pay about $450 in insurance over a year.  It's higher than Jame's, but much, much lower than yours.  But it's also a 1999 car.

Jamesqf

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Yes, if you buy an older used car for cash, and carry only liability insurance instead of collision & comprehensive, your insurance costs are going to be much lower than if you buy new (or newer used) and have to finance & carry C&C.  Yes, you are going to get hit with higher premiums because you're young, but not that much higher.  I got hit with the same when I was younger, too.

Grigory

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I'm actually curious what you are driving and what your payments were before the accidents.  I'm 23 and I only pay about $450 in insurance over a year.  It's higher than Jame's, but much, much lower than yours.  But it's also a 1999 car.
It's a 2013 Kia Rio. (More details below.)

Yes, if you buy an older used car for cash, and carry only liability insurance instead of collision & comprehensive, your insurance costs are going to be much lower than if you buy new (or newer used) and have to finance & carry C&C.
Well, that's what the OP's article was about, wasn't it? My first 3 cars were used: a 2001 Nissan Altima, which fell apart within 3 months of my buying it, so the dealer replaced it with a lemon-ish 1998 Buick Skylark. It was a great little car after I got it fixed up, but it got rear-ended by an idiot who was too busy to pay attention to stop signs, apparently. Since it was an old used car, the guy's insurance gave me a paltry $1,600 check (I could have sued the guy for a "mysterious pain the neck" but I'm not that much of a weasel), which I used to buy a 1988 Honda CRX. Fun little car, too, but something would break every 2-3 months. :( A drunk idiot hit it in a parking lot.

I had gotten tired of old and cheap cars that took a fortune to maintain - especially after I added up all the repair bills and realized that I would have saved money (and time, and frayed nerves) if I'd bought a brand new car to begin with. Alas, it looks like the car (2013 Kia Rio) was assembled by chipmunks (this is not a racial slur against South Koreans, btw) - they hadn't secured the coolant hose to the engine well enough, which caused my car to break down in the middle of a highway 6 weeks after I bought it. The engine overheated, too - so they took a week to replace it... (First time in my life I got a free car repair! Yaaay...)

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm really, really unlucky when it comes to cars, and that young people are screwed either way: old cars require a lot maintenance, which very few of us Millennials know how to do, and new cars cost a lot in insurance and can break down as well, though you can get them fixed for free if they're still under warranty. :^/ I plan on keeping my lemon-flavored Kia for the whole 10 years (manufacturer's warranty) and after that... Hell, I don't even know. A motorcycle? A jetpack? A horse? Kind of turned off by the whole car ownership thing now. :(

oldtoyota

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Ah, it is another one of those "young people are dumb" articles.

The idea that people do not buy cars because they are looking at four-inch screens is preposterous. The screens are at least six inches.

Seriously, though, I think city communities are moving toward sharing items. We have car sharing and bike sharing and companies that make that happen. Money is being spent, but it may not be spent in the same ways--and maybe not as *much* money is being spent.

DH and I think it's really strange our street has 16 houses with 16 lawn mowers. Why not one lawn mower?




daverobev

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Insurance varies hugely depending on where you live so is not comparable - at all.

I live in Ontario. Currently insuring two cars (so discount), plus house (another discount), and it still comes out to $1800 for the two cars.

If we moved to Quebec, it'd go down to 1/4 that. But tax would be 3-5% higher, and the brackets lower.

However, it is true that petrol is *not* expensive. $60 will get me 500km. In a very large lump of metal. That is batshit crazy.

Our heating bill in Canada (-30 degrees C folks, sometimes) - for the worst month was $180 I think. It averages out to about $60 per month year round.

Just remember, it used to be that 1/3 or more of peoples' pay would go to buying food. We have it easy, we really do (except society finds things for us to spend our money on when we really shouldn't).

And.. the difference between brand new and known-shitty or really old is quite high. Like... instead of brand new, how about 1/3 the price, but in cash. And don't buy Altimas. Or Skylarks. Check out carcomplaints and find a year and model that does NOT have a horrid spike, or has a spike for the auto when you're buying manual, or the 2.5 when you're buying the 2.0, etc, etc.

Cars aren't magic. Things wear. Some are badly designed. And sometimes you get unlucky. But if you're having something fixed every 3 months... and it costs $200 each time... well, that's $800 a year. New car is $12k, or $15k, or $20k. If you paid 1/3 the new price - say $5k for something decent - and are spending $800 a year on repairs... well, that's still 12 years of repairs you haven't spent *yet*.

Plus, new cars break too! My SIL has had two new suspensions on her Mazda 5, apparently. It's 4 years old with 120k km on.

/shrug

oldtoyota

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Could be right about the 4-inch screen thing, but it's not down to narcissism.  Instead, it's because they've spent most of their lives living second-hand, through TV, movies, video games.  So many of them approach the gamer stereotype, never coming outside except for work (if they can't get mom & dad to support them), and if they never interact with the real world (and the even realer world outside the 'urbs), why do they need cars?  Or bikes, running shoes, &c. 

But there's probably a growing market for plug-in feeding & waste tubes.
Makes me feel like you've never met anyone within 5 years of my age in person. Insults painted with broad brushstrokes are not the foundation of productive conversations.


Maybe that age group noticed their parents spent 1-2 hours each way in traffic to get to jobs, and the young folks did not like what they saw. 

The article referenced above confirms that Yahoo is stupid.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 05:02:24 PM by oldtoyota »

Reepekg

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One of the biggest mysteries of millennials is why they seem to have little interest in cars, which have been an irresistible source of freedom and mobility for young people since the interstate highway system opened the whole country to Chevys and Mercurys in the 1950s.

This is only a mystery to old people. Maybe in 1950 a car meant you could drive around in freedom. My automotive experience has been more like it takes an hour to go 10 miles because of traffic and I am forced to get into the car to run every boring errand because no major stores are designed to be walked to.

My dad tells a story about how he once road tripped to California to catch up with some friends and it was such a great adventure. Freedom? Please. Why bother driving when Skype or Google fills this need all the time, any time.

Jamesqf

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My dad tells a story about how he once road tripped to California to catch up with some friends and it was such a great adventure. Freedom? Please. Why bother driving when Skype or Google fills this need all the time, any time.

Back in those days a letter would do as well for communication as Skype, if slower.  There were plenty of picture books that did the job Google does now.  But none of those will put you on the beach when the surf's up, or let you hike in the Sierra or the redwoods, or (as I did this pm) ride a horse out in the Empty Quarter.  They leave you stuck in your bedroom staring at those 4-inch screens :-)

mustachecat

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Some of you are misreading (or just not reading) this article. The "real reason" millennials don't buy cars, according to the writer, is not because they're narcissistic, apathetic, and pampered, which is "conventional wisdom" (conventional wisdom being that any generation coming of age = jerks); the real reason is that "[t]hey don't have much money"... which isn't very controversial.

mpbaker22

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I'm actually curious what you are driving and what your payments were before the accidents.  I'm 23 and I only pay about $450 in insurance over a year.  It's higher than Jame's, but much, much lower than yours.  But it's also a 1999 car.

Accidents and tickets can kill you.  I got a speeding ticket in 2010 and was in an accident (my fault and a fair amount of damage) in 2008, and an accident (his fault and very minor damage) in 2010.  This actually creates a really great one point study.  I can compare prices across multiple insurance companies.  Geico looks at all incidents in the past 5 years.  State farm looks at tickets for the last 3 years, accidents not at fault for 3 years, and accidents at fault for 5 years (perfect for me since they'll all going off the record when I renew this month).

Anyway, shouldn't be any longer than I need to be.  Geico costs me currently $804/year.  It will cost me $720/year at renewal.  State Farm will cost ~$480/year this month.  The point - accidents and incidents can make a HUGE difference.

For comparison, I drive a 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid (totaled by hail so worth about $4K - also has 150,000 miles on it) without comprehensive and fairly minimal liability coverage.

Nancy

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Some of you are misreading (or just not reading) this article. The "real reason" millennials don't buy cars, according to the writer, is not because they're narcissistic, apathetic, and pampered, which is "conventional wisdom" (conventional wisdom being that any generation coming of age = jerks); the real reason is that "[t]hey don't have much money"... which isn't very controversial.

+1 The author supports his stance with a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY.

Crash87

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Young people may not consider housing a sure-fire investment like previous generations did either. Why would I buy a house if it might magically lose part of its value and be difficult to sell? Most of us didn't own homes during the bubble, but we still saw what happened to our parents.

*I know it wasn't magic, but it might as well have been through my teenaged eyes.

BlueMR2

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Accidents and tickets can kill you. 

No joke there.  Women usually get better rates than men, yet my insurance for TWO cars was a few dollars cheaper than my wife's insurance for ONE car!  I have a completely clean record, at that time she had been in multiple collisions and had multiple speeding tickets.

Odd side note: Since going into pilot training (eventually getting her Pilot's license) she hasn't had a single ticket or collision...  Apparently becoming a pilot makes one a much better driver?

Jamesqf

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...the real reason is that "[t]hey don't have much money"...

I expect few of us did, at that age.  I sure didn't.

FWIW, the newest car I've ever owned is the 2000 Insight.  It's also the only one I've owned that's a 1990 or later model.

mustachecat

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...the real reason is that "[t]hey don't have much money"...

I expect few of us did, at that age.  I sure didn't.

FWIW, the newest car I've ever owned is the 2000 Insight.  It's also the only one I've owned that's a 1990 or later model.

Yes, but "BREAKING NEWS: YOUNGER PEOPLE HAVE LESS MONEY THAN OLDER PEOPLE" isn't as effective as click-bait.

Seriously, though, I think there are many reasons Millennials aren't buying as many cars their parents (or as many cars as car marketers would like). The economy is one; the unemployment rate for Millennials is much higher than for older workers. There's a pretty strong preference for many Millennials to live in walkable urban centers. As oldtoyota mentioned, there's also the rise of the sharing economy, in which Millennials are much more likely to participate. And, yes, for many Millennials, technology/social platforms have become the default or even preferred method of keeping connected with peers, versus face-to-face time.

Anyhoo, what I'm saying is: This article was very silly, but it doesn't call young people narcissistic, apathetic, etc.

DocCyane

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The only important line of that article was how Millennials are delaying typical adult behavior, which I agree with. Part of that is economics and circumstance not of their making. And a lot of it is their choice.

Given the choice between living with parents in a nice home with cable television, free meals, a washing machine, access to vehicles, and a ridiculously low rent (if any) OR living in a skanky apartment shared with 5 of your peers, taking the bus, and having no amenities... Well, it's easy to pick living with mommy.

It wasn't acceptable for my generation to do this. (Gen-X). We would have been laughed at by our peers and parents alike.

The problem with delayed adulthood is that many will never achieve it, unwilling to go through the discomfort of early adulthood when sacrifice and hard work are required. They will not marry, have children, etc.

But at least they aren't as self-centered as the Boomers.

jpo

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The only important line of that article was how Millennials are delaying typical adult behavior, which I agree with. Part of that is economics and circumstance not of their making. And a lot of it is their choice.

Given the choice between living with parents in a nice home with cable television, free meals, a washing machine, access to vehicles, and a ridiculously low rent (if any) OR living in a skanky apartment shared with 5 of your peers, taking the bus, and having no amenities... Well, it's easy to pick living with mommy.

It wasn't acceptable for my generation to do this. (Gen-X). We would have been laughed at by our peers and parents alike.

The problem with delayed adulthood is that many will never achieve it, unwilling to go through the discomfort of early adulthood when sacrifice and hard work are required. They will not marry, have children, etc.
Interesting TED Talk I saw the other day relates highly to this. http://www.ted.com/talks/meg_jay_why_30_is_not_the_new_20.html

Tyler

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A slightly less inflammatory explanation:

http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2013/04/young-student-loan-borrowers-retreat-from-housing-and-auto-markets.html

TL;DR : skyrocketing student loan debt + poor job market + tightening bank credit = many millennialis couldn't qualify for a home loan even if they wanted one

oldtoyota

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One of the biggest mysteries of millennials is why they seem to have little interest in cars, which have been an irresistible source of freedom and mobility for young people since the interstate highway system opened the whole country to Chevys and Mercurys in the 1950s.

This is only a mystery to old people. Maybe in 1950 a car meant you could drive around in freedom. My automotive experience has been more like it takes an hour to go 10 miles because of traffic and I am forced to get into the car to run every boring errand because no major stores are designed to be walked to.

My dad tells a story about how he once road tripped to California to catch up with some friends and it was such a great adventure. Freedom? Please. Why bother driving when Skype or Google fills this need all the time, any time.

Haha. So funny. The "freedom" of cars was helped along when the Ford Motor Co bought up all the street cars and shut them down, thus forcing people to buy Ford cars!

The link below says Americans "preferred" to drive alone in their cars. Whatever the actual truth is, we all know owning cars is exchanging one form of freedom for another form of non-freedom. =-)
http://amhistory.si.edu/onthemove/exhibition/exhibition_4_6.html

NYD3030

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A slightly less inflammatory explanation:

http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2013/04/young-student-loan-borrowers-retreat-from-housing-and-auto-markets.html

TL;DR : skyrocketing student loan debt + poor job market + tightening bank credit = many millennialis couldn't qualify for a home loan even if they wanted one

THIS.  As a gainfully employed millennial (software engineer on MMM forum?  No way!) who comes from a pretty blue collar area, the reason my friends drive decade + cars, live four to an apartment, and buy basically nothing, is because the job they have at the auto parts factory pays $9 an hour.  When Mr. Boomer got that same job, he was making the equivalent of 60k a year, had awesome benefits and PTO.   The economy is really bad for young people whether they're educated or not.  I recently read an article showing that from the 80s to today, the net worth of people in their 20s and 30s went down by something like 30%.  That's not because we "spent it all on phones."  It's because that money now flows to other (richer) people.

FWIW, I'm doing great and am saving up for a house, investing tons of money.  But it's because I have money to begin with.



Jamesqf

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Haha. So funny. The "freedom" of cars was helped along when the Ford Motor Co bought up all the street cars and shut them down, thus forcing people to buy Ford cars!

Without arguing as to the truth of the Ford story, I think you are greatly missing the point.  Sure, if you're so unfortunate as to have to live in an urban area, streetcars (or other mass transit) will get you to work and back just fine.  But isn't there more to life than that?  (Indeed, isn't that why so many of you want early retirement?)  Mass transit just can't take you to most of the interesting places, including that secluded back lane with your g/b-friend.

...because the job they have at the auto parts factory pays $9 an hour.  When Mr. Boomer got that same job, he was making the equivalent of 60k a year, had awesome benefits and PTO.   The economy is really bad for young people whether they're educated or not.

Guess this one's for the "every generation thinks it's getting screwed" file.  The economy now isn't notably worse than it was during the Nixon/Ford/Carter administrations, when a lot of boomers were young.  Sure, back in those days some young people (usually those with fathers or uncles in the union) got those high-paying blue-collar jobs at the auto parts factory.  Others of us (me, for one) worked in the fields for not much money at all.  Nowadays some young people get well-paid jobs doing software engineering & such.  (I know one who's currently making the equivalent of about $70K/yr as a summer intern at Google.)  Others don't. 

grantmeaname

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Haha. So funny. The "freedom" of cars was helped along when the Ford Motor Co bought up all the street cars and shut them down, thus forcing people to buy Ford cars!
First, that was GM. Second, that's a dubious explanation that only halfway fits the facts.

NYD3030

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Sure, if you're so unfortunate as to have to live in an urban area, streetcars (or other mass transit) will get you to work and back just fine.

I think this one line encapsulates the generation gap almost in its entirety.  Young people are flocking to cities with mass transit and find there is a lot more to do in an urban area than "go to work and back."  And they offer a lot of freedoms to a young person that a car does not, notably freedom from a car payment, and freedom to go to the bar and not have to drive 20 miles across the country/suburb to get home.  Plus the ability to associate with people who aren't white is nice!

mpbaker22

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I think this one line encapsulates the generation gap almost in its entirety.  Young people are flocking to cities with mass transit and find there is a lot more to do in an urban area than "go to work and back."  And they offer a lot of freedoms to a young person that a car does not, notably freedom from a car payment, and freedom to go to the bar and not have to drive 20 miles across the country/suburb to get home.  Plus the ability to associate with people who aren't white is nice!

White people are the master race and the only ones worth associating with.

Disclaimer - This is a joke pointed towards suburbanites