This is a rant and a polemic, not an academic exercise. And “ok boomer” is an acceptable response to boomers.
I live in the Humid Depths of Dixie, on the outskirts of an expanding metro area. We’re growing fast. It’s both kind of cool and kind of scary. Also kind of annoying, and for many people, a real problem.
Without going into too many details, let’s just say that we have rapidly rising rent and housing costs, without adequate supply in a key area: affordable starter homes.
Not enough starter housing is being built. It’s not that Millennials don’t necessarily want to buy, it’s just that most simply can’t. I bought a house because I thought that a particular woman and I were getting married (didn’t), but I got a good deal and on the tail-end of the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.
My house was a perfectly fine starter house, almost exactly 2x my annual income, which at the time was perfectly middle class for my area.
Good luck getting a deal like that in our area now.
Now, around here, you’re lucky to get a termite-infested shack for $500 a month in rent (more than my mortgage payment), OR find something in the 250k range in a development with an HOA. Apartments are obscenely expensive now.
Part of this is due to regional development, but there is another issue.
As stated before, not enough starter-home construction is one aspect, but the other is house-flipping. You know, those assholes who go in and completely renovate old places, and while they don’t turn a 30k foreclosure into a 300k McMansion, they do enough work to price these former-wrecks out of the market for young singles or couples as either rentals or purchases.
This trend, of course, began with infomercials watched by Boomers twenty years ago. They were taught all about foreclosures and tax sales and all that nice stuff, and how to hire cheap labor to fix up a place just enough to get a really good appraisal, and then sit back with this property on market (for other boomers or X-ers) until it sells. Lather, rinse, repeat. And it’s not a bad thing in and of itself; it’s good to provide quality housing, and nothing wrong with making an honest buck. However, without accompanying starter housing as a consideration as well, that’s puttin’ the hurt on an entire generation.
Most Millennials will likely not own their own houses until more boomers die and we buy their shit at fire-sale prices. The economic damage will be glorious to behold, but it’s inevitable.
This, of course, is why you see Millennials being “entitled” and yes, on a broader basis, more socialistic in their thinking about these issues. Even to hard working Millennials like myself who didn’t buy all the lies and bought a house and all that–it’s insane.
GenX is quick to criticize Millennials for “buying into the bullshit,” but you have to remember, average is as average does. The ones hardest hit aren’t average people, though. Most of the successful Millennials I know are average IQ MAGA types who drive full-sized pickups or Challengers/Mustangs/etc. Good Ol’ Boys in training. They didn’t even hear the bullshit because of that blue collar. No, the ones hardest hit are the 115-130 IQ set. They did buy it, lock, stock, and barrel.
But why? Because unlike GenX, they didn’t have nearly as much Silent or Greatest influence on their lives to cut through the crap. I did have those influences, though, and was homeschooled. I paid cash for my tuition until I dropped out to start a business. I was fortunate to not buy the lie. Under different circumstances, I might have, but “there but for the grace of God…” Instead much of my generation’s potential best and brightest, and certainly much of the otherwise potentially marriagable, got saddled with student loans they’ll never be able to repay, can’t get a decent job because Boomers won’t train them up or retire, and can’t get affordable housing.
So instead, they console themselves with two roommates in an overpriced apartment with white claw, craft beer, avocado toast, overpriced coffee, and other such things while supporting candidates who talk a good game. More lies, of course, but we live in an empire of lies.
However, I have noticed among my peers, even my leftist ones, a growing hatred of Boomers. Millennials often get overlooked–and rightly so–as being a group who might despise Boomers. This changed right around the time “ok boomer” became a meme. While it originated with GenZ (who make the dankest memes), disaffected Millennials really latched on to it.
The Millennial may yet learn to hate.
Many of my peers have caught on to this whole house-flipping thing and have indeed noticed the signs for developments on the highway “GLENGARRY/GLEN ROSS ESTATES STARTING IN THE $300s!” It pisses them off. But there is a huge underserved market here, waiting to be targeted. All some enterprising builder needs to do is build or refurb decent houses for under $100k. Preferably $75k, given local conditions. The costs in your locale may vary. If I were in the industry, that’s what I’d be doing. It’s much lower profit margin, but volume is key.
I’m not defending the stupidity or poor decisions of my generation, mind you. But the construction industry is still, in effect, building houses for Boomers.
Do you want socialists? Because that’s how you get socialists.