A new Bloomberg article speaks to a trend directly correlated to the inequality between generations. For the first time in 130 years, young adults are more likely to live with their parents than a partner.
Student loan debt, under-employment, and lack of affordable housing are all cited as reasons.
But the article mentions something else I find dubious; the “good will” between parents and children. I scratched my head on that one.
Why is delayed adulthood because of terrible economic circumstances being recast as some mutually-agreed upon arrangement between Boomers and Millenials?
It is kind of ridiculous.
Last I checked, in 2008, Millenials were too young to be taking out mortgages with no down payments or heading up financial derivative units with the potential to destroy the world economy. But their Baby Boomer parents weren’t. Could it be that Boomers feel just a tinge of guilt over creating an utterly dysfunctional economic situation? Perhaps that, more than “good will” are the ties that bind Millenials to their parents.
Is it healthy? I doubt it. I can’t really believe that anyone over the age of 22 with a college degree prefers to live with their parents. Sorry Boomers. You are not really that cool or interesting.
I had a crummy job at 22, but living with my parents was not what I went to college for. Instead, I bought an Ikea loft bed, found some reasonably normal person on RoomateFinder.com, and moved into a corner of a NYC apartment for $500 a month. I nailed a sheet into the ceiling to block out light and enthusiastically became a New Yorker.
Could I live that way now? No. But at 22 I needed to do some individuating. That makeshift one bedroom was the only reason I stayed in the crummy job. I was so proud of my crappy apartment. It was something I got on my own.
What happens when a whole generation has given up on independence? How are they supposed to stay in the crummy job so they can get a better one?
I can’t imagine this trend bodes well for the future. And no matter how much “good will” there is between Boomers and Millenials, I still feel like we have robbed young people of something really vital, the chance to be independent.