The uber-Liberal website Salon.com has an article trumpeting the move Millenials are making away from the American Dream of home ownership to becoming lifelong renters. At first I was unsure why a site that endlessly decries the "economic inequality" of America today would extoll the virtues of further dividing the "haves and the have-nots". But as you read through the article you realize that tenants fit the Liberal mantra of greater Government dependence and control.
It's much easier for Government to interfere in the prices of rents rather than home prices. We all experienced the disaster created by Congressman Barney Frank and former Senator Chris Dodd when they demanded that lenders in the 1990's create mortgage products that would allow people without the proven financial means to own a home to still purchase one based on outrageous amounts of credit and risk. Rent control programs however have been in place for decades--requiring a certain percentage of housing development targeted at low-income renters. Of course, that has created housing crunches in places like San Francisco and New York, where rent control tenants hold onto those units forever and prevent new tenants or residents from coming in.
Renters also tend not to have as many personal transportation options as well. The hassle of dealing with parking in high-density rental areas leads many to rely on Government transportation options like buses, subways, light rail and even high-speed rail to get anywhere--even though they could afford to purchase and maintain their own vehicles. Take a little drive sometime and compare the number of "gas guzzling" pickup trucks and SUV's you see in apartment parking lots compared to what homeowners have parked in their driveways and garages.
Those living in apartments have far fewer concerns about property rights. It doesn't matter to them if the city adopts new fencing standards, exterior appearance ordinances, setback requirements, or RV and boat parking rules. I can't remember ever seeing large groups of apartment dwellers come before any council or county board to oppose a new regulation or requirement for property.
Let's not forget that tenants have far less stake in the cost of operating Big Government. They don't get property tax bills or special assessment bills. Most don't get hit with garbage and recycling collection fees, stormwater utility fees or in many cases even water bills. All of that is just included in the "rent" they pay each month--so if their landlord happens to increase that price to deal with the added costs incurred by Government spending, who does the tenant blame? The "greedy landlord"--not the City, the County or the School District.
And renting also takes away a certain amount of financial stability. While it should not be seen as an "investment"--as was the mantra of the 2000's--having a paid-for home is a nice little nest egg. Those who never build equity in a house won't have that to use later in life--so they become more dependent on Social Security and Medicare to live out the "golden years". It also make them perfect targets for the scare tactics of "potential cuts to our retirement security" every two years.
Most Millenials are probably blind to what they are giving up--and the control over the lives that will be imposed upon them--by never considering home ownership. But most probably don't care. Just so long as they can keep buying their $6 cups of Mohca Java Latte Grande with Almond Milk every day and their No Data Limit cellphone plans every month they will be happy with having less than their parents had--just like the Liberals want them to be.