Regular readers of my blog will be aware of my attitude as regards to millennials complaining that they can’t afford to move out of home, let alone purchase a house, whilst simultaneously affording themselves a lifestyle that is entirely at odds with their supposed property investment goals.
These are the ‘smashed avocado set’. Young people who are perfectly happy to blow their money on $50 breakfasts while complaining that they are priced out of the property market. So it was with some amusement that I read this article from a millennial purporting to disprove the avocado on toast moniker.
Yet, five years after leaving university, here I am – no closer to being able to rent, let alone buy, a place of my own than I was when I graduated. I want my own space. Who wouldn’t? But with stifling house prices, rising rents, stagnant wages and a shedload of student debt, that’s not looking likely.
We’ll leave the ‘shedload of student debt’ to one side for the moment and have a look at his other points. Stagnant wages? You can lay the blame for that entirely at the feet of the hideous decision to mass import low skilled foreign immigrants over the last twenty years. Immigration does not do anything to help an economy because immigrants are not producers when they arrive in the country. In order to demand products or services you must first be a supplier so that you have the income to be able to demand in the first place.
This distortion of the employment market has caused wages to stagnate across the economy, but it has had the biggest impact on entry level and low level jobs that immigrants typically go for.
High house prices and rising rents are also a reflection of this trend. Housing is no longer seen as a home; more and more it is an investment, and prices reflect this changing attitude. The more people enter a country then the more competition there is for housing.
Back to our intrepid millennial:
After leaving Birmingham University with a philosophy degree …
Before you all fall about laughing, I actually consider philosophy to be an extremely viable subject for young people to study. It is the basis for Western civilization, and so the more people who understand and appreciate that the better.
However, it is an important subject when taken in addition to other subjects. But philosophy on its own is no longer a secure investment path for new graduates. Just what jobs did this young man actually think that he was going to be in line for once he graduated from a third rate institution like Birmingham university?
But although I was earning, an expensive room in a rented flat just wasn’t an option: I’d have had to make some major cutbacks to my social life, and I’ve never been one to continually prioritise saving over doing the things I enjoy. I don’t splash the cash like I’m a millionaire, but I won’t say no to four or five beers with friends. You should not have to give up on fun entirely, in order to leave home.
Don’t bother reading the rest of his piece. What more do you need to know? Like most millennials he has been brought up to have it all and expect it all. Sacrifices are anathema to these people. He said it himself – he has never been one to prioritise saving over doing the things that he enjoys. I don’t have a problem with that. But I do have a problem if that same individual then goes on to loudly complain that the deck is stacked against him and that he can’t purchase a home.
Four or five beers with friends? In Australia you won’t see much change from $50 for that sort of night out on the town. How many nights a week does he do this? Let’s say four nights a week. That’s ten large a year. By his own admission it has been five years since he left university. That would be fifty large by now. $50,000 of beer. Do you know what that sounds like? That sounds like a home deposit to me.
I know what he’ll say next – but that sort of deposit will only buy me a small home with a long commute. Yeah, and? Oh, that’s right, I forgot – you’ve been brought up to have it all and you expect it all. When you say purchase a home what you mean is a terrace in Knightsbridge. Silly me.
Of course, if the silly twit hadn’t racked up a huge amount of student debt studying philosophy and had instead got himself a trade, he could then take those marketable skills somewhere else in the country where the housing prices are much more competitive. The really crazy thing is that he is still young enough to go and get a trade. After all, he’s still living at home with mommy and daddy.
But millennials look down on the trades as being beneath their expectations, even though it is exactly those types of people who are buying houses. Yet our philosophy major still has some sort of lofty dream of becoming a university professor where he can lecture and mentor younger people on what path they need to follow in life.
In other words, it is the blind leading the blind.
The article that I linked to reads like a parody. It displays a stunning lack of self-awareness, but it is entirely typical of the me generation. Usually it is the parents and educators that are at fault, but sooner or later these kids are going to have to wake up and understand that the world works completely differently once you get outside of the school and university walls.
Nobody cares that you can’t afford a home. And the more you complain about wanting to eat your avocado toast and have your house too, the more we’re going to look upon you as the useless cretins that you are.