Millennial Homeownership: Everyone is ‘Passing Go’ But Only The Privileged Collect $200 🎩
This laughable Buzzfeed article describing how some Millennials were able to ‘afford’ home ownership could have been summarized as the following: if my ‘well-off’ white parent(s) and/or family did not provide a substantial down payment for me, I would not have even been able to buy a cardboard box.
Generational wealth; which the majority of minorities certainly lack (along with the larger part of the U.S. population), plays a huge role in millennials buying in this market. Of course, this privilege is self-sustaining. So, how did we end up here?
Baby Boomers decimated the economy and plenty more
Boomers anointed Reagan and in 1981 he became their champion of neoliberalism. In addition to policies that favored corporate interests, with him came a wave of poisonous thinking that led America down a dark path. The Boomers unraveled the communal bond of social collectivism (ie. giving a sh*t about others) they inherited from their parents who bravely faced WWII, and needed to remain united to survive and later thrive. Yet the generation who enjoyed and benefited from strong unions, job security and low cost of living, turned around and denied their very own children and grandchildren those same opportunities. 🤔
Crazy thing is, we’re still feeling the effects of what could be argued as the most selfish generation ever. C’mon man! They practically tripped over themselves to give tax breaks to the rich last year! Thanks, Boomers.
Homeowning Baby Boomers are moonlighting as urban planners?
Boomers apparently invented San Francisco, Seattle and other high status urban areas, which may explain why they act like they have the right to impede affordable housing initiatives. This crusade is made easier for white Boomers because they make up the majority of homeowners’ associations and have powerful sway on the outcomes that affect everyone in the neighbourhood. Millennials, working and middle classes are pushed further from the city center because they simply can’t afford to get into the housing market. Rich Boomers are gobbling up the majority of housing wealth created, at everyone else’s expense and stopping new housing developments from being built to accommodate the increasingly diverse population.
Inheritances uphold the racial wealth gap
80% of Americans over 62 are white. White families, with an employed breadwinner, have 10 times the wealth of black families. We’re all playing a game of Monopoly, but some folks have had more trips around the board and collected more than their $200 share. Only 13% of college-educated black families received an inheritance of more than $10,000 as compared to 41% of white, college-educated families. This data speaks to the fact that a university degree does not singularly even the playing field. The looming wealth transfer to white millennials is 5x more likely to occur than to their non-white millennial counterparts who make up 45% of this demographic. Large inheritances can be used to pay off student loans, mortgages and provide opportunities to build and maintain generational wealth; a luxury predominantly afforded to white families.
Millennials are not all created equal and they are poised to receive the largest transfer of wealth in history. Depending on what ‘race’ you’re running however, that happy meal comes with a heaping side of inequality.