Fewer young people can afford to have a car - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15275237
I was reading a news opinion article titled "Young Americans Struggle to Hit Adult Milestones".

Young Americans Struggle to Hit 'Adult' Milestones Story, Bloomburg, Natasha Solo-Lyons, May 2023

It's about how certain "milestones", such as driving a car, moving out of one's parents house and renting an apartment, starting a family, or buying a home, are getting delayed among the newest generation of young people, compared with young people in previous generations (born between around 1935 to 1985).

Something I have noticed, I see a lot of teenagers these days who do not have a car.
When I grew up, it was very common for 16 year old teenagers have a car and be driving around.
These days it seems that it's too much of a financial stress for many families to buy their child a car or pay for their car insurance. And it's much harder for a 16 year old or young adult to buy a car than it used to be, more expensive.

I think this has huge implications. Having a car used to be associated with "freedom" for teenagers. In most parts of America it's very difficult and very time consuming to be able to get around and go many places without a car.
I believe this may no doubt be part of the reason that numerous surveys show the younger generation is dating less and having less sex than previous generations, despite the level of sexual permissiveness having only increased.

You can also read this article from Vox
Young people are driving less than their parents. But why?
Vox, Joseph Stromberg, May 1, 2015

The article has a graph showing that the amount of distance Americans were driving was only continuing to increase but then around 2004 to 2007 it began to decrease.

The Washington Post also had an article titled "Why aren't younger Americans driving anymore?"
Brad Plumer, April 22, 2013

Here's some excerpts from that article:

Ever since the recession hit in late 2007, Americans have been driving less and less. Was that because of the horrible economy? To some extent, perhaps. But it's striking that Americans are still cutting back on driving even though the economy is growing again. Doug Short, who charts financial data, has put together a nice graph that uses the latest Transportation Department data on vehicle-miles driven and adjusts for population growth. Looked at this way, the plunge in driving is even more startling and began back in June 2005.

This isn't the first time Americans have pared back their driving habits -- after the OPEC oil shock in the late 1970s, miles driven fell about 6 percent from the peak, though they started climbing again by the end of the recession in 1982.

This time, however, the drop has been much more severe. Since June 2005, vehicle miles driven have fallen 8.75 percent. The decline has persisted for 92 months and there's no sign it's abating.

Young Americans are driving much, much less. Between 2001 and 2009, the average yearly number of miles driven by 16- to 34-year-olds dropped a staggering 23 percent.

The Frontier Group has the most comprehensive look yet of why younger Americans are opting out of driving. Public transportation use is up 40 percent per capita in this age group since 2001. Bicycling is up 24 percent overall in that time period. And this is true even for young Americans who are financially well off.

The cost of driving has gone up. In some ways, it's become more expensive to drive a car over the years. There's evidence that high student debt is hampering some younger borrowers from buying cars. And auto-insurance rates have soared in recent years, partly as a result of higher healthcare costs. Auto-insurance rates continued to climb 10 percent between 2008 and 2010 even though average driving distances were down.

It's harder to get a license. From 1996 to 2006, every state enacted graduated driving laws that make it more cumbersome for young people to get licenses. "Young people must now take more behind-the-wheel training (which is more expensive), fulfill additional requirements for permits, and once they are allowed to drive, they are often restricted to driving in the daytime without passengers." The number of younger Americans without a driver's license has risen from 21 percent to 26 percent since 2001.

Why aren't younger Americans driving anymore? - The Washington Post
#15275246
Fewer people having cars is a good thing. It will force cities to provide more public transportation, and put people where the work is, as opposed to them living far from work, with long commutes.

A drop of 5% over 20 years of young people not being licensed, is nothing to lose sleep over. Young people have less disposable income. Car insurance rates have risen. The price of everything care-related has risen. Climate concerns have given way to people not looking to own cars, as well.

The culture has changed. Having a car does not mean "freedom", anymore, to everyone. To many, particularly those living in urban centers, it can be seen as an unnecessary expense. Why pay hundreds each month when you can take public transport for significantly less?

Also, I'd like to know where they found this information. I doubt this claim of fewer young people owning cars has dropped in rural areas.
#15275261
I live in a quasi rural area and public transit is spotty. If you do not have a car, you need to carpool or ride a bike. You cannot ride a bike all year unfortunately because much of the year is cold and roads get icy or snowy. Every year cars get ditched and damaged due to driving too fast during winter days.

Car insurance rates are ridiculous.

The price of driver's ed is much higher than it was when I attended before I graduated high school. It's such a shame. Young people need to take driver's ed and learn how to drive safely and follow traffic rules. But I can see why people would skip it. The NH driver's manual in my is free at least and I hope people read some of it.
#15275266
I think that fewer people in general can afford to have a car, regardless of age.

And more people live in urban environments where cars are not feasible for most transportation needs.

I only need a car for hauling large objects like a sheet of plywood, or leaving the city to go to a remote area.

The cost of owning and maintaining a car, compared to the cost of having a great bicycle and renting a car every now and then, seems high for most people in an urban environment.
#15275268
@Puffer Fish

You mentioned or your article mentions that the economy is growing again. But for whom? Is it growing for ordinary Americans or only for the wealthy and the white-collar workers? It could be true that indeed the economy is growing, but if ordinary Americans are not benefitting from a growing economy and real wage increases are not present for ordinary Americans then the fact that the U.S. economy is growing doesn't mean anything to most Americans.

Maybe for the wealthy rich white Republicans, it's growing for them, but it seems to come at the expense of economic prosperity for ordinary Americans. So the appropriate question to ask, is that when the US economy does indeed grow, does this growth benefit ordinary Americans? If not, then the fact that the US economy is growing doesn't mean anything nor is it anything for ordinary Americans to be glad or excited about because they do not benefit at all regardless.

Plus, you have to consider, that Republicans are willing to destroy U.S. economic growth by using the debt ceiling as negotiating leverage. If they don't get their way, just destroy the U.S. economy by defaulting on U.S. debt. It amounts to a temper tantrum where these rich white wealthy republicans threaten to destroy the US economy if they don't get their way. Of, course, their way is to ensure they keep getting richer and more powerful at the expense of ordinary Americans.

They don't care if their wealth and privilege come by ensuring ordinary Americans become poorer and poorer. Republicans want to play a zero-sum game where for them to win, everybody else has to lose. Which is pretty irresponsible. Maybe this is the reason why not as many young people own a car today and are opting to stay with their parents longer.
#15275273
Politics_Observer wrote:@Puffer Fish

You mentioned or your article mentions that the economy is growing again. But for whom? Is it growing for ordinary Americans or only for the wealthy and the white-collar workers? It could be true that indeed the economy is growing, but if ordinary Americans are not benefitting from a growing economy and real wage increases are not present for ordinary Americans then the fact that the U.S. economy is growing doesn't mean anything to most Americans.

Maybe for the wealthy rich white Republicans, it's growing for them, but it seems to come at the expense of economic prosperity for ordinary Americans. So the appropriate question to ask, is that when the US economy does indeed grow, does this growth benefit ordinary Americans? If not, then the fact that the US economy is growing doesn't mean anything nor is it anything for ordinary Americans to be glad or excited about because they do not benefit at all regardless.

Plus, you have to consider, that Republicans are willing to destroy U.S. economic growth by using the debt ceiling as negotiating leverage. If they don't get their way, just destroy the U.S. economy by defaulting on U.S. debt. It amounts to a temper tantrum where these rich white wealthy republicans threaten to destroy the US economy if they don't get their way. Of, course, their way is to ensure they keep getting richer and more powerful at the expense of ordinary Americans.

They don't care if their wealth and privilege come by ensuring ordinary Americans become poorer and poorer. Republicans want to play a zero-sum game where for them to win, everybody else has to lose. Which is pretty irresponsible. Maybe this is the reason why not as many young people own a car today and are opting to stay with their parents longer.


I happen to think PO that the Republicans do not have a plan that is realistic. What are they offering to do for working people? They do not have a plan to deal with the Chinese or with any other threat to the US economy. They know their only agenda is kissing ass to rich and wealthy corporate campaign contributors and selling out. They talk about gay and transgender and abortions and God and gun rights but they do not cope with real wages, health care, and infrastructure programs or mass education programs and housing that is affordable shortages or free university educations for the bright and not that wealthy. It is all about protecting the already powerful and rich. That is what they do.

They have NOTHING on the environment, or on modernizing trains, planes and automobiles. They want to stretch out fossil fuel shit and things that are not going to help anyone in the long run. But, that is who they are.

The Democrats need to stop with the waffling and get hardball on all of them. They won't. Mainly because they fear losing elections in many red states and losing purple states. But, if they do not get hardball on these Republicans? It is all going to into the toilet. For me the Republicans are fascists to the core. That party is lost. And if you study the fascists they are known for burning their own nations to the ground to the very dust if they fail to control the entire country. They send out violent and aggressive programs that divide society and create a slash-and-burn economy rather than share power with any other opposing group. That is what all the fascists in history do. If I can't control the thing? I will let the entire nation burn and lose power. It is either my way or death to democracy. That is who they are.
#15275275
@Tainari88

I absolutely agree with you Tainari. I think the Republicans are fascists too, which is why I am a Democrat. Democrats do need to play hardball and be willing to extract punishment and retribution upon the Republicans when they break norms or do not play fair. This is the only way to deter such Republican behavior in the future. You can't be nice all the time or a people pleaser. Sometimes you got to play hardball and extract retribution and punishment for bad behavior to deter that behavior in the future. I agree that Democrats have been waffling and bullshitting around instead of growing some fucking balls and a spine and standing firm in cases where it is warranted. It's time for the Democrats to get tough until the Republicans start playing fair and by the norms again.

It's quite clear as well that the Republicans don't have a plan to help anybody but wealthy rich white people and are unconcerned about ordinary Americans. God and guns are something they use as a distraction to divide ordinary people against each other and con people into voting for them.
Last edited by Politics_Observer on 27 May 2023 20:15, edited 1 time in total.
#15275276
Godstud wrote:Fewer people having cars is a good thing. It will force cities to provide more public transportation,

That's overly optimistic thinking.

Many U.S. cities don't seem to care too much about the poorer segment of their population, or the younger people (within the 15 to 26 year old age range).

That type of mentality is like saying "Who cares if there's a problem? The government will respond and fix it."
Very naive type of thinking.


The U.S. has some unique public transportation issues and most of the population does not want to take, or is very reluctant to take public transportation. It's mostly the lowest income segment in the US that takes public transportation and there are all sorts of crazy things that go on, people do not feel safe or comfortable.

related thread on that topic:
Young man attacked on New York City subway, has now lost sight in one eye
Last edited by Puffer Fish on 27 May 2023 20:18, edited 1 time in total.
#15275277
@Puffer Fish

Well, the Republicans have demonstrated their so-called "ideas" or "plans" aren't going to fix it and will only make this problem worse. They actively work to ensure that the lives of ordinary Americans are worse off every day and they are the reason why we have this problem in the first place.
#15275278
Politics_Observer wrote:Well, the Republicans have demonstrated their so-called "ideas" or "plans" aren't going to fix it and will only make this problem worse. They actively work to ensure that the lives of ordinary Americans are worse off every day and they are the reason why we have this problem in the first place.

Well, the Progressive Democrat solution to problems like this usually seems to be to wastefully throw lots of money at the problem, in ways that were not very well thought out, are mostly wasteful of money, and do not do much to actually improve the overall problem.

Basically just do something that sounds good (on the surface, without really taking any care to analyse the problem) and makes people feel emotionally good.
#15275280
@Puffer Fish

That's a lie too. The Republicans say that because they want to cut spending so they can continue to pay for tax cuts for the rich. The rich got wealthy from this country but don't want to give anything back. They just don't want to pay any taxes or pay as little as possible while leaving other Americans out to hang and dry. Republicans want to get rid of social security and Medicare so they can pay for those tax cuts for the rich and those programs ordinary Americans need because you know, not everybody can be a millionaire in case Republicans haven't figured that out yet.

Moreover, they want to cut Veterans' benefits to pay for tax cuts for the rich. You know the guys who fought, for this country, gave up a few limbs. Of course, that doesn't mean anything to the Republicans because you know tax cuts for the rich, and cutting spending to pay for those tax cuts for the rich are more important. If Republicans actually gave a damn about ordinary Americans, they wouldn't cut these programs. Not everybody is privileged or lucky enough to be born or become a millionaire and it's not their fault. Republicans need to understand that and they need to understand that it is not ONLY about them.

It is not the rich who fight this country's wars or give up an arm and leg in these wars and they sure are glad to send the lower classes to do it while they remain safe at home. No sirree, the rich don't have to give up an arm or leg, so the least they can do is stop cutting spending and pay an increased tax rate to pay for these programs that ordinary Americans need. They will still be millionaires after paying those increased tax rates, I assure you. The Republicans need to get out of this mentality of "fuck you I got mine."
Last edited by Politics_Observer on 27 May 2023 20:41, edited 1 time in total.
#15275281
@Puffer Fish

Republicans need to understand that not everybody can be a millionaire no matter how hard-working or smart they are. They also need to understand that the lower classes pay plenty in other ways such as what I mentioned above. So the least they can do is not throw their fellow Americans under the bus and think about the best interest of the country and ordinary people instead of just ONLY themselves. They need to understand that life isn't about "you" all the time.
#15275282
A lot of young adults still live with their parents and mom and dad still drive them around. Housing is expensive so its harder to move out of your parents, but I know a guy who is 40 years old who makes good money and can definitely afford his own place but still chooses to live at home. He let his driver's license expire a decade ago because his mom and dad still drive him everywhere.

I think this issue is most likely partly economic, party demographic changes (more young people are children of immigrants who tend to move to big cities not rural/small towns where cars are needed more), and partly the extension of childhood into adulthood from overbearing parents.
#15275283
@Puffer Fish

And to add further on this, as a Democrat, I am not asking Republicans to do something I am not currently doing. Since earning my Masters and landing a job I pay plenty of taxes and I am proud to do so. I have plenty of money left over after paying taxes to live comfortably and I am glad to be able to contribute and help my fellow Americans out. My fellow Americans helped me out so the least I can do is return the favor. I am not dooming myself to poverty by doing it and Republicans won't doom themselves to poverty either by doing it. You know, you don't have to have the whole world to be happy. Republicans seem to think they have to be gazillionaires to be happy. You don't have to own the whole world or the universe to be happy.
#15275296
@Puffer Fish

We can talk about the fact that Republicans actively work for spending cuts that harm ordinary Americans such as the fact they want to get rid of Medicare, social security and veterans benefits all while also ensuring that the top 1% pay less and less taxes or no taxes at all. So, if Republicans want to talk about spending cuts then we HAVE to talk about increasing taxes on the top 1%. But the Republicans don't want to have a discussion on taxing the top 1%. They just want to have a discussion ONLY on spending cuts.

This shows that Republicans have ZERO interest in improving the lives of ordinary Americans when they ONLY want to talk about spending cuts while not even bothering to also discuss increasing the taxes on the top 1% of the country. And you seem to be OK with that. The fact that Republicans don't want to talk about taxing the top 1% and ONLY want to talk about spending cuts shows that the Republicans ONLY serve the economic interests of the top 1% while TOTALLY ignoring the economic interests of ordinary Americans.

Republicans are not interested in representing the economic interests of ordinary Americans because they ONLY represent the economic interests of the top 1% of the country. They engage in this irresponsible behavior of taking the US economy hostage because this is the only way they can get spending cuts while avoiding tax increases on the top 1% of the country. The Republicans, whose REAL intent is to ONLY represent the best interests of the top 1% of the country want their cake and ice cream both.

This is a debate Republicans can't win now because the facts and the actions of the Republicans show Democrats are correct. Republicans should be interested in representing the economic best interest of ordinary Americans but the facts and their actions prove that is not their intent. If their intent was to represent the economic interests of ordinary Americans then Republicans would be will to talk about tax increases on the top 1% in addition to reasonable spending cuts. But that's not what Republicans want to do. They only want to talk about spending cuts while not entertaining any notion of tax increases on the top 1%. I mean, how much money and income do the top 1% need? A trillion dollars a year?
#15275300
@Tainari88

I mean what will the top 1% of the wealthy do with all those new tax cuts from Republicans? Will they just fill their swimming pools up with 100-dollar bills from those new tax cuts from Republicans and just swim around in the swimming pool full of 100 dollars like Scrooge McDuck? :lol: What will they do with all those extra billions of dollars in tax cuts? :eh: Will they build a second or third castle to further commemorate their wealthy dynasties?

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