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David Lubic

The lack of understanding is costing some serious money:

David Lubic

Speaking of the generational shift in regard to trains--this thread is from a group of mostly college students who are big on high speed rail. In this particular example, they are discussing the claims that self-driving cars may make railroads obsolete.

They still want trains, of course--it's a high speed rail club--but note the backgrounds of the writers, who are driving enthusiasts!

David Lubic

"So, then what you're really saying is Gen Y is stupid."--Rebel Eichelberger

Maybe--maybe not.

Consider their employment situation. How many have seen houses go "underwater?" How many have seen houses go underwater at the same time the owners got laid off, and had to sell but couldn't?
How many saw houses go underwater at the same time a job opportunity came up, but it couldn't be taken because it required a move, and again the house couldn't be sold?

Let's face it, in today's labor market, flexibility is very important. The day of being able to hold a job that allowed you to stay in a community for an extended time to pay for that house is done. I'm admittedly a dinosaur who got lucky in the regard (I'm a government employee, and am approaching retirement after over 30 years in the same post), but I see how things are for young people, and they will not be able to do what others before them got to do.

There is also the question of access to things that make life worthwhile, from clubs and restaurants to museums and libraries. Those things are in towns, or even cities--and it takes too long to get there from the suburbs.

Want to see a ballet, an opera, or to visit a world-class museum like the Smithsonian? For me it's a minimum two hour drive in each direction--if you're lucky. Most of the time it's longer, sometimes up to four hours.

I live about 70 miles west of Washington, DC, and so the museum and some other things are available by train; we have commuter rail, and I'm at the far end of the line. Running time is still two hours or so, but you aren't dealing with the traffic and too damn many stupid drivers, many of whom are old enough to know better but don't. Unfortunatley, some of the drama and music venues are not accessible by rail, and the last train leaves too early anyway, so to try to get to those involves that long drive before and after the event. It's not worth it!

Buty if you are closer, and if you don't have to drive--both things characteristic of millenial desires--and we have that job situation--then renting an apartment makes sense.

The world has changed. It isn't 1952 anymore, or even 1992.

I admit I don't like a lot of the changes. I like the idea of owning a house, and having it paid for, and then all you pay for is taxes and maintenance. Makes retirement affordable.

But is that even possible these days? Given also the overly long drives from suburbs to cultural venues, is it even desirable these days?

A funny thing--a lot of "old timers" thing young people are equally stupid to not want cars, and to prefer trains. But think of what driving is like these days. Think of the traffic, the boredom, the dullness, the wasted time. And the claim of "freedom?" What freedom is there in droning along a highway every day, and droning home again, usually in all that traffic with all those morons who are apparently out to kill you?

Where is the "freedom," really, when a fellow called a boss has so much control on how, where, and when you spend your time?

All that "freedom" we've been sold is really an illusion, not the real thing.

Rebel Eichelberger

So, then what you're really saying is Gen Y is stupid. Because it's absolutely stupid to be paying your landlords mortgage payment instead of paying your own mortgage payment and investing 1/2 of every payment in your personal assets. Wow, we are doomed as a nation if that's the mentality of the young.

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