Generation Why: No Job, No Money, No Car

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

“Too Poor To Drive”. This is the gut level conclusion that’s been propagated in “Generation Why” since January, 2012, long before the theory gained currency in the broader automotive world. In the nearly two years since, the “kids aren’t interested in cars because of technology/the environment/urbanization” meme has held up tenaciously – and it’s not entirely false.

The main issue has been a lack of data to support our argument. Hard data costs lots of time and money, something that is precious in the world of automotive reporting. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who really want the alternate theory to be true, and they’re happy to help their cause with lots of alarming but inaccurate articles.

Juan Barnett of DC Auto Geek has analyzed a new study by the IIHS, which looks at unemployment figures, the number of insured teenage drivers and graduated licensing laws, shows that unemployment for both teens and their parents, is by far the biggest factor in preventing younger people from driving. Without the resources for a car, insurance and gas, young people don’t have much hope getting behind the wheel or any car, let alone their own car.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Oct 25, 2013

    Quit your cry'n and get off the couch. The American Dream is still attainable. OK, let the immigrants have it all. Everywhere I go, I see "Help Wanted" signs. I understand they're for 'minimum wage', not a dream job and an insult to your higher learning. At least it's not digging ditches or shoveling sh!+. Early '80s, I didn't know any teens of driving age, that didn't own a $200 beater, at least. You didn't want to be seen on a school bus, public transportation, riding a bike or hanging your thumb out. Loserville. A car, any car meant freedom and independence. Entry level, new cars were as easily done, while living with your parents. Minimum wage is more than 3X what it was in the early '80s and new cars start barely at 3X what they were back then. Wanna talk about "decontented"? Those base cars had crank windows, vinyl seats, manual trans, no A/C, radio deleted and even the side-view mirror was a dealer installed option. On base pickup trucks, rear bumpers were also 'dealer installed' or aftermarket. If you feel you were brainwashed by the school system, you're right. Keep your bachelor degrees in your back pocket while you enter a blue collar industry at the ground level, squeezing a mop. Any one will do. Learn, save, then start your own company. Not a big deal, immigrants do it every day. Eventually you'll burn your Liberal Arts diplomas and never look back.

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    • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jan 15, 2014

      @Big Al from Oz Divorce has a financial impact that is rarely discussed. ~52% of the American population needing to start over along the way due to a failed marriage and often the mother is left raising kids with little help stunting her income. and then there is the distraction of the whole event and the marks it leaves on the kids.

  • Travis Travis on Oct 25, 2013

    If nigga no go to school, nigga no get a job. If nigga no get a job, nigga gonna have no money. If nigga have no money, nigga won't be able to afford BMW 7 series nigggaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Oct 25, 2013

    Über, Sorry, can't find our conversation any more. There really are no unbiased sources. We all have to be more critical of what we get in media. As for Academics, I spent plenty of time with academics and know plenty of them. Most of my disdain for the modern Academy comes from academics themselves relating their experiences. I don't doubt healthcare researchers want to help people but that doesn't make them immune to power and fame. You might think sales people are all about money, but actually a lot of them take their jobs very seriously. Like a guy selling surgical tools in an operating room will be more concerned about doing his part than making a profit. Still, if someone screws up his comp plan, it will change his behavior over time. I have seen it.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 25, 2013

    DM & Big Al-You both have brought up valid points. A college degree does not guarantee success and when you are starting out you need to be willing to take a job that is below your educational and skill level to get the experience and pay the bills. The American dream of each generation doing better than their parents is much harder to obtain. The US is in a global economy and will eventually lose the Number 1 status as an economic and military power. We as a country need to adapt to the global economy and a changing status as a World power.

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jan 15, 2014

      @Lou_BC I'm glad you were enjoying the fruits of your labor but it sounds like you worked entirely too much.