But what’s really happening is that people are learning that the world is not as benign as many people in America talked themselves into believing it to be. Most middle class Americans are going to drive older cars, live in worse houses, and travel less than they thought they would even a couple of years ago. They will be less able to afford to move to the school district that they think will put their kids into the school that they think best for them. They are going to retire later, and have less money to spend when they do.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
I’m going to drive whatever car I want, and live anywhere I want. And I’m going to be able to do that because I’m driving a 1998 Mazda 626 right now, when my peers (age/income/family) are driving Lexuses, BMWs, and Cadillacs. I’m living in an older house on the rougher side of town, when my peers bought they biggest house in the nicest area they could afford. I’m using something more than half of my income to pay off the loan on the house I plan to retire to in Hawaii (and so should have the remaining $150k paid off within 4 years or so).
Choices. Delayed gratification.
Please, government officials! Don’t reward people who make bad choices.
Delayed gratification doesn’t work so well when you reward the impulsive.