In his recent piece for Time magazine entitled “How the Sharing Economy Is Hurting Millennials,” Reid Cramer concludes with a rather grim statement: “It is our collective responsibility to make sure the emerging ‘share economy’ doesn’t leave Millennials completely devoid of wealth.”
Cramer isn’t anti-sharing; in fact, he’s impressed by Millennials’ ability to reap the collective benefits from expensive, individually owned assets such as cars and homes. What concerns Cramer is that, in this new world, fewer young people own such assets. He points to the fact that “Millennials are lagging behind previous cohorts in their rate of homeownership” as an indicator of “growing generational inequality.” According to Cramer, this lack of assets is shunting Gen Y into a spiral of downward mobility.
As a Millennial, I appreciate Cramer’s concern for my financial security, but I find it a bit misguided, especially in an economic environment that is still feeling the effects of the Great Recession.