A policy of asset Inflation that locks out younger generations may have backfired

Piggy Bank
Piggy Bank
Image courtesy of Piqsels.com

Millennials ruin everything: wine, cereal, napkins. Add to their list of cardinal sins that they save too much. It’s not often the Federal Bank is presented for sympathy, but according to the New York Time aggressive saving by millennials is making the Fed’s job harder and limiting their ability to combat inflation:

A young generation of aggressive savers could leave central bankers with less room to cut interest rates, which they have long done to boost growth in times of economic trouble.

To leave the work force early, millennials would need to build up massive retirement funds and consume less in the process. That hit to demand could slow growth and force rates to drop ever lower to entice spending. And if today’s workers actually managed to retire young, it would exacerbate the situation by shrinking the labor force, further weighing on the economy’s potential. …


Scanidnavians can teach us a thing or two about how to maintain happiness in the long dark days ahead — but it requires more than twinkly lights

A bonfire sparks against a dark sky
A bonfire sparks against a dark sky
Image Courtesy of Min An on Pexels

COVID-19 has sucked the fun out of pretty much everything this year, and as temperatures drop and the days shorten there is a worry that not only will case counts continue to increase but the psychological strain of being house bound will take an even larger toll on mental health. …


In a time of COVID-19 owning less is more appealing than ever

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Image courtesy of Libreshot

For all the media coverage of people hoarding toilet paper, paper towels, and tinned foods minimalism isn’t dead. In fact, paradoxically it makes more sense than ever. Even with the stay at home orders and the shift to remote work, being confined to home has made Americans recognize the shortcomings of their spaces like never before. It’s a challenge of which mothers, as the primary buffers tasked with absorbing the extra load, are accurately aware. …


Picture of daisies against a blue sky.
Picture of daisies against a blue sky.
Image courtesy of Kathas_foto

While fantasizing about life’s possibilities can be fun, it can also reach a point of being destructive rather than helpful. There is never a satisfying end or resolution to day dreaming, and it is easy to find yourself drawn into an endless string of ruminations. Suddenly, you look up from your computer hours later and realize day dreaming has kept you from your writing and other creative endeavors.

Day dreams should be about orienting where your life is going and how to get there, not holding you back. If you find yourself loosing track of time, or day dreaming too much, recognize day dreaming can be a symptom of depression, too. Yet visioning your life can be incredibly powerful. …


Overemphasizing success makes us too risk averse.

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Do you know how to fail? We focus all the time on how to succeed, and what we should be doing, but the reality is that at least some of the time we should be failing. Good story tellers know this — there’s a reason characters are flawed. The prospect of waking up tomorrow and doing everything perfectly sounds nice, but you can’t learn or grow if you’re perfect. …


Don’t Discount the Emotional Toll of COVID-19

Three people jumping for joy sillhoueted against a setting sun over a mountain.
Three people jumping for joy sillhoueted against a setting sun over a mountain.
Jumping for Joy Killgarron Licensed under CC 2.0

Feeling run down? Stressed? Lazy? You’re not alone. The grinding nature of the pandemic, the sustained trauma of job loss, economic devastation, and having to as one author put it, treat everything as if it is covered in raw chicken, is brutal. Yet increasingly, it’s easy to lose site of how stressful life has become. It’s too easy to fall into an analytical trap (case counts! new findings! data!) and lose site of the emotional toll. Especially for women, and mothers in particular, who are being described as shock absorbers for bearing the brunt of it.

As the pandemic drags on, experts are warning of a second wave mental health crisis. According to surveys, one in three Americans are depressed or experiencing anxiety and the prolonged nature of the pandemic is particularly problematic. Many report increased drinking and drug use, and there is concern over rising addiction and suicide rates. Unlike natural disasters, which are acute and over quickly, the chronic ongoing nature of COVID presents unique challenges. Pandemic fatigue has set it. We have grown numb to what we have lost. As our physical world has grown smaller and more constrained so too has our emotional range. …


Trying to maintain the fiction that virtual schooling can keep kids on grade level is failing students and parents.

Picture of woman holding laptop that reads “never stop learning”
Picture of woman holding laptop that reads “never stop learning”
Image by Geralt

Of all the challenges presented by COVID-19, education has been among the most difficult to resolve. If it wasn’t apparent before, the pandemic has revealed the extent to which education also provides childcare, nutritional assistance, and a safety net for kids and families. Working parents especially have struggled with the kids at home as they seek to complete their own work while helping kids remote in to the virtual classroom. …


Will COVID-19 help rebalance rental housing affordability?

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For Rent by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Skyrocketing home prices and low inventory have defined the spring and summer real estate markets. But what about rental markets? A third of Americans made only a partial housing payment in July, but what will happen now that Republicans have allowed enhanced unemployment benefits to expire?

For landlords, fall is typically a period of intense activity as apartments turn over in time for schools and universities to resume. But in college towns across the country, rather than heading back to class students will be logging in online, and an increasing number may do so from their parent’s home. For young professionals with jobs that no longer require employees to come into the office there may be less interest in renewing a lease, especially if they can move in with family to ride out the uncertainty of the next year while saving money. …


An economy built on asset inflation has resulted in less mobility

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Image courtesy of Prikrepo

Silicon Valley is all about creating the frictionless experience. But the largest source of friction in people’s lives isn’t ordering food for delivery or catching a ride. It’s the fact that assets, particularly homes in which Americans find the majority of their wealth tied up, don’t change hands very frequently and as a result, people are increasingly stuck in place.

What people need from housing changes over time. Young singles value being close to amenities and walking distance to restaurants, bars and coffee shops. New parents quickly see the importance of a fenced yard and access to schools. Teens need their own space and square footage needs grow as families enter the high school years. …


As stimulus expires, a key support for housing prices falls by the wayside

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Image courtesy of Jeff Turner licensed under CC 2.0

With rising home prices and low inventories, investors have gotten downright bullish on real estate. Housing has been the one bright spot of economic activity during COVID-19 (unless, of course, you are a buyer) and some have even suggested it could be a source of the recovery. But the number of challenged sellers may be more significant than the market is currently assuming given inventories and prices.

First, housing indicators are notoriously slow to materialize, with real estate transactions taking 30–60 days on average to complete. It can take months for housing data to get recorded and many more months for data to get trued up and adjusted so the trend-line can materialize. …

About

Kk Holland

Xennial. Political junkie. Feminist. Mom. I write about economics, technology and media. My views are my own.

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