- large and increasing cost of housing due to artificial restrictions of housing through zoning and housing permitting
- large and increasing cost of education due to subsidized education with no cost control of the product, leading to bloat in administration and unnecessary spending at universities [cost increase is both monetary and in time due to grade inflation]
- opportunities are increasingly centered in jobs and cities where the two previous problems are aggravated the most
Neither of these are productive uses of the amount of debt millenials accrue for this purpose.
University education is mostly signaling that you are conscientious, smart enough and execute an imposed set of tasks over an extended period of time . The book in the link argue although an individual benefit from graduating at a good college the society as a whole does not get extra value from more people needing a college education to get a job. Maybe we could get a cheaper signal for this?
When buying a home housing has the main purpose of sheltering a family. Short-term increases in house prices lead to a decline in births among non-owners and a net increase among owners . With decreasing birth rates that is already below replacement in the west making it impossible for most to buy and making rent crazy high seem like an incredibly short sighted idea.
Edit: added extra info on education having a time cost. This is Peter Thiels long-standing point.
Exclusionary zoning benefit those that own housing the most, so it does benefit a bunch of baby boomers. However, those with leverage of existing rental units seem to benefit the most because they gain leverage through rental income in the same market as they buy new units in so they can slowly gain new low-risk wealth over time without changing their cost/revenue balance.
In general low-risk investments such as student loan bonds and rental properties should be low-margin. However, due to regulations that stop the market from doing its thing that is not the case.
One could replace "education" with "health care" and make another valid important point.
1) Independent living -- did they go to university a long way from where they lived? If they treated it as 3 more years of school, they've missed a major point. I'm not going to be parenting them as they are dropped into the real world at the deep end.
2) Extra curricular activities at uni -- did they do student radio? Or theatre? Or music? This indicates they aren't just doing what they think is required of them, but have the ability to think for themselves.
Kids straight out of school are a massive risk, not only can they do the job, but can adapt to an adult world? Graduates that just did 3 more years of school are the same risk.
Kids that dropped out at 16 and worked in a garage for a few years and solved some problems the business had? Brilliant.
A large corporation might tilt more towards someone that does an assigned task on time regardless of how mind-numbing it is, and even when they have to invent the instructions as they go along.
Income inequality and the falling prices, in real terms, of virtually everything the upper-middle-class-and-above need to live their lives, means there is more spare money to allocate towards housing, bidding housing costs up.
In a world where food and clothing is cheaper than ever to "most of us", why not pay those rising costs, thus bidding prices ever higher?
Obviously every additional unit places a very slight downward pressure on housing prices, I just disagree that regulation is a primary factor at play here.
Furthermore, low interest rates has increased the cost of homes as well and increased the amount of money swimming around looking for a home.