Life’s a mortgage and then you…
On this blog there have been a handful of running themes which have closely resembled the lives of those of us who contribute(d). One of these themes has been the apparent, growing, global plight of young people. This western epidemic has ushered in the concept of a ‘quarter life crisis’.
Generally, such a concept has likely always existed to some degree in that people in their late teens to early twenties are likely to challenge and question what they want from their best years (sorry 30+s). The weight of such a decision in normal circumstances is significant. In the context of a capitalist crash which is arguably equal to that of 1929, the weight is nigh on unbearable for many.
With this noxious background, every decision takes on greater significance, every choice is seemingly ‘make or break’. This, understandably, can appear sensationalist, but it is important to consider the very real factors and players involved. A cursory glance across Europe and the US shows a primary combination of relatively high youth unemployment and a high level of education within this same age bracket, the latter often accompanied by, in some circumstances, stratospheric loans.
In England, though the picture is not quite as drastic as the pimento red scenes in Spain, there are a litany of problems that are being seemingly swept beneath the parliamentary rug. Worth noting is the rather quick ascent of tuition fees; since their introduction and the proliferation of University education, there has been a real dearth of infrastructural change to accompany the change in the nature and role of university.
For the first time in seemingly generations, young people are often jobless, working in a position which they are overqualified for or living at home in the hope that when they leave they can afford to remain independent. What is troubling is that the age of those these issues encompass is rising. Just 20 years ago, it would be feasible for a young person to have moved out and even have had a mortgage by 21. Today, this is a pipe dream for all but a few.
Speaking of mortgages, the Evening Standard suggested that the average rate of London Mortgage deposits could rise to 100k in 2020. As a general sketch of the situation, it is clear that the entry level cost of living has risen exponentially, to the stage where many are having to become ‘part owners’ or have had to agree to 100 per cent mortgages. The significance of this becomes more stark when considering the wave of despair that grips many in their mid life crisis; the mortgage is often the wind.
Mortgages are the embodiment of loans and have, in my eyes and those of many of my peers, become synonymous with worry. How will I pay this? How long will I be working for? Will I ever earn money without owing?
These questions have raised the stakes and coupled with what is, for many in my age bracket an early post-uni sabbatical, a flotsam like existence. The government and, to be bi – (or is that tri?) – partisan, all parties involved have failed in offering a real solution to a fearful and perhaps even lost generation of people. For all the talk of deficit reduction for the future, we the future of the present have been neglected, and the real price might be felt in Britain’s struggle through this decade. Oh yeah, Happy New Year.