A silly article at the Yahoo! finance blog called "The Exchange" wants to know why "millenials" (the label we're using now for late- teens early-twenties people) aren't buying cars and houses.
If I had written that article, it would have been considerably shorter: It's because they don't have any money.
To give the writer credit where it's due, he skirts the reality but never faces it head on. He does admit about 2/3 of the way down that we're in "the most difficult economy since the Great Depression." However, like all other mainstream economics writers, he has to speak of these things using the "business cycle" model, in which "downturns" are inevitably followed by the return of industrial prosperity.
Rick Newman and people in similar positions, are not permitted to say that economically, the boom times are done for good, that the economy of the US and the industrialized world are now on a changed and more modest footing, and we're not done with houses and cars, but that the nature of those things, how they're made or preserved, is certain to change in unforeseeable ways because there is so much less money to squander now.
The industrial age is over. What a time to be alive!