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Baby Boomers And The Kid Car

So Many Choices


Where are the days when you turned sixteen and your daddy handed you the keys to your new ride?

The boys got a muscle car and the girls a cute pink convertible.

Those days are still around somewhere. Is this what happened when you turned sixteen:

“Here, honey, take the keys and the credit card and drive safely.”

Or was it something else?

A recent Time Magazine article titled, “The Great Debate: Do Millennials Really Want Cars, or Not?” takes us all to task.

The question of ‘Do Millennials Really Want Cars, or Not’ ought to ask, ‘Do Millennials Want The Hassle Of Car Ownership?’

These children, our children, were raised with more safety concerns than the space shuttle. Safe strollers, safe backpacks, safe bikes, safe everything as if one mistake would end the world.

Boomer, ask your parents about your safe car seat. Mine was a rolled blanket on the backseat of a 1948 Chevy.

Our kids had seats that would fit into a launch vehicle with enough complicated straps and buckles to make you wonder if it’s really worth the trouble.

Those seats morphed into a transformer-like object that becomes part stroller, part crib, and all safe.

Without dragging out the nanny-state comparison, it’s no surprise millennials balk at auto ownership. Maybe it’s the cost of a new car, but it’s more.

Children today grow up riding around in cars with more air bags than the US Senate. They all want and need as much protection as technology can cram into a car. A used car makes them feel too vulnerable.

Then there’s the money.

Do kids still have a choice to work for their ride?

Do dads say, “Son, I’ve got a line on an old pick-up truck. We’ll have to change the engine, but it’s yours if you use it to haul wood we cut to people willing to pay. The money goes to gas and insurance. It’s nothing fancy. One door stays shut with a rope and there’s a bees nest under the seat. Other than that it’s a solid truck.”

NW Boomer hears how our generation picked up their drivers license on their birthday. It was all about the car, any car. But it was more about working to keep the car.

And that’s the problem.

You earn the right to drive, or you don’t drive. Have millennials done the work?





About David Gillaspie
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