Dream on America

Nate Henneke, Staff Writer

Americans have grown up with the idea that once they start to work, they will eventually be able to own property and start a family; however, this is now a fantasy, and younger generations are snapping back to reality to see a future of landlords and rent being due. For the sake of future generations, affordable and accessible housing needs to become a priority. It is undeniable that the pandemic has impacted the housing market in many ways, making it difficult to purchase a home. Yet things like rising mortgage and house rates are caused by those in powerful positions attempting to squeeze every last dollar and cent from those trying to purchase a home.

This problem will only grow if the United States never regulates the rich getting richer off lower classes. Alongside wages not even providing enough capital to live alone, this problem is a culmination of capitalism and the individualism that is at the heart of American society. Corporations do not see the lives they ruin; they see numbers, and if the numbers are going up, all is well. This has led companies such as Zillow to buy thousands of homes that could potentially be sold to families. While this did result in massive losses for Zillow, it nonetheless made purchasing a home for a fair price more arduous than it should be. 

Currently, a shortage of nearly seven million affordable homes makes the prospect of owning a home sadly unrealistic. The costs of homes are also increasing rapidly with no sign of slowing down. Without affordable housing, there will always be a division between owners and renters, or to put it simply, the rich and the poor. Profiting off the poor is as American as baseball, so this problem will likely take a dramatic shift in the values of rich property owners because they are the ones politicians typically cater to. 

This problem should be viewed as a by-product of the many inequalities plaguing the United States. Problems like redlining and abysmal minimum wages make being a homeowner practically impossible for some people. As a result, the American dream is dead and six feet under, and a nightmare is taking its place.