Baby Boomers own 32 million homes. Two out of five in America. They'll want to sell their extra ones as retirement approaches. Especially when their social security starts falling out the bottom.
Millennials, saddled with a cool $40k of student loan debt at the start of their careers, aren't looking to take on more long-term debt. No house mortgage for me, thanks. A generation of renters and roommates, sure, I'll skate around buying a house until it's absolutely necessary. When I know I'm sticking around or whatever that means. We all saw our parents get fucked in '08, not trying for a repeat - although that'll probably happen anyway.
And honestly, $20k-$40k of debt is not a lifelong issue. It's payable. So it'll get paid off usually and eventually. This is the next generation of America's workforce, and we're getting a later start than usual. So yeah, there's no generational earnings yet, because Boomers are retiring later and later. Hogging all those good, non-gig economy jobs with benefits and salaries. But there will be, because Boomers will retire some day. And the $1.4 trillion in debt will be paid off because it better be. Everyone's counting on it.
The problem is student loans are slowing the generational transition of equity. It's slowing Millennial home ownership, which is culturally signified real adulthood. It's slowing Boomer retirement plans and equity values because greedy dicks love an expensive house or three and won't be able to push them off. And it'll kick all these problems a little farther down the road as Gen Z comes across all the same shit in 10 years but worse. It probably won't be a big enough issue to require debt forgiveness, but it also really might.
There's incentive for Boomers to get on board, but they'll probably just blame Millennials for ruining retirement too, along with everything else.