TV

Tonight’s Four Corners Is About Smug, Home-Owning Boomers Who Think Millennials Whinge Too Much

And while you're at it, get off their lawn.

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Tonight’s episode of Four Corners, called ‘Home Truths’, is dedicated to the increasingly fraught Australian housing market. But judging by the teaser, this episode doesn’t explore the barriers which prevent young Australians from dipping their feet in the property market pool. It looks more like a bunch of Baby Boomers telling Millennials to stop whinging about not being able to afford a goddamn house.

(And while you’re at it, get off their lawn.)

Let’s think about this. There’s got to be a way to improve Boomer/Millennial relations, right? Let’s for a second put aside the generation pay gap that was only worsened by the recession, and the fact that 18 to 35-year-olds are earning less than their predecessors. Let’s decide that these relatively privileged white Australians really are trying to give young people some helpful advice.

Let’s start with one of the interview subjects, who I have named Linda.

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Hey, Linda!

Linda has an edgy necklace, so I automatically trust her to also be liberal in her views. Her advice is: “You don’t start with the best car, you don’t start with the best TV, you don’t start with the best clothes”. Oh… okay. So Linda’s advice is to not expect the best things straight away. But Linda, what if even the shittest houses are way out of our price range?

Hm, maybe we’ll be better off hearing from Charles (not his real name, probably).

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Cool shirt, Charles!

Charles is laid back enough that he allows the top two buttons on his shirt to remain unbuttoned. Cowabunga, Charles! So what does he have to say about Millennials being priced out of the housing market? “I have my own house… but it’s 40 years of work.” Oh, sure. But Charles, we’re not trying to take your house. We’re just wondering why investors are buying so many properties that they don’t plan on living in, and in some cases, are not even bothering to rent out.

Okay, what about, umm let’s say, Sandra?

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What a backyard, Sandra!

Sandra is smiling, so I’m expecting something reassuring! Oh wait, she’s smiling at our expense. “My husband I were paying up to 18% interest during the ’90s. You have your own challenges,” she says, still smiling. Hm.

Oh, it’s Linda again!

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Back again, Linda!

“You can’t always have what you want, when you want it, where you want it.” Steady on Linda, we don’t all need to buy a house right now, but it might be nice to know that we can one day.

Are Millennials really being impatient? Are Millennials hoping for luck when it comes to one day being able to afford a house? Or are they just hoping for the same opportunities afforded to previous generations? Is it our fault that the widening gap between house prices and average income is locking Millennials out of the market? That negative gearing is making this seem like even less of a possibility? That rent has increased so much that most people can’t even afford to save for a house?

Hm, well that advice wasn’t very helpful at all. If you feel like participating in some good old fashioned Millennial raging on Twitter tonight (after Game of Thrones, obvs) Four Corners begins at 8.30pm on ABC.