Why rent when you can own?

Chris Suellentrop of Wired makes a case for more renting and less owning:

Everything, everywhere, all the time. That’s the dream of the Rentership Society. And we’re almost there. If you want to be able to possess some things, in some places, some of the time, well, keep on buying. But I vote for infinite abundance, on demand. Doesn’t that sound like the new century’s American dream?

This vision seems to revolve around a world of never-ending Internet access that gives people the ability to read, listen to, and watch whatever they want, whenever they want.

But this is also a reminder that American ideas about the defects of renters, particularly when it comes to housing, is a cultural construct:

In the American mind, renters are regarded as an unsavory lot, willful dissidents from the American dream. They do things like put cars up on cinder blocks in their front yard or, worse, live in your basement. The vision of an Ownership Society was about more than just houses, but the promotion of homeownership was, for a time at least, its most successful element.

These ideas about renters could change if we do move as a society away from ownership.

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