Department of wishful thinking
The Trillium Automobile Dealer's Association has a regular column in the "Wheels" section of the Toronto Star. Usually written by the president of the association, these columns express the collective viewpoint of members of the association. Recently, an article in this column addressed a trend automobile dealers find alarming: the increasing number of young people who have reached driving age but decided not to drive. They don't buy cars. A goodly number don't get their licenses.
As the article wistfully notes:
Times have changed since I was a young adult in the 1970s and ‘80s. Back then, obtaining a driver’s licence and a car was a rite of passage, especially among young males. It used to be that getting a driver’s licence was your ticket to freedom, which provided the means to socialize in person with friends, date, attend concerts or go camping.
Now, only time will tell whether the millennial generation has taken a hard look at the downsides of the car from an economic, environmental, and personal health standpoint and decided they outweigh the upsides, or whether a combination of factors, including the economy, has created a dip in car sales. But I notice one comic bit of wishful thinking in the article:
...the number of drivers, aged 19 or younger, who currently have a driver’s licence is down two thirds from 1998.
If I thought that meant two thirds of young people were driving without a license, that would worry me. Fortunately, I think it represents some wishful thinking: where he writes "drivers", the writer means to say people of driving age. Obviously, not all people of driving age choose to drive, and those who don't are by definition not drivers.