If it seems that renting isn’t as easy as it was, congratulate yourself on being perceptive. Since 2001, rents have gone up about 50% while wages are unchanged. The consequence is about 38% of renters (17 million households) are spending more than 30% of their income on rent. Spending disproportionately more on rent means having less to spend on other necessities, and having less to invest. The effect is to further income and wealth inequality, delay or dismantle growth or retirement plans, and essentially create a class divide. Millions are diverted from the stereotypical American Dream. A rising tide economy won’t raise all boats, unless wages increase and rents either slow or retreat.