Daniel Gross argues in The Wall Street Journal that renting—once seen as a symbol of failure—is now so common that it is almost in vogue among Americans. Spurred on by the mounting foreclosure rates and the shrinking bank accounts characteristic of the Great Recession, Americans are choosing to rent housing, slowly washing away the stigma that was once associated with not owning your own place. “Renting is generally seen as something you do when you've failed as a homeowner or are not yet ready to be one,” Gross says. “But I'd argue the rise of rentership is a sign of a system adapting—albeit too slowly—to new realities.”

The American dream of owning your own house was never actually a reality anyway, he says. Owners just borrowed that dream from credit card companies and banks. Consumers starting to live more within their means may even “unleash a wave of economic efficiency,” he says.

Read Gross's full story, "Renting Prosperity," here.