“Government no longer has our back,” explains Tamara Draut, author of the recently published book Strapped, in an email. “Young adults today, working to get into the middle class — they’re being hit by a one-two punch: The economy no longer generates widespread opportunity, and our public policies haven’t picked up any of the slack.”
While I agree that debt is piling up for younger people, I do not agree with the premise that it is somehow only the governments fault or the fault of the economy being the way that it is. Personally I think its the “Keeping up with the Joneses” problem..iPods, HDTV, big screen televisions, $30,000 Honda Accords, the need to have a home that impresses your friends, etc. Young people today think that they NEED these things in order to survive…but these are not needs, they are wants. And they all want them, and they pay for them with credit cards. And I know what I am talking about…in college and the few years after that, I bought anything I wanted to, thinking that I would pay it all off when I had a real job and was making real money. But its hard to play that catch up game, and if there were a few things I would tell college students now would be that A. you wont be able to pay off those credit cards as easily as you think you will, B. concentrate on paying for the things you need, and C. SAVE for retirement and emergencies. I know, retirement seems very far off…but the earlier you start, the easier it will be to attain enough money to actually retire. That being said, the article is an interesting read.
Article link: AlterNet: WireTap: Generation X’s Debt Headache