Reviews of Generation Debt Generation Debt argues that student loans, credit card debt, the changing Job market, and fiscal Irresponsibility Imperil the future economic prospects of the current generation, which is the first American generation not to do better financially than their parents.  Some critics of Generation Debt have held that Easement is not critical enough of her own perspective. A writer at Slate wrote, “it’s not that the author misdiagnose[s] ills that affect our society. It’s just that [she] lack[s] the perspective to add any great Other critics praise the book.
A reviewer at Index Credit Cards wrote, “It Is well-researched, well-reasoned, and Interesting enough that I didn’t feel Like putting the book down despite the battering ram of depressing news it offers. While one book won’t change the underlying causes that threaten young people’s prosperity, Generation Debt may help older generations understand the young, and help the young realize they’re not About This Book Twenty-four-year-old Any Easement started out as a Journalist asking hard questions about her generation for which no one seemed to have good answers.
Why ere college students nationwide graduating with an average of more than $20,000 in student loans? Why were her friends thousands of dollars in credit-card debt? Why did so many jobs for people under 35 involve a plastic name badge, last only for the short-term, and not include benefits? With record deficits and threats to Social Security, what kind of future are young people facing? Easement was one of the youngest columnists ever hired by The Village Voice. He New York City alternative newspaper where she earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her reporting on the new economics of being young. In Generation Debt, she talks to experts in economics, labor markets, the health-care industry, and education. Contrary to popular stereotypes, Easement says, the reason young people are moving back in with their parents, aren’t landing career-path Jobs and are taking longer to graduate from college and settle down Isn’t a widespread generational laziness or some other pervasive psychological flaw.
The reason, she argues, Is “overwhelmingly economic. ” In Generation Debt, she presents evidence that building a secure life, let alone surviving, is harder for young people today than it was for the same age group 30 ears ago. Review: Generation Debt: Why Now Is A Terrible Time To Be Young Things are tough all over, but Any Easement, author of Generation Debt, thinks they may be toughest for young people. So much so that Generation Debt carries the ominous subtitle “Why Now Is A Terrible Time To Be Young. In writing this book, Easement understands that others may perceive her (or her generation) as children who whine “not fair” when things don’t go their way. While she occasionally slips into this voice (“those of us between eighteen and thirty-five have somehow been cheated out of our Inheritance” “It’s not too dramatic to say that the nation Is abandoning its Rene”), Easement overcomes tens perception Day systematically telltales Just now tough things are, and how her generation really could be worse off than that of its parents.
Easement discusses many problems facing young people, including the trend toward Jobs without pensions or health care coverage, the use of temps and freelancers over full-time employees, rising government deficits and the potential for future cuts in Medicare and Social Security. Many of these issues cut across all age groups, however. Easement is most convincing, and most compelling, when she outlines the problems unique to young people. One of their biggest problems is paying for college.
While conventional wisdom says that a college degree is almost a requirement for substantial career prospects, skyrocketing tuitions are pricing potential students out of the market. Financial supports that have helped students in the past are less often available – grant money has given way to student loans, subsidized student loans (interest is paid by the government until after graduation) are more often giving way to unsupervised loans (interest charges begin immediately). As a result, more students work their way through college, with sizable loans to pay off afterward.
Others start college but can’t afford to finish – and the loans they took out still need to be paid. (According to Easement, one in three twenty- something is a college dropout, compared to one in five in the late asses. ) Either way, many come out of their college experience to an unstable Job market with a mountain of debt. Easement interviewed dozens of young people from a variety of backgrounds for Generation Debt, and she sprinkles these personal experiences wrought the book to accentuate her points.
It’s an effective tool, with interviewees running the gamut from head-in-the-clouds, how-could-you-be-so-stupid money- wasters to highly-responsible people who’ve been thwarted in their attempts to get ahead, whether due to lack of Job opportunities, inescapable debt, or inability to pay for an education. With any book that painstakingly details a problem, a reader inevitably gets weary and says, “O. K. , so what do we do about it? ” One solution at least a partial solution Easement offers young people is to live within their means.
Resist easy credit and societal pressures toward material comforts. A second solution is to fight the power – whether that means on a political level, within a university setting, or on the Job. Easement makes it clear she is a liberal, and, while she cites some real examples of young people fighting for their financial rights, I can’t help but question whether her calls for organizing and building political muscle are liberal fantasies.
Will students ever again muster the clout they had during the Vietnam War? And if they could, are high college costs or lack of health insurance enough to purr them into action? Nevertheless, I suppose it can’t hurt to try. Generation Debt is an impressive book, especially when you consider Any Easement wrote it at twenty- four years old. It is well-researched, well-reasoned, and interesting enough that I didn’t feel like putting the book down despite the battering ram of depressing news it offers.
While one book won’t change the underlying causes that threaten young people’s prosperity, Generation Debt may help older generations understand the young, and help the young realize they’re not alone. Money Minder Any Easement, 25 BY Nine Insider Sunday, February 26, 2006; page MOM If awards were given for gloomiest book title, it’s hard to imagine any current tome more deserving than Any Sameness’s “Generation Debt: Why Now Is a Terrible Time to Be Young. ” Phew, talk about a book you probably wont see on any critic’s summer beach reading list.
Apparently “Life’s a Drag and There’s Nothing You Can Do About It” was already taken. But if the title is heavy-handed (the author admits that the subtitle “was sort of a marketing thing”) it does convey the dire straits of many young people who face staggering student loan and credit card debt and are unable to find jobs that pay enough to help them dig out. Easement, who will read from her book at Politics and Prose at 7 p. M. On Friday, is a recent Yale grad who now pens a column called “Generation Debt” for the Village Voice.