In the shadow of the Greatest Generation

I heard a new term this week to define the generation of twenties to early thirtysomethings. No longer can we claim a letter of the alphabet (Generation X, Generation Y), nor do we have a full phrase (The Greatest Generation) but we now get one word. We are known as Generation Debt. Unfortunately this is not mortgage debt, but Credit Card debt, Student Loans, Car payments, etc.

Housing costs have increased 26 percent in five years, while income for the Generation Debt has only increase 10 percent. In 1983 the average credit card debt for 25 – 34 year olds, was $3,989. In 2001 it rose to $12,000. Student Loans for college have increased, the average amount for undergrad is $20,000, grad $40,000 and Doctor/Lawyer $100,000.

So what’s the solution? I would have said, have everyone declare bankruptcy, but due to recent legislation this is not feasible. Everyone could live like hermits for a while and move back in with parents. Maybe sell off unnecessary organs? Find a higher paying job? Maybe a fight club solution is in order, or perhaps trying to legislate change. Maybe we should follow the Muslims and ban interest? We could just whine about it, and blame someone else. However we dig ourselves out of this pit, let us up the next generation is wise enough to learn from our mistakes.

For more information on the credit card industry, take a look at this frontline episode. Secret History of the Credit Card

Any bets on what the next Generation will be called?

3 Responses to “In the shadow of the Greatest Generation”

  1. kowgod Says:

    You, of course, knew about this book, right?

    I think I might pick it up next time I’m at the book store.

  2. gregh Says:

    Yes, I did find that book, in my searching. Plus so many other books talking directly about this topic.

  3. sacarius Says:

    Can I borrow $18 to buy this book? 🙂