“Life is becoming an endless, terrible competition.” —Daniel Markovits
Next up is student-loan debt, a trillion-dollar stone placed on young adults’ backs. Or, to be more accurate, the $1.4 trillion stone, up 6% year over year and 116 percent in a decade; student-loan debt is now a bigger burden for households than car loans or credit-card debt. Half of students now take on loans of one kind or another to try for a higher-ed degree, and outstanding debts typically total $20,000 to $25,000, requiring monthly payments of $200 to $300 — though of course many students owe much more. Now nearly 50 million adults are stuck working off their educational debt loads, including one in three adults in their 20s, erasing the college wealth pre-mium for younger Americans and eroding the college earnings premium.
Finally, child care. Spending on daycare, nannies, and other direct-care services for kids has increased by 2,000 percent in the past four decades, and families now commonly spend $15,000 to $26,000 a year to have someone watch their kid. Such care is grossly unaffordable for low-income parents in metro areas across the country, causing many people to drop out of the labor force. But one in four American mothers returns to work within two weeks of giving birth, so heavy are the other cost burdens of living in this country. The whole system is broken. The federal government has set as a benchmark that low-income families should not spend more than 7 percent of their income on child care.
But child care is generally the single biggest line item on young families’ budgets, bigger even than rent or mortgage payments: Putting a kid in daycare costs 18% of annual income in California; home-based options equal 14% of family income in Nebraska; having an infant in professional care in the District of Columbia costs more than most poor families earn. It all adds up, and it all subtracts from families’ well-being. The price tags for tuition & fees at colleges and universities have risen twice as fast as wages, if not more, in recent years. Rental costs are outpacing wage gains by a percentage point or more a year. Healthcare costs have grown twice as fast as workers’ wages. And childcare costs have exploded. These cost pressures are particu-larly acute on young Americans who have seen worse employment prospects and smaller raises than their older counterparts.
“I wish the solution was as quick and simple as going to an ATM machine!” Maybe it is. 😉
February 14, 2019
Happy Valentine’s to one ‘n’ all…
Reading can be a powerful catalyst for thinking; it has the potential for stimulating wisdom.
February 14, 2018
February 14, 2017
Did you know that last year Americans shelled out a record $19.7 billion dollars on tokens of love and devotion such as jewelry, flowers and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate? While researching the origins of Valentine’s Day “we” stumbled across some fun information that “we” thought most people didn’t know. Here are a few of the weird facts found, as reported by WiseBread.com.
- The average American will spend $119.67 on Valentine’s Day this year, up from $100.89 last year.
- Men spend almost twice as much on Valentines Day as women do. This year, the average man will spend $156, while the average woman will only spend $85.
- More than one-third of men would prefer not receiving a gift. Less than 20% of women feel the same way.
- Around this season, a dozen long-stemmed roses can cost an average of $75, or about 30% more than the normal price of $58.
- More than nine million pet owners are expected to buy gifts for their pets s this Valentine’s Day.
- 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentines Day.
- Over 50% of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the holiday.
- One billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. Women purchase approximately 85% of all valentines.
- The roots of St. Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year.
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. Today, to wear your heart on your sleeve means being transparent with your affections.
There are more! To read the entire article click here.