Monday, December 11, 2006

NonFiction - Strapped: Why America's 20 and 30 somethings can't get ahead

Strapped by Tamara Draut is a very interesting examination of the financial situation of young adults from their early 20s to their mid 30s. The author has done extensive research in comparing the situations currently faced by young adults with those of the baby boomers. Her research is supported by real life experiences of young adults who have struggled as they have tried to attain the same success in society as past generations. I initially thought that many of the young folks who have struggled to become adults were based largely upon poor decisions, lack of effort, etc. But I was surprised to find that was not the entire case. Draut focuses much of her blame on, rising college costs, student loan debt, unaffordable housing, lack of support of child rearing (including time away from work and child care), credit card debt, and paycheck paralysis. She spends a substantial amount of time on each of these topics making her arguments for each. However, it should be noted that while making her case she does dive into politics (which is probably unavoidable). Whether you agree with her arguments will ultimately depend upon your political point of view. The last two chapters are solutions that she thinks will help the situation. Her ideas are solidly researched and well thought out but call for a less capitalistic approach. Do these solutions have the ability to take root in this country? Maybe, but it will be a difficult sell to the American people.

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