The Ambition Tax

Why America's young are being crushed by debt- and why no one seems to care. First in a new series, "Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young". foreclosure. "When we look at the median cost of housing, it used to be 30 years ago that a teacher could purchase a home on their own salary," says Tamara Draut, director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos. "Nowadays, it's hard for two teachers to purchase a home on their combined salaries."

The average collegian in the U.S. isn't graduating into a world of boundless opportunity, but rather is $20,000-plus in the hole thanks to student loans and credit cards.