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Astronomical student debts, depressed wages, and soaring health-care and housing costs are among the reasons that 18- to 34-year-olds face a "crippling financial situation," according to Tamara Draut, author of "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead" (Doubleday, 2006).
 
Advertisers may consider young people ages 18 to 35 the most desirable demographic, but according to a new book, 60% of those in the group are struggling
Tamara Draut takes a different approach. As the director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos, a public policy center based in New York, Draut argues that the government has let young people down, and it's time to demand more.
 
Her new book, "Strapped," like "Generation Debt," makes the case that young adults have it rougher than generations past, but it also considers how policy changes can help give younger workers a leg up.
In her new book, "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead" (Doubleday), author Tamara Draut takes a hard look at why so many adults under 35 struggle for financial independence.

Surprisingly however, these words were not issued by a political and social activist of 2006, they were delivered by a political and social activist of 1967, a man whom we remembered this past Monday named Martin Luther King Jr. This less-hyped part of Dr. King's legacy was brought to media attention in a Boston Globe article entitled "What King Really Dreamed." The article, co-authored by Rich Benjamin and Jamie Carmichael, speaks of a King who was increasingly outspoken about issues of economic equality, social justice and the poor.

Strapped, by Tamara Draut, cuts out much of Kamenetz's slack and expands on an interesting twist. It's not just that Generation Debters haven't been given a safety net--reared during the Reagan years, they're not prepared to agitate for it.
One notable theme was that Draut's book struck a nerve with readers of all ages -- not just those in their 20s and 30s. Lizmv started off the conversation by noting that, "As a 51-year-old single mom whose kids are now finally out of the house, I am still struggling to pay off the debt incurred by dentist bills and helping the kids get through college as best I could.
But if you're that child, Tamara Draut offers comfort, and ammunition for your next dinner with your parents. In her convincing, impressively researched call to arms, "Strapped," she explains why your genteel temp gig masquerading as a job won't cover your outrageous housing costs, oppressive credit card bills, outsize health care premiums and payments on your five-figure student loan.
Sixty percent of young adults between 18 and 34 are struggling for financial independence, says Draut, now the director of the economic opportunity program at Demos, a think tank in New York. She is also the author of a new book, "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead."
 
"What made the transition to adulthood somewhat less bumpy 30 years ago was that we had an economy that lifted all boats," she says.

Draut argues that "with the possible exception of having a larger array of entertainment and other goods to purchase, members of Generation X appear to be worse off by every measure" than prior generations.

To help us with this task I want to draw on the work of the Princeton-educated Dr. David Callaghan, co-founder of the public policy centre in the United States, Demos, and author of the book, The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans are doing Wrong to get Ahead.
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