In the News

Then they will have to pay for day care in an economy that gives bigger tax breaks to "someone buying a second home than raising a second child," Tamara Draut writes in "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead," a grim tale of one-sided generational war.
 
Summing up her thesis, she offers this quotation from another study: 'With the possible exception of having a larger array of entertainment and other goods to purchase, me
The most recent data available show that credit card debt among people aged 55 to 64 rose 47 percent in the 1990s. Debt among those 65 and older increased an astounding 89 percent during the same period. "This is not just happening to the worst cases," said Tamara Draut, director of the economic opportunity program at Demos, a nonpartisan, public policy organization.
|
ABC News
|
According to the advocacy group Demos, the average balance among lower- and middle-income households is $8,650.
 
"World News Tonight's" special series "Credit Crunch" aims to help you get on the road to becoming debt free.
A fraudulent appraisal "can lead homeowners to borrow more money than their homes are worth, putting themselves at risk of being 'upside down' in a home -- e.g. not being able to sell for a high enough price to pay off their mortgage," according to a briefing paper on appraisal fraud put out by Demos, a New York-based think tank.
Since my mother and I both find the prospect of me moving back home nightmarish, I decided to end our "standards of living: then and now" debate once and for all. I sent her Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead, and guess what? It worked! Yes, the Strapped method of garnering parental support work for me. I want to do infomercials for the book now. "Do your baby boomer parents wonder why all their success hasn't rubbed off on you?
According to a recent study by the research group, Demos, credit card debt has nearly tripled since 1989, reaching almost $800 billion. The study's co-author, Tamara Draut, said the offers are a double-edged sword for the newly bankrupt.
 
"There is a need for credit. What happens, though, is once you get in the cycle of charging, the high interest rates kick in," Draut said.
A major survey released by the think tank Demos provides some important new insights on how average American families are using credit cards.
 
The implication is hard to escape: many middle- and low-income American families are using consumer credit as a way to weather fluctuations in their finances.
Demos, a non-partisan election reform group, said higher voter turnout, especially among youth, reversed a decades-old trend of low electoral participation. The group said about 120 million voted in the Nov. 2 election, an increase of 15 million voters from 2000.
 
Election Day registration, or EDR, makes it possible for new voters, the recently relocated and those whose registrations were incomplete or lost, to participate without unnecessary hurdles, the group said.
Happiness research is "enormously important" if it can be applied to policy, says Robert Frank, an economist at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. For example, since money doesn't buy much happiness, the nation could institute a steeply progressive consumption tax that taxes income (minus savings and investments), rather than the mildly progressive income tax we have, he says.
 
Here's an unusual term: Gross National Happiness.
That all portends "payment shock" for those with adjustable-rate mortgages whose loans are due soon to adjust, said Javier Silva, senior research and policy associate with the public policy research group Demos in New York City. "Lots of ARM customers are experiencing payment shock already, and we're only see the first wave of adjustments upward," Silva said. "People didn't understand how much their interest rate could rise, or were unprepared for it. I'm not surprised that we're seeing rising foreclosures.