In the News

A group of New York City councilmembers released a report last week highlighting the pitfalls of credit card use.
"Too many Americans are drowning in credit card debt as a way to deal with the rise in the cost of living as their incomes have stagnated or dropped," said Tamara Draut, Director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos. "It's really has been the band-aid holding the family budget together since the 90s."
Steve Carbo, director of the Democracy Program, said voters should be allowed to cast provisional votes even if they vote in the wrong precinct, a practice many states now forbid.
A combination of escalating student loan and credit-card debt, rising costs, slow wage growth and underemployment have accumulated debt "unmatched in modern history" undermining the economic security and financial health of young Americans aged 18-34, according to a new study.
The report, "Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt Among Younger Americans," was released by Demos, a nonpartisan, public policy group, based on the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances as well as dozens of other sources.

Senior Fellow George Packer explains how the Bush Administration failed to plan for post-war problems in Iraq and lost the peace.

The ongoing debate over the war in Iraq has rarely moved beyond abstract terms to take into account the human beings-Iraqis and Americans alike-whose lives are affected by decisions in Washington.

"These young adults are doing everything society tells them to do," says Tamara Draut, coauthor of a new study, "Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt Among Young Americans," published by Demos, a public-policy group in New York. "They're going to college, taking on tremendous student-loan debt, and working longer hours than ever before while in college.
"This is as bad as it has been for young adults - absolutely," says Tamara Draut, who works for the Demos USA think tank in New York and recently analyzed the financial plight of young Americans.
Ah, to be young, footloose and ... drowning in debt.
That's the grim, new-millennium reality for young U.S.
Thousands of voters were disenfranchised by technical problems and official incompetence.
"The media called this a 'smooth transition' and a 'mandate' and moved on," said Timothy Rusch, a spokesperson for Demos, a nonprofit, nonpartisan election reform group. "But there were hundreds of thousands of system failures. Those failures show there's more need for reform."
Although legal battles reminiscent of the 2000 election debacle did not surface in the aftermath of last Tuesday's presidential election, a handful of voting watch groups warn that the country should not rest easy.
Spencer Overton, a law professor at George Washington University, said too much discretion is given to poll workers in each state, and thus, provisional ballots are treated as "second-class votes."
For progressives, the 2004 election may feel like a brick wall.
My daughter is married and no longer lives with us. But we still get junk mail from credit card banks luring her into the buy-now, pay-later society.
In fact, credit card debt among adults age 25 to 34 has increased 55 percent, while credit card debt among persons 18 to 24 has leaped 104 percent since 1992, according to Demos, a New York-based public policy organization.