getting students to engage the news…
In 2009, households headed by adults ages 65 and older possessed 42% more median1 net worth (assets minus debt) than households headed by their same-aged counterparts had in 1984. During this same period, the wealth of households headed by younger adults moved in the opposite direction. In 2009, households headed by adults younger than 35 had 68% less wealth than households of their same-aged counterparts had in 1984.
It may make me sound like a broken record, but this again demonstrates that if you are active in the political process, there can be real ramifications. Now, let me be clear, I don’t want the elderly to have less in this country, but I do find it a bit disconcerting when the wealth gap between those over age 35 and under increases as it has since the 1980s. While those over 35 have an INCREASE in their wealth of 42%, those with a head of household under 35 have seen a 68% decrease…let me say that again…a 68% decrease since the 1980s. What are the causes of this dramatic change? Mortgage debt and student loan debt are major contributing factors here. The price of education is increasing, the price of homes are increasing, meanwhile you can expect to earn less and less…depressed yet? Do the policies of our government come into play here? Sure! Think about costs of education, interest rates, social security, all of those things play a role.
That being said, DON’T think that education isn’t worth…it is! As I tweeted this morning, the unemployment rate for college graduated compared to those with just high school degrees is MUCH lower: 4% compared to 14%! And in terms of education, college grads are the only category seeing declining unemployment (or increasing employment) over the last couple years. School is worth it for you, school is worth it for America! That’s why I wish we would invest more heavily in higher education so that you all can gain these skill and give back to the country and the world!
Were you surprised by these findings? What do you think can be done about these circumstances? Is it as simple as involving ourselves in the process?