Monday, July 21, 2008

Debtor Nation

The NY Times is running a series of articles focused on the unbearable weight of consumer debt that the average American is carrying.

Unfortunately, debt and it's long-lost cousin savings, are among the most taboo subjects in our culture. We avoid talking about it with our kids and then send them to counseling when they are shopaholics at 18 (see MTV's True Life I'm a Compulsive Shopper). I don't know what the answer is to this current crisis of consumerism, but more coverage of the problem is a start.

Given a Shovel, Americans Dig Deeper into Debt

"Today, Americans carry $2.56 trillion in consumer debt, up 22 percent since 2000 alone, according to the Federal Reserve Board. The average household’s credit card debt is $8,565, up almost 15 percent from 2000."

"By contrast, the nation’s savings rate, which exceeded 8 percent of disposable income in 1968, stood at 0.4 percent at the end of the first quarter of this year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis."

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