Jan 30 2006
09:05 am

Slate has a funny (?) article on Twentysomethings who can't stop whining about how the economy is screwing them.

Writing in the New York Times this weekend, economics reporter David Leonhardt called  Strapped, "a grim tale of one-sided generational warfare." 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. Huh? How about the Internet and Starbucks coffee and Lipitor and not having to worry so much about AIDS or crime or Mutual Assured Destruction or getting drafted into the Army and getting sent to Vietnam?   

Note: The New York Times article was actually published January 8th. It is now in The New York Times archives and requires purchase.

Number9's picture

Savings Rate at Lowest Level

Savings Rate at Lowest Level Since 1933

Americans' personal savings rate dipped into negative territory in something that hasn't happened since the Great Depression. Consumers depleted their savings to finance the purchases of cars and other big-ticket items.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that the savings rate fell into negative territory at minus 0.5 percent, meaning that Americans not only spent all of their after-tax income last year but had to dip into previous savings or increase borrowing.

The savings rate has been negative for an entire year only twice before _ in 1932 and 1933 _ two years when the country was struggling to cope with the Great Depression, a time of massive business failures and job layoffs.

With employment growth strong now, analysts said that different factors are at play. Americans feel they can spend more, given that the value of their homes, the biggest asset for most families, has been rising sharply in recent years.

But analysts cautioned that this behavior was risky at a time when 78 million Americans are on the verge of retirement.


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