From Publishers Weekly
It's hard to believe: "Today's college grads are making less than the college grads of thirty years ago." In fact, men aged 25 to 34 with bachelor's degrees are making just $6,000 more than those with high school diplomas did in 1972. This is just one of the many shocking statistics uncovered by Draut, a think-tank adviser and media pundit, in this incisive and revealing look at why today's young adults find financial independence so difficult. With catchy terms such as "debt-for-diploma" and "paycheck paralysis," Draut shows why this age group's ability to accomplish the traditional adult markers of school, career and family is stagnating. Her presentation features the one-two punch of well-sourced data and a series of stories from a diverse group of interview subjects to prove her thesis that depressed wages, inflated educational costs, soaring credit card debt and skyrocketing health and child-care expenses present nearly insurmountable obstacles to young adults' success. While Draut's conclusions take conservative politicians to task, they are hardly polemical, and her analysis and solutions are refreshingly free of glib how-to advice. Her book should be a jarring wake-up call to both the generation affected most by the current economic reality and the policy makers facing the consequences for decades to come. (Jan.)
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Praise for Strapped
“Strapped tells a story that is compelling, frightening, and ultimately liberating. By giving a clear analysis of what has gone wrong, Draut points the way to how to make it better. This is a must-read for anyone who is young—or anyone who cares about anyone who is young.”
—Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard University, co-author of The Two-Income Trap
“Tamara Draut’s meticulously researched book explains why the transition to adulthood has become almost impossibly difficult for the children of low- and middle-income families. Her highly readable account of bad policy choices and changing market forces will persuade you that this problem demands our immediate attention.”
—Robert Frank, Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management, Cornell University, author of Luxury Fever
“It’s no time to be 21, and we have Tamara Draut to thank for describing to us, in precise detail, the forces arrayed against young people—and what can be done to alleviate the situation.”
– Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter With Kansas?