Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Carmen Wong Ulrich Isn't Me...

And she didn't steal my book title. Well, she did, kind of. But no hard feelings.
People often ask me what's the deal--why are there 2 books that came out around the same time, with the same title?? Basically what happened was this. Back in spring 2004 I was contributing to a yearlong feature series in the Village Voice called "Generation Debt: The New Economics of Being Young." My editor was one of the first who came up with the phrase, as far as I can tell.

A few months into the series, my editor and I were taken out to lunch by an editor at Warner Business Books. He informed us that he was working on a personal finance book by a young writer from Money magazine aimed at young people, and did we want to contribute forewords, sidebars, etc. to the book?
My editor and I both said no. We were more interested in the political, economic, and cultural implications of the Generation Debt idea, than in personal finance (aka service journalism).
Well, the Warner Business guy came back and said, that's fine. But we're using your title anyway. And no, they didn't have to pay the editor, the Voice, or me for the use of the phrase "Generation Debt."

Just a few months later, I got approached by an editor who was interested in having me write the book that I wanted to write, about the political, economic, and cultural aspects of Generation Debt. I sold the book under the title "Class Dismissed," but despite the fact that there was another "Generation Debt" book coming out, Riverhead decided that the books were dissimilar enough, and that the title was the best possible title for my book.

So what happened? Well, both books sold ok. They were often reviewed together. Now Carmen has a personal finance TV show on CNBC. I have dabbled in personal finance, and in TV, but I have found I am ultimately much happier as a straight up journalist and an occasional political and social commentator, especially on youth issues and on economic issues as they affect people like you and me.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha u r so pwn3d

Carmen is a smokin' Sino Latino Teutonic babe makin' MAD bux.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? She is all forehead and looks mildly retarded.

kelly said...

AND you both are on qvisory.

so confusing!

having just read both, borrowed from the library at the same time, i was clear on the differences. though i AM glad for the backstory... the gossip side of it is fun too. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, in a land far from New York, there lived a poor broke hustler.

Anonymous said...

My question is why did Anya's book title change from,
Generation Debt: Why Now is a Terrible Time to be Young, to
Generation Debt: How Our Future Was Sold Out for Student Loans, Bad Jobs, Nobenefits, and Tax Cuts for Rich Geezers--and How To Fight Back

Are the two any different?

Anonymous said...

5.20.09
The NBC pundits are dead wrong again. This is not the bottom of the recession. Its not the beginning of a true recovery. Its only a brief period of optimism or the beginning of that short and shallow revival. There will be some positive signs over the next year or so amoung the negative. But they will not lead to a true recovery. Our leaders may claim to end the recession in 2010. If that claim is made, it will be based only on that short and shallow (printed) revival. It absolutely will not last. I stand by my predictions made earlier this year. Obama's efforts are revolutionary but they are too little too late. He will have no choice but to acknowledge a severe US depression by the end of his first term or shortly thereafter. Every major economy in the world will be in depression by 2015.

The NBC pundits (Chatzky and Wong) are bound and determined (paid) to plug their coorporate sponsors and perpetuate the 'multiple credit card' lifestyle. Their claim is that you need more than one to build reasonable credit, finance a home, and be relatively secure financially. THAT IS ANOTHER FLAT-OUT LIE. The industry is simply too corrupt and predatory to deal with. It has been for at least 20 years. The use of 'multiple credit cards' is simply too risky, addictive, complicated (check that fine print), and ultimately expensive. In the vast, overwhelming majority of cases, the 'multiple credit card' user has ended up further in debt year after year after year. Their credit was built to some extent on a temporary basis and their ability to repay loans was diminished gradually right along with their bottom line. They ended up paying as much or more in finance charges as they did on principal. That is OBSCENE. Now, their net worth is way down. Their ability to get out of debt f#$&@#. That 'credit' didn't get them anything but F#$#@#. Still, those NBC pundits (liars) have the nerve to perpetuate that 'multiple credit card' lifestyle as if it were ever legit or necessary to begin with. It wasn't. Until two years ago, one could have built reasonable credit with a stable income, a checking account, a savings account, one secured credit card, one loan for a used car, one loan for a new car, and a reasonable downpayment. Until recently, that was enough credit to get a first home loan. Now, the economic boom is OVER. The majority are F#$&@#. Its only going to get worse. A LOT WORSE. The window for ordinary (decent) people to stake their rightful claim is closing fast. They better get out of debt soon and well prepared for the comming US/global depression. It will be catastrophic. Under these circumstances, it is downright reckless and irresponsible to promote more use of credit cards. Only a calculated PIG with an ulterior motive would have the nerve. The 'multiple credit card' lifestyle wasn't the only cause of this economic crisis but it was a contributing factor. Another vehicle amoung many to transfer wealth from poor to rich. Which again, is the single greatest underlying cause. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Buy Viagra online said...

I have an strange problem with a friend, we wrote the same story in two different books , for this reason our relation ended !!