Thursday, June 30, 2005

Johnny Comes Marching Home--to Loans

My most recent column tells the story of Anthony Allwein, who enlisted in the army, served in Iraq, and just found out they won´t pay back his student loans. The story is about all the young people for whom the military is their best, or only, option to pay for higher education, a deal that is looking tougher and tougher as the war drags on. It also points up what I think is a pervasive problem--people don´t have the best info about the college financing game, so they make expensive mistakes. Kathy Allwein told me that when her son went off to school, they didn´t know the difference between federal loans (which the army would have covered) and private loans (which come with higher interest rates, and which the army refused to pay back). The situation is getting more complicated every year, with people´s futures at stake.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Generation Debt-the column

In January 2005, "Generation Debt" began appearing as a biweekly column in the Voice. I've been covering all kinds of issues affecting young people's economic lives, from military recruitment of working-class kids, to student loan consolidation, to the right to an education for young mothers on welfare, to Russell Simmons' foray into "phat" banking and tax planning.

You can find links to all the past columns here:
January 2005:
No Trust Fund? Try Food Stamps
Down and out in Brooklyn, young artists turn to public assistance
Feeling a Draft?

Poor kids of color fight the Pentagon
February 2005:
Conversation Kills
Gray-haired pols keep yammering about Social Security, but it's young people who need to be heard
Borrow More Now! Pay More Later!
Bush's big plan for sticking it to us again
March 2005:
The Blue-Blood Revolution
A movement to help the poorest students grows—at the Ivies
Kids in the Thrall
You make chump change. And Congress likes it that way.
April 2005
Greed Aid
Big banks do billions in student loans—and that means less money for you
Russell Simmons, Tax Man
Hip-hop mogul helps young and broke get refunds—for a price
Stress Test
Smarty grads find easy money in SAT prep for wealthy, nerved-up kids
May 2005
Poor Students, Fast Learners

Welfare moms fight for a right they have—to stay in school.
I Was a Really Young Real Estate Mogul
Can't afford rent? Buy instead—but carefully
June 2005
High Interest in Low Interest
Student borrowers scramble to beat a deadline for cheap rates

Generation Debt-the feature series

Generation Debt began in April 2004 as a feature series in the Village Voice. You can read the original stories I wrote here: about the youth vote, grad school, the exciting new road to poverty, the need for a student movement for our own economic interests, hungry grads in New York, high rent in the city, and women in Generation Debt. Also check out Brendan Koerner's original story, "The Ambition Tax."


Hi! I've set up this blog to have a central source of info about my work. You can find links to all the past Generation Debt stories for the Village Voice, other stories I've written, and information about the Generation Debt book I'm working on, which will appear in early 2006. I'll also be commenting on media coverage of topics like student loan debt and Social Security reform , and those infuriating stories about "twixters," "adultescents," "boomerang kids," or whatever they like to call us. Please email and let me know what you think of the site!