What Does the Future Hold?

Allison Kade

Image credit: Wikipedia

This week’s current events make us seriously ask: What does the future hold?

First, we learned that this could be the “lost decade of the middle class,” with new research out from the Pew Research Center showing that the middle class has shrunken since 2000. What’s more, 85% of people who identify themselves as middle class say it’s harder now than before to maintain their standard of living.

What does that mean for class distinctions going forward?

Then we found out that, even though improvements in home prices helped nearly a million homeowners get out from being underwater on their mortgages, younger homeowners remain in hot water: Nearly half of all mortgage borrowers under 40 are still underwater.

What does that mean for the new generation of homeownership?

We already know that the average student loan debt in the U.S. is $25,000, and that the burden of that debt is powerful enough to make 44% of graduates delay buying a home, and 23% of them to delay having kids. Now the student loan debate (i.e. is there any way to lessen the burden of a higher education?) is reemerging with the ramp up to the presidential election.

On Tuesday, Republican candidate Mitt Romney said that he wouldn’t increase federal aid for students: “That is just taking money from [one] pocket and giving it to the other … What I want to do is give you a great job so you’ll be able to pay it back yourself.” Meanwhile, President Obama went on the offensive, criticizing Romney for telling students to borrow from their parents to fund school.

Opinions aside, we wonder: What does this mean for the future of higher ed?

This week, we’ll explore news about an exclusive golf club that just admitted its first women, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. We’ll also dive into a new effect of the economy: pet ownership.

Americans Owning Fewer Pets … But Spoiling Them More Than Ever

Because of the economy, pet ownership is down. And yet new trends have pet owners spending more on their pooches than before. Why?

Augusta National Opens to Women: What Is That and Who Cares?

This week, one of the most exclusive golf clubs, Augusta National, announced it will admit female members. But why does this matter?

  • Cc11782n

    I think it would be a good idea for the government to look into a tax incentive for companies that hire recent college grads and provide them with a salary that is guaranteed to cover a certain percentage of their loans. Companies that pay back student’s loans for them, or that cover part of the cost of a student’s education already receive a deduction for those costs under the category of employee benefit programs – but maybe the government should allow them to claim up to double of what they pay to incentivize businesses to help students. Or, set up a program similar to the idea of a 401(k) – allow people that have student loan debt to subtract up to a certain dollar amount from their gross pay each month that goes directly to the lenders they owe – pre-tax.

    Also, it doesn’t help that with the higher amounts of money everyone seems to owe on their loans that we are only allowed to deduct $2,500 of interest per year on our returns. My first year out of college I paid back close to $3,500 of interest – that extra $1,000 refund would have been nice to have to put towards my loans.