Poor Youngsters as Happy as More Affluent Peers (via Thriven’s Blog)
Is happiness determined by the size of your wallet? I’ve never thought so. But I do believe that debt pressure can make a good life into a living hell. I worry that millions of Americans saddled with debt they can never pay are never going to have a chance at the happiness that the last generation had.
Americans owe 2.4 trillion dollars in consumer debt. Than doesn’t count real estate. The big pieces of that are student loan debts coming in at about 730 billion dollars, credit card debt at 962 billion dollars. That leaves 708 billion for things like auto loans.
In good times, that wouldn’t be that big of a problem. If you have good jobs and a thriving economy, those kinds of debts are manageable.
These aren’t good times.
These debts translate into hardcore misery: lost homes, spousal abuse, alcohol and drug use, crime as well as mental illness.
When the debts are larger than your income, you lay awake at night. It sits in the back of your mind like a dull pain that never goes away. You feel it when you talk, when you read, even when you take a step.
You can’t buy a can of pop on the way to work. You can’t buy coffee when you’re cold.
You put gasoline in the car and pray hard that it works okay, even though you have been due for an oil change for three months and the tires are getting bald.
Your life moves away from logic and you rely on luck. Will the car keep running? Will one of us get sick? Can we get some part time work or maybe sell something? That’s what life is when it’s just a matter of luck. Things just happen.
There are millions of Americans out there feeling that kind of pain.
Read the article. It’s well thought out from a good web site.
via Thriven’s Blog