The Age of Insecurity: indebtedness and the politics of abandonment
Workaround: In current version of Panels 3.8, it seems this body field needs to be populated in order for title above to appear. This note is hidden by custom CSS style. Jack Latimer.
This article explores the growing indebtedness of young adults and senior citizens in the United States during the recent credit bubble. The aim is to extend accounts of the inequalities and exploitation created by the credit bubble beyond the credit relations between lenders and borrowers. In doing so, it highlights three factors contributing to young adults and senor citizens indebtedness: (1) Persistently slow income growth over the past two decades is a major, and often overlooked, contributor to mounting household debt levels; (2) The culture of homeownership in the United States that was intimately bound up with the recent credit boom, which made sense of young adults becoming highly leveraged homeowners and senior citizens using their homes as ATMs; (3) In addition to funding consumption, debt is used as safety net to replace eroding public expenditure for social insurance and services. The emphasis here is on the cumulative effects of these three factors. Certainly the young and retired were affected in different ways, but with similar outcomes: rising indebtedness and growing financial insecurity. When we move beyond framing the excesses of the recent credit bubble using the narrow conception of the ‘subprime’ experience, we see that a wide cross-section of American society was made significantly worse off, both now and arguably well into the future.
Keywords: young adults, senior citizens, debt, subprime, financial crisis20113092