Anya Kamenetz is a contributing writer for Fast Company. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Salon, Slate, The Nation, and the Village Voice. She is the author of several books on the future of education includingDIY U (Chelsea Green, 2010) and Generation Debt (Riverhead Books, 2006).
The sub-prime mortgage scandal is only part of the debt problem in the United States. The issue is likely to attract the attention of young voters this election cycle, which may be the key to bringing about change.
Debt is the new four-letter word. As the credit-fueled housing bubble comes ever closer to bursting, Democrats in Congress and on the stump are denouncing predatory lenders and their "Wild West" ways. The potential industry blowback extends far beyond NINJA (no income, no job, no assets) mortgages and "liar loans." A whole new debt-industrial complex -- high-interest payday loans, deceptive credit card practices, creditor-friendly bankruptcy laws, and an oversubsidized student loan business -- is undermining Americans' economic security.