The Akron Beacon Journal is carrying an interesting editorial about the economic status of young people in the Buckeye State.
In the article, Amy Hanauer, executive director of the liberal, Cleveland-based think tank Policy Matters Ohio, argues that high college costs, declining middle-class wages and increasing basic costs are disproportionally squeezing Ohio’s young people.
“Skyrocketing costs make it difficult for students to complete their degrees, employment has become less stable, earnings have declined steeply for workers without a four-year college degree, and young adults are increasingly saddled with debt,” she writes, with co-author Nancy Cauthen.
Who’s to blame for young Ohioians’ declining fortunes? According to Hanauer the culprit is loss of manufacturing jobs and an “unraveling of the social contract.”
“All the hallmarks of a middle-class life — a college degree, a home, family security — are more expensive. Two-thirds of four-year college students in Ohio graduate with student loan debt averaging $24,000. Ohio renters ages 25 to 34 spend a third of their incomes on housing. The average annual price of full-time center-based child care for two preschool-age children in Ohio is nearly $17,000.”
The country is moving in the right direction, however, with the health care bill, which included a clause that eliminates subsidies to banks that were part of the federally guaranteed student loan program, Hanauer writes. That money–$36 billion–will be reinvested in need-based financial aid for low-income students.