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Good God that is a lot. Just don’t graduate. Don’t do it. The economy sucks balls, all the job trees that jobs were growing on withered and died, and now the median American family is technically worth less than an inning of Alex Rodriguez playing baseball. I guess if you do feel like graduating then at the very least don’t get married or get anyone pregnant, but then again I tell everyone that anyway.
This news comes from the Fed’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finance. The information gathered is based on 2010 numbers, which was when the data was collected. According to the New York Times, three quarters of the loss was due to the housing market crash, which makes sense considering how big the drop was. Houses, after all, are the biggest asset most families have. This is especially true in the middle class, which typically was hit the hardest.
One reason for this disproportion is that the middle class puts its wealth in housing, and the median amount of home equity dropped to $75,000 in 2010 from $110,000 in 2007. While other investments have recovered much of the value lost in the depths of the crisis, housing prices have hardly budged.
The report also indicates that fewer families are saving for long-term investments (retirement, education, down payments for homes, etc.) and instead opting to set aside their money in case of more short-term problems. I mean, I guess that’s bad, but in a broad sense saving is saving. I assume if they don’t end up needing that money for any short-term issues they could use it for retirement or education.
I say save for retirement and let your kids take out student loans. Student loans are pretty damn manageable when you actually have a job, but jobs are a little harder to find when the country’s elderly workers refuse to trade their cubicles for a room on a Carnival cruise ship. It’s pretty infuriating for a 23-year-old to be told they don’t have enough experience for a position relatively low on the corporate totem pole all because there’s a traffic jam further up the line. Plus that would help curb what I’m sure is the ever increasing brown fury that is being rained down upon this nation’s office bathrooms. To be fair though, you might want to check back in with me in 40 years to see if I still agree with that.
- [via The New York Times]