TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, May 11, 2013

College Advice From The Daily Show

[The New York Times] article states that the average ... debt-to-income ratio for households under 35 has grown from 1:1 to 1.5:1 between 2001 and 2010. How lifetime earnings can rise while the young ... are spending more on debt service is unexplained. ... [C]ollege-educated Americans make less money than they used to.

Earnings by Education (25-34 Years, 2012 $)

To be fair, though, I’m going to give a little credit to the Times because people’s incomes would be higher if the economy were at full employment, and it’s not. In other words, it’s unlikely structural degree oversupply is the primary force depressing college graduates’ earnings. Thus, the 1.5:1 debt-to-income ratio should be lower than it is. But just when exactly will college graduates in their 20s and early 30s “make up for lost ground” after their prime earning years? The Times doesn’t say.

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