American Consumers Newsletter

Gold Found in Wealth Survey

It’s here. The Federal Reserve board has released the long-awaited 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances (see link in Cool Research Links below), and number crunchers are drooling over the tables. The Survey of Consumer Finances, taken every three...

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Teenagers on the Phone

Ithaca College recently hosted the first cellular phone film festival, receiving 178 entries from high school and college students across the country. Each submitted a 30-second film produced entirely with a cell phone camera. Dianne Lynch...

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Are Boomers Over the Hill?

You’ve heard the news. The oldest boomers, born in 1946, began to turn 60 on January 1. The Census Bureau has issued the obligatory press release with a list of facts about what it calls perhaps the “most celebrated...

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Top Ten Spending Trends

It is not easy to figure out what Americans do with their money. First, you have to ask enough people so that the answers are statistically representative. Second, those you ask must keep tedious track of their spending. Third, the data must be...

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The Demographics of Disaster

The demographics of those in the path of hurricane Katrina help explain the enormous and unfolding tragedy. A death toll in the thousands could have been predicted long before the storm’s landfall. And you do not have to be a meteorologist...

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The Middle-Age Bubble

Everyone is fretting about the housing bubble. Even Alan Greenspan is muttering about the froth. But there is a much bigger bubble wreaking havoc on our nation: the middle-age bubble. It is a demographic phenomenon that occurs when tens of...

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Why We’re Going Broke

The number of Chapter 7 bankruptcies filed in the U.S. has doubled in the past decade, with more than 1.1 million people filing for bankruptcy in 2004. To stem the rise, the Senate recently passed tougher bankruptcy rules that are expected to...

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No Nest Egg

The line has been drawn in the sand, and it separates the oldest boomers from the rest. Workers now under age 55 will have to accept much smaller Social Security benefits–like it or not–if Congress passes President Bush’s...

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The Social Security Trap

The baby-boom generation is walking into a trap, one set by those who want to “privatize” the system, enriching Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. The spin on this issue started harmlessly enough, by subtle and not-so-subtle...

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