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Up to Our Eyeballs: The Hidden Truths and Consequences of Debt in Today's America and What We Can Do About It

Overview

At a time when Americans owe close to $800 billion in credit card debt, the myth is that credit cards are primarily financing America’s luxury lifestyles—helping white suburban families pay the costs attached to extravagant homes, luxury cars, and golf club memberships—or helping those who aspire to these lifestyles. Up to Our Eyeballs reveals the disturbing reality that credit cards are in fact the new “safety net,” being used by desperate middle- and low-income families to ...

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Overview

At a time when Americans owe close to $800 billion in credit card debt, the myth is that credit cards are primarily financing America’s luxury lifestyles—helping white suburban families pay the costs attached to extravagant homes, luxury cars, and golf club memberships—or helping those who aspire to these lifestyles. Up to Our Eyeballs reveals the disturbing reality that credit cards are in fact the new “safety net,” being used by desperate middle- and low-income families to manage essential expenses.

In the increasingly volatile American economy, where a decline in work-related benefits like health insurance and pensions has accompanied a rising cost of living and increased job instability, consumer debt has become a fact of life for many American families. Up to Our Eyeballs is a troubling examination of the causes and consequences of this explosive rise in consumer debt.

Including a critical look at how the financial industry became the aggressive, hyper-profitable industry it is today, this book also incorporates solutions that will be of real relief to struggling households.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595582119
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author


Jose Garcia is a senior research and policy associate at Dēmos with over ten years of experience working on civil rights, census advocacy, and socio-demographic analysis.

Jim Lardner is a journalist and the founder of Inequality.org.

Cindy Zeldin is the executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, a non-profit organization that advocates for access to quality, affordable health care for all Georgians through public education and outreach, coalition building, and public policy advocacy. She is a co-author (with José Garcia and James Lardner) of Up to Our Eyeballs: How Shady Lenders and Failed Economic Policies Are Drowning Americans in Debt (The New Press).

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Tamara Draut     vii
Borrowing to Make Ends Meet     1
An Industry Run Amok     17
Gotcha!     37
Mortgage Mayhem     55
Asleep at the Switch     79
The Debt-for-Diploma System     91
Sticking It to the Sick     111
The McSharks     127
The End of the Rope     147
Addressing the Debt Crisis     165
Resource Guide     183
Notes     189
Acknowledgments     221

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