Friday, March 27, 2009

Hey out-of-work college grads, economy got you down?

Well fear no more, because Obama's got your back.

The legislation would triple the size of the Clinton-era AmeriCorps and broadly expand incentives for students and seniors to give back to their communities, at a cost of $5.7 billion over five years...

The legislation would increase AmeriCorps to 250,000 from its current 75,000 positions over eight years, its largest expansion since the program was launched in 1993...

Some AmeriCorps participants get a living stipend while they are working for 10-12 months. The stipend ranges from $11,400 to $22,800 for the year. Most participants, who are predominantly ages 18 to 26, get $11,800.
Now, if you can't find a job, you can at least earn a poverty wage serving your country. This Washington state website has some helpful hints for surviving on such an income. As even AmeriCorps' website will tell you, you're not going to create any savings on $12,000 a year.

Something like this has been coming for a while. After thirty years of class attacks, young workers today are earning "10% less than did their counterparts in 1979" despite being better educated. College-educated workers have struggled to find jobs befitting their level of education, but now are lucky to grab a job at all.

Students endure a level of poverty to pay their tuition, with the expectation that it will pay off in the long run, but recently we've seen more student shopping at food pantries and even sleeping in the street. Students are putting up with more to get much less.

What exactly will happen when college-educated, young workers find out that the future isn't what it's cracked up to be?