Columbia Journalism School


Adjunct Prof. Barbara Kantrowitz writes story on The Downsized Generation for Reader's Digest

July 12, 2013

Adjunct Prof. Barbara Kantrowitz, a longtime Newsweek reporter and editor, wrote a story in July for Reader's Digest, telling the stories of several twentysomethings and their new rules for success following the economic collapse of 2008.  The piece, "The Downsized Generation," opens with 21-year-old Elizabeth Kurtz and a look into her life after graduating from college.

Kantrowitz opens with: 

As she starts her new life as an independent adult, 21-year-old Elizabeth Kurtz can lay claim ?to a $455-a-month one-bedroom apartment in Montgomery, ?Alabama; a mismatched menagerie of hand-me-down furniture, including a folding “coffee table” exactly big and round enough to hold a single pizza; $30,000 in college-loan debt; a used car ?with 62,000-plus miles on it; an old-school flip phone that her smartphone-owning friends make fun of; a netbook computer so ?little it doesn’t have a CD drive; and a salary so small—$12,000 a year—that she gets food stamps to supplement her paycheck and ?to keep her from having to ask her financially stressed parents for money.

“I don’t have any dreams of a big house,” says Elizabeth. “I don’t have any dreams of a big family or a fancy car.”

To read the full story, click here.

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