SAN FRANCISCO — For some young Asian Americans, the country’s tanking economy hasn’t resulted in any major immediate changes to their pocket books. But the market’s topsy-turvy rise and fall has definitely impacted their mentality.
“Even if I have tremendously good credit, it will be harder for me to get a loan,” said UC Davis student Lily Wu. “Now with this bailout and probably more of it, I, my children and even my grandchildren, will be responsible to pay this amount off.”
The uncertainty and reverberations of the economic downturn aren’t necessarily hitting many young people yet, but many have witnessed the impact on the older generation and are taking stock of what may happen next.
Sandra Fang, a student at San Francisco State University, is worried about the economy but says she tries not to think about it. However, she has noticed the number of people who are losing jobs or are unemployed. One of her relatives who worked at Wells Fargo Bank for over ten years was recently laid off, something she says is a sign of the times.
“I’ll be graduating soon, and I would like to have a job after I graduate since I did go to college to [get] a useful education and a well-paying job,” Fang said. “People are losing their jobs and a lot of my friends who graduated from UCs don’t have jobs yet.”
A dwindling job market isn’t the only issue young people are facing with the current economy floating in limbo. Maahum Chaundry, a student at San Francisco City College, said that she knows several college students who fear taking out loans for school because they may not be able to pay the money back.
“I have a friend that just graduated from Berkeley with a degree in economics, and he’s having such a hard time finding a job!” Chaundry said. “I mean, he’s qualified and everything. So, if he has no luck — for most people — things look pretty bleak.”
Luckily for Chaundry, her parents have not accumulated any debt and have yet to feel the economic crunch. “Both my parents worked day and night to help pay the bills without taking any loans,” recalled Chaundry, who admits to living on a budget. “I respect my parents more after seeing how they didn’t want to get tangled into any mess in the long run, so they tried to have as little debt as possible by only buying what they knew they could pay for.”
Despite the U.S. bailout plan, many young people are not convinced it will help their generation.
“I am worried about the crisis,” Chaundry admitted. “Because, especially with this $700 billion bailout plan, it seems like my generation is going to be the ones with the high taxes that are going to pay for it!”