So most of the debt is for student loans. How is that living “for now”? The other $10,000 is for back taxes, utility bills, and other unnamed expenses. I suppose I live for now, too, since I pay utility bills and taxes. The particular subject was forced to take on debt because her earnings were not enough to keep up with what was a not-very-wild lifestyle, which included obligations to support family members who are also struggling.

To see this as the end to some kind of democratization is to look through the narrowest frame possible.

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.