As Americans we can serve as warnings to other nations of what happens when neoliberal fanaticism runs its course. We have something to offer the world as a generation; we must offer the real picture of America, a nation divided under class and race. Here in Germany the people joke that things have become more Americanized, i.e. a deteriorating situation for for the working and middle classes.
In the 1950s and 1960s it was possible to attend a state college, work for minimum wage for a nominal amount of hours, and graduate with no debt. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a minimum wage worker in 1979/1980 would have had to work 254 hours to pay tuition to attend a four-year public institution. As of 2010 a minimum wage worker would have to work 923 hours. That means instead of finding a summer job and working to avoid debt, many students need to find steady full-time jobs while studying, or graduate with massive debt. The class of 2013 has an average debt of $35,200 and a lot of them still attended state school.
Neoliberal reforms have been shoved down the throat of America since the '80s and had two large effects: lowering taxes on the rich and the destruction of organized labor, resulting in declining wages and worker protections. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated in January that union membership fell 400,000 last year, to a 97-year low.
And it has been by design;
Get Out While You Can: Why Young Americans Should Emigrate | Alternet