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No More Middle Class: One in Three Working Families Are Struggling

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A recent Huffington Post article describes one in three working American families as "employed but struggling."

office cubicles

Citing a report by the Working Poor Families Project, the article reveals that a third of our nation's working families are now considered "low-income," earning less than twice the official poverty threshold since "the worst economic downturn since the Depression" began.

Brandon Roberts, manager of the Working Poor Families Project and a coauthor of the report, says of these families, "They're no longer working actively, with a chance to advance and gain more experience and skills. They're just putting pieces together to stay afloat, to meet basic needs."

Lifestyles have been significantly downgraded, and many families who could sock away a few bucks here and there before the recession now live from paycheck to paycheck. The numbers are staggering: Forty-five million Americans -- including 22 million children -- lived in low-income households last year, and the number of low-income families in this country has risen by almost a quarter million since 2008.

Those are some serious numbers, but they come as no surprise. Between the lack of jobs and the credit crisis, many American families are finding it almost impossible to stay afloat.

What do you guys think? Have you seen an improvement in your own circumstances, or have you had to learn to live leaner?

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen December 31, 2010, 12:03 AM

It’s because our gov’t values CEO’s and money more than the american people. How does our gov’t honestly expect people to live off $7-10 an hour? We need to RAISE MINIMUM wage, make health care a priority……….for the life of me I can’t figure out how car insurance is required for everyone who drives a car but health insurance is not. I live in Germany right now and EVERY SINGLE person is required to have health insurance. The health insurance companies are NOT allowed to be for profit. Every single person who is working pays 8% of their paycheck and the employer also pays 8%……..makes it even across the board. If you aren’t working then you are on your spouses insurance. Americans have the highest healthcare bills and most go bankrupt because of it……that is UNHEARD of in EU countries(they are all laughing at us). When is our gov’t going to start making incentives for companies to bring jobs back here………the rich people are keeping their money but they are NOT creating jobs for the average american, they are taking their money overseas or living extravagantly. When are we going to require Walmart/Mcdonalds to pay people a living wage, to give them sick days, to value them as human beings instead of paying them crap, working them to death AND pocketing it so they can give their CEO’s HUGE bonuses. Uhhhhhhh I’m so disgusted with our gov’t and elected officials.

Modal Usaha Kecil January 3, 2011, 6:34 PM

I can see that you are putting a lots of efforts into your blog. Keep posting the good work.Some really helpful information in there. Bookmarked. Nice to see your site. Thanks!

Tawnie February 2, 2011, 6:43 PM

Kristen—you have several excellent points, but as a biology teacher I have to point out one important fact that you may have missed. People from Europe may be shaking their heads at our problems with health care, but they are also coming here to our specialists in droves because ours are better than theirs.Period.

Anonymous February 7, 2011, 7:04 PM

Well said Kristen. I don’t think I could ever live in America simply because of the scam that is deathcare there. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to base my decision on whether or not to see a doctor based on the amount of money in my bank account. Need should be the deciding factor, not cash flow.

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