Financial Crisis in American Households: The Basic Expenses That Bankrupt the Middle Class

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ABC-CLIO, Apr 24, 2017 - Business & Economics - 211 pages
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Over the past 30 years, America's middle class has grown more financially insecure. How much of this pressing problem is due to Americans' failure to restrain their spending versus their upwards spiraling—and increasingly necessary—expenditures on health care, education, and housing? And how can Americans choose between financial security and paying for essentials on a day-to-day basis? This book answers these tough questions and many more in its evaluation of a complex and contentious issue: how basic expenses of life in the 21st century are bankrupting American families.

The book begins with a snapshot of U.S. household finances, an assessment of financial insecurity's prevalence across the nation, and a description of how American households have declined into their present precarious economic situation over the last three decades. The author's analysis then looks at how European countries pursue policies that make these essentials highly accessible and postulates that the socialization of these essentials in other countries has helped to solidify household finances and maintain living standards. The work uniquely focuses on the plight of the middle class in America to provide relevant, useful information to help as many readers as possible to better understand and improve their own financial situations.

 

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Contents

Household Financial Crisis in the United States
1
A Snapshot of US Household Finances
23
Financial Insecurity
53
The Big Picture
77
Runaway Spending
97
Necessary Necessities?
119
A Look Abroad
141
The Choice
171
Notes
181
Index
205
About the Author
213
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Joseph Nathan Cohen, PhD, is assistant professor of sociology at the City University of New York, Queens College.

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