Sunday, January 17th, 2021

The End Of The American Dream – Half Of US Households Are “Financially Fragile”

Published on June 2, 2016 by   ·   No Comments


The middle class in America is in crisis, with incomes falling and life expectancy worsening. Why? And what can be done about it?


Increasingly precarious, it seems. In an article entitled “The Secret Shame of Middle Class Americans” in this month’s issue of The Atlantic, the writer Neal Gabler – an author, film critic and academic – came out as one of the many millions of apparently middle-class Americans who are in fact living in a “more or less continual state of financial peril” –scrabbling around to make ends meet, and mostly failing.

Gabler draws attention to a regular survey by the Federal Reserve, which asks consumers a set of questions, including how they would pay for a $400 emergency. “The answer: 47% of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all”, writes Gabler. “Four hundred dollars! Who knew? Well, I knew. I knew because I am in that 47%.”


Yes. Research into this niche area of microeconomics – day-to-day “financial fragility” – has boomed since the Great Recession, according to David Johnson, an economist at the University of Michigan who specialises in income and wealth inequality. A 2014 survey study found thatonly 38% of Americans would cover a $1,000 emergency medical bill or a $500 car repair bill with money they had saved.

Another academic study found that a quarter of households would definitely fail to get their hands on $2,000 within 30 days in an emergency, and a further 19% would be able to do so only by pawning possessions or taking out a payday loan.


On this basis the researchers concluded that nearly half of Americans are “financially fragile” – and that necessarily includes a sizeable chunk of the middle classes, as the details of the studies mentioned above show. Some 44% of middle-income households said they would struggle to raise the $400. Nearly half of college graduates would not cover a $500-$1,000 emergency with savings.

A quarter of people living in households earning $100,000-$150,000 a year (at the higher-income end of the middle class) claim not to be able to raise $2,000 within a month. Even if you take some of this with a pinch of salt – better off households are likely to have access to other forms of net wealth, albeit less liquid – the picture it paints of a middle-class crisis is stark.

Read More HERE

Share the Truth:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Global Grind
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • email

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Daily News and Blogs

Listen to the TIS Network on

Check Out Pop Culture Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with TIS Network on BlogTalkRadio

Like us on Facebook

Advertise Here

Advertise Here