Summary of The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans

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The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans summary


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Following the success of Neal Gabler’s article “The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans” in the May 2016 issue of The Atlantic, the magazine’s editor, Scott Stossel, sat down with Gabler to discuss his thesis. The interview is casual and sometimes halting or repetitive, but it slowly reveals a narrative thread about the middle-class trend toward “financial fragility.” Though the magazine article may boast more polish and detail, and also emphasizes personal decisions and economic illiteracy as factors contributing to financial strain, getAbstract suggests that the video makes a worthwhile supplement to the article by providing some additional, fresh political takeaways.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the American middle class is hiding its financial struggle,
  • Why the problem likely won’t resolve soon and
  • How this economic trend is affecting US politics.

About the Speakers

Neal Gabler is a writer, lecturer, film critic and author. Interviewer Scott Stossel is a journalist and the editor of The Atlantic magazine.



Middle-class Americans generally are ashamed to discuss their finances. Nearly half of all Americans don’t have the liquid assets to cope with a $400 emergency, according to a Federal Reserve Survey of Household Economics and Decision...

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