Summary of Squeezed
SQUEEZED: Why Our Families Can't Afford America. Copyright © 2018 by Alissa Quart. Published by arrangement with Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
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Middle-class life used to mean families worked reasonable hours, owned modest homes, could afford vacations and set money aside for retirement. The workday ended at five or six, and people spent the weekends with their families. But since 1990, income has stagnated for most Americans, while the net worth of the top 5% of the population has soared. Why can’t people make ends meet, even if they obtained higher degrees to prepare themselves for high-paying jobs? Journalist Alissa Quart says it’s not for lack of effort. She illustrates the ongoing struggle of nurses, lawyers and teachers to hold on to their current status, and shows how much growing income inequality squeezes out the middle class. Her broad introduction to the plight of real people dealing with the human costs of “progress” – and to the larger economic forces driving middle-income families’ downward mobility – will appeal to those wondering why their carefully laid plans aren’t exactly working out.
About the Author
Alissa Quart, a journalist and executive editor for The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, also wrote Branded and Hothouse Kids.