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View Diary: Four out of five Americans are living on the economic edge as inequality rises (49 comments)

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  •  Silly definition of "economic insecurity" (2+ / 0-)
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    edwardssl, Timaeus
    The gauge defines "economic insecurity" as experiencing unemployment at some point in their working lives, or a year or more of reliance on government aid such as food stamps or income below 150 percent of the poverty line. Measured across all races, the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79 percent.
    That is a definition of "economic security" that is so broad as to be meaningless.  Being unemeployed at any time in one's adult life--no matter how brief--is hardly the same as receiving food stamps or other assistance for a year.  And being say, 19, and being below 150 percent of the poverty line is not being "economically insecure"--it's called starting out in life.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:48:21 AM PDT

    •  That's true. Most people I've known (1+ / 0-)
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      throughout my 57 years on this planet have at one time or another struggled economically, including me.  Sometimes it's nothing more than when you've moving out of the parent's home and starting off on your own.

      I'm not so alarmed about "at some point in their lives".  That's always been and likely will always be.  I'm concerned about those whose economic struggle is a way of life, long term and mostly with no way out.

      If this report is pointing to increasing numbers in economic crisis for longer periods of time than has been previously measured, especially when those periods of poverty include the child-rearing years, that is alarming.

      •  It's getting harder and harder (4+ / 0-)
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        edwardssl, Major Kong, unfangus, Mr Robert

        to get back on the ladder if you fall off.

        I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

        by CFAmick on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:57:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or when you're loaded down (0+ / 0-)

          with debt, whether student loans or maxing out the cards to pay for food and other necessities.

        •  Watching family members just starting out on their (1+ / 0-)
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          Mr Robert

          own (mid 30's) losing their jobs and not getting raises for over 5 years.  Looking for better paying jobs and finding nothing even matching pay which is low already.  How do they save for a house?  How do they plan to start a family?
          The American Dream isn't dying in my view it is dead.  

          American corporations aren't investing in their own country or the American people.  Politicians are in their pockets just to keep their own jobs.  I don't see a new economy being built for American citizens to get ahead.

          Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

          by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:56:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For the most part, in this global economy (4+ / 0-)
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            mightymouse, mike101, laurnj, MHB

            there are no "American" corporations anymore.  Those corporations that control the large majority of the action in this country are "multinationals" - they are effectively country-less - their only allegiances to a given flag has to do with their potential to make revenue.

            That's pretty much where we are at this point with respect to the corporate "persons" in America.

      •  Managing a bleak spell at 57 is a lot harder (2+ / 0-)
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        laurnj, MHB

        than doing it at 18 or so. This downturn has hit many middle-aged and older people who have gotten some stability in their lives, risen up the career ladder a bit, and then boom - their house is being foreclosed, their retirement nest egg is vanishing, and climbing back to where they have been is not very possible. And yeah, if you have a family then they are hurt too, and their prospects get bleaker.

        •  Good luck anyway, dear (1+ / 0-)
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          I'm a year older than you are, never even came near being able to own a house.

          Not sure I'll ever be able to retire, either. Am holding on to my job with all my might, as it IS a unionized job (still).

    •  Good point. By that measure I'd think it was (1+ / 0-)
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      90 percent or more who are economically insecure.

      •  The diary also misstates the finding. (1+ / 0-)
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        The survey found that 79% of Americans were economically insecure at some point in their lives.  That is very different from saying, as the diary does, that 4 out of 5 Americans are thus economically insecure.

        100% of American adults were 18 years old at some time or another.  That doesn't mean that 100% of American adults are 18...

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:55:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I understood the point of the article, (1+ / 0-)
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          the statistics suggest that the distance in the fall between Middle/Working Class and Working Poor and Poverty is getting smaller.  In other words, the potential to get to poverty status is quicker.  The majority of people are closer to the edge than in the past.

          •  How is someone "closer to the edge" now (0+ / 0-)

            because they experienced the loss of a job 40 years ago?

            "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

            by Old Left Good Left on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 05:09:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because if they lose a job now there is a (0+ / 0-)

              greater chance that they won't be able to get another job now - especially if the last time the lost a job was 40 years ago - they'd be in an age group where finding employment is extremely difficult.

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