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(Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents: The Decline of the Professional Middle Class
(Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents: The Decline of the Professional Middle Class
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Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with diverse families across America, Nan Mooney explores the financial struggles of todays professional middle class, delving into their sense of economic security and their plans for and fears about the future. Mooney shows how profoundly middle class expectations and realities have shifted: college tuition has increased 35 percent in the past five years; only 18 percent of middle class families have three months income saved, and 90 percent of those filing for bankruptcy are middle class. Additionally, the share of family income devoted to fixed costs--housing, childcare, health insurance, and taxes--has climbed from 53 percent to 75 percent in the past two decades, and raising one child through age eighteen costs $237,000 for a middle-income family. Despite this sobering reality, Mooney offers proactive and concrete ideas on how individuals and society can stop this downward spiral. She advocates improving government-backed education, healthcare, and childcare programs as well as drawing on successful models from individual states and other countries. What happens when the center cannot hold? With great empathy and infectious alarm, Nan Mooney charts the travails of Americas middle class in this important book. --Anya Kamenetz, author of Generation Debt If youre wondering why, in our age of plenty, the financial treadmill keeps moving faster and faster for Americas increasingly educated - and increasingly insecure -- middle class, you owe it to yourself to read this book. Its all here: the big trends, the compelling portraits, the ideas for personal and political change, and the call to arms we so desperatelyneed. --Jacob S. Hacker, author of The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care and Retirement and How You Can Fight Back A book for the distressed and confused because their life plan has gone to pieces. Mooney illuminates what has happened to them--and why. --Nicholas Von Hoffman, columnist for NY Observer and regular contributor to The Nation This is the kind of book that you wish was fiction. But, as Nan Mooneys incisive new book shows, the fact is that this generation has inherited an economy with too many low-paying, no benefit jobs and an eroding middle class. Millions of young families wonder where they went wrong when, in fact, their economic problems are largely the result of policies that generated higher incomes for a select few and rising economic insecurity for the rest of us. In this timely book, Ms. Mooney pushes us to demand an economy that works for all of us, not just the very wealthy. --Heather Boushey, Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research Facts from Not Keeping Up with Our Parents - Ninety percent of those filing for bankruptcy today are middle class. - Average college loan debt is nearly $20,000; average graduate school loan debt is $46,000. - Credit card debt has risen 31 percent in the past five years; already indebted, middle- and low-income households owe an average of $8,650; a third owe over $10,000. - Health care premiums have increased at five times the rate of inflation since 2000. - The median wealth of white households is $86,100, as opposed to $19,010 for black households and $11,450 for Latino households. - Between 1979 and 2003, income for the middlefifth of the population grew just 9 percent, while the income for the top 1 percent jumped by 111 percent. - Twenty-three percent of public college graduates and 38 percent of private college graduates would have an unmanageable level of debt if they were to live on a teachers starting salary.      

Author: Nan Mooney

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Publisher: Beacon Press

Publication Date: 2008-05-01

List Price: $24.95
Our Price: $3.89
Savings: $21.06

Used Quantity:1
ISBN: 080701138X
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Nan Mooney  Hardcover