August 2nd, 2018

squeezed-alissa-quart.jpgWherever you are in the political spectrum, we should at least be able to agree on a set of facts about the forces reshaping our society. The cost of housing, particularly in our cities, continues to rise. The cost of higher education, healthcare, and quality day care continue to take a larger and larger share of individual and family incomes.

Income inequality is growing. The impact of automation and AI is only in its infancy. The freelance and gig economy, and recent political and legal moves, have shattered the ability of workers to bargain collectively. All at a time when the social safety net of Medicare, Social Security and pensions are under siege.

What was once the middle class is being hollowed out. While there is no question that some people are doing well in this economy, as evidenced by the fact that retail sales are up, housing sales, particularly driven by women, are holding steady, and the technical unemployment numbers are low. There is no question that as the song lyrics go, “there’s something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear.” Whatever it is, the net result is hurting and squeezing a lot of people.

Alissa Quart takes us onto the front lines in Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America.

My conversation with Alissa Quart:


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