It begins with the statement,
The article goes on to talk about the large group of "near-poor" in America -- the 60 million people who are "just one notch above the official poverty line," with incomes that range from $20,000 to $40,000 for a family of four.
We have always gotten a distorted picture of how well Americans were doing from politicians and the media. The U.S. has a population of 300 million. Thirty-seven million, many of them children, live in poverty. Close to 60 million are just one notch above the official poverty line. These near-poor Americans live in households with annual incomes that range from $20,000 to $40,000 for a family of four.
It is disgraceful that in a nation as wealthy as the United States, nearly a third of the people are poor or near-poor.
You can read the statistics, expressed in terms of income multiples of the Federal Poverty Guideline here. I think you'll find them moving.
It isn't that I don't agree there is a problem -- readers of this blog likely know that -- but must point out that defining the problem this way, as the authors of "The Missing Class" do, misses the point that $20,000 or $40,000 for a family of 4 in rural Alabama is very different from $20,000 to $40,000 in New York City or San Francisco, or any of our other major metropolitan areas, where the vast majority of us live. [See data about the cost of living in America's low-cost counties, and in America's major cities.]