The Missing Class
This week, professor Katherine Newman discussed the “missing class” – millions of Americans who are technically above the poverty line but still far from a middle-class standard of living.
“It’s a fragile existence because they don’t really have the security that comes with owning a home, for example, or having a savings account, or any of the other buffers the rest of us have – and they don’t qualify for federal benefits for the most part… They can’t get Medicaid because they’re too wealthy for that. They don’t get food stamps. They don’t get subsidized housing, for the most part. So we don’t really think about them very much. We don’t even track how many of them we have.”
Most of the estimated 50 million members of this class remain missing, at least in the national discourse. In the interview, Newman introduced us to just two families from the nine that it took her seven years to write about, and all from the New York area.
What do you think?
Photo: Robin Holland