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1950's Family
06.25.04
Politics and Economy:
Who is the Middle Class?
More on This Story:
Debunking Common Myths about the Middle Class

In THE TWO-INCOME TRAP: WHY MIDDLE-CLASS MOTHERS & FATHERS ARE GOING BROKE, Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi consider the factors that have changed the financial stability of today's middle class. The following statistics are based on the research in this book.

10 Reasons America's Two-Income Families Aren't What You Think
(According to Harvard Law professor and bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren)

  1. Two-income families today make 75% more in inflation-adjusted dollars, but have less money to spend than one-income families did 30 years ago.

  2. Two-income families today spend: 21% less on clothing, 22% less on food, and 44% less on appliances compared to one-income families a generation ago.

  3. Every 15 seconds an American family files for bankruptcy.

  4. This year, more kids will live through their parents' bankruptcy, than through their parents' divorce.

  5. 1.6 million families will file for bankruptcy this year, 9 million more are already in credit counseling.

  6. Home mortgage foreclosures are up more than three-fold over the last generation and car foreclosures have hit record levels.

  7. More than 62% of families say that they worry about making ends meet.

  8. The average family spends 69% more in inflation-adjusted dollars on their home mortgage than their parents spent a generation ago.

  9. The average family spends 61% more on health insurance, than their parents spent a generation ago.

  10. Credit card default rates are at a record high.

You can find tips from Elizabeth Warren for middle class families trying to manage finances, as well as an excerpt from the book, on THE EARLY SHOW Web site from CBS.

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