The impending collapse of the middle class

07/08/08 Robert Lorei
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Good afternoon, welcome to Radioactivity, I’m Rob Lorei.

Coming up today a powerful talk by Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren about the financial risks facing America’s middle class. But first a listener comment about last Thursday’s program. We got into another discussion about a possible attack by the U.S. against Iran. Here’s what one listener had to say.

Coming up next a speech by Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard professor. Warren writes that “the American middle-class family that once could count on hard work and fair play to keep itself financially secure has been transformed by economic risk and new realities. Now a pink slip, a bad diagnosis, or a disappearing spouse can reduce a family from solidly middle class to newly poor in a few months.

"Middle-class families have been threatened on every front. Rocked by rising prices for essentials as men’s wages remained flat, both Dad and Mom have entered the workforce—a strategy that has left them working harder just to try to break even. Even with two paychecks, family finances are stretched so tightly that a very small misstep can leave them in crisis. “

Here’s a talk Elizabeth Warren gave earlier this year at U.C. Berkeley on the crisis facing the middle class.

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