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The American Middle Class Is Getting the 'Squeeze'

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The American Middle Class Is Getting the 'Squeeze'

July 24, 2018
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Photo: Unsplash/Milivoj Kuhar

A new book examines the disappearing of middle class America. Author Alissa Quart concludes that it currently costs 30 percent more to be middle class today than in 1998.

Teachers, lawyers, care professionals, and women who become pregnant are just a few fields seeing lower wages, pay discrimination, fewer job opportunities, and increased automation. Quart writes in her book, “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America,” that about 30 percent of the tasks within 60 percent of today's white and blue collar jobs across middle- and upper-middle classes may soon be automated. As for who is doing well in this economy, Quart writes that that group is the already wealthy, due in large part to tremendous income inequality, MarketWatch reports.

After spending his days teaching AP American history and economics at the public Live Oak High School in San Jose, Calif., Matt Barry drives for Uber. Barry’s wife, Nicole, teaches as well — they each earn $69,000, a combined salary that not long ago was enough to afford a comfortable family life. But due to the astronomical costs in his area, including real estate — a 1,500-square-foot “starter home” costs $680,000 — driving for Uber was a necessity.

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