Why a Thriving Economy Can’t Pay the Bills

It’s been quite a puzzler to us. Unemployment rates have been dipping for about a decade, and the economy is expanding, while wages have gone up. Even revenues in almost all the states have been rising. How then is it that so many Americans are feeling under fiscal pressure? Don’t rising tides lift all boats? No, not if the boats are leaking. A fascinating article in The Atlantic describes the issue as “The Great Affordability Crisis.”

Here’s the crux of the piece, by Annie Lowrey, which we recommend highly: “This crisis involved not just what families earned but the other half of the ledger, too—how they spent their earnings. In one of the best decades the American economy has ever recorded, families were bled dry by landlords, hospital administrators, university bursars, and child-care centers. For millions, a roaring economy felt precarious or downright terrible. “Viewing the economy through a cost-of-living paradigm it helps explain why one in five adults is unable to pay the current month’s bills in full.” We’re sure that some economists will disagree with this piece. In our experience, it’s rare to find any thesis that is proclaimed without some economists finding flaw. Sometimes, they’re right. But we’re not economists and found the piece persuasive. Take a read and decide for yourself. If you agree or disagree, please write us care of this website.


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