The Washington Post
High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Familiesby Peter Gosselin
Peter Gosselin predicted in High Wire that the American worker would take on an exceedingly high level of risk in the American economy, and would be ever more exposed to the volatility of the market. Today, Gosselin’s worst fears have been realized. American families are walking a high wire in which a medical crisis, a natural disaster, or the loss of a/i>… See more details below
Peter Gosselin predicted in High Wire that the American worker would take on an exceedingly high level of risk in the American economy, and would be ever more exposed to the volatility of the market. Today, Gosselin’s worst fears have been realized. American families are walking a high wire in which a medical crisis, a natural disaster, or the loss of a job could send them into free fall. And as the housing crisis worsens and banks and insurers collapse, many have already fallen. High Wire reveals the quiet corrosion of American living standards and shows how the ownership society” has turned into the on-your-own society”with devastating consequences.
The Washington Post
L.A. Times economics correspondent Gosselin outlines the current economic situation of American families in light of specific policies initiated since the stalled economy of the 1970s. Today, Gosselin finds, fewer households are likely to fall into financial ruin, but those who do experience layoffs, expensive medical problems, foreclosure or other financial strain have a much harder time bouncing back, as old social safety nets have been systematically unraveled. Gosselin argues that in today's economy, families and individuals are assuming an unprecedented amount of financial risk; another aspect of the new economy is that upper-middle class families are at just as much risk as the less well-off. Each chapter takes an in-depth look at a different facet of the economy, healthcare, retirement, education and rebuilding New Orleans among them. Gosselin also discusses "unjobs," short-term and freelance gigs secured by an increasingly desperate labor force, and the new indispensability of two-income households. Though scholarly, Gosselin's writing is effortlessly readable, bolstered by anecdotes from real people facing financial adversity. Packed with insight and understanding, this no-nonsense look at the present and future of the American Dream should be of interest to any wage-earner or salary-man.
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Meet the Author
Peter Gosselin is national economics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a member of the paper’s Washington bureau. A visiting fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., he lives with his wife, reporter Robin Toner, and their two children in Washington, D.C.
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