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The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke Paperback – International Edition, August 17, 2004
There is a newer edition of this item:
"Pandemic" by Sonia Shah
By delving into the convoluted science, strange politics, and checkered history of one of the world's deadliest diseases, Pandemic reveals what the next epidemic might look like--and what we can do to prevent it. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Makes a good case that the epidemic of bankruptcy is not about people being irresponsible." -- - Paul Krugman
"You should read this book!" -- - Dr. Phil
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Top Customer Reviews
A friend who happens to be a CPA who counsels families in financial trouble told me about this book. She actually is warning her clients not to read it because it paints a fairly bleak and depressing picture. Naturally, after she told me this, I had to read it, even though she was correct, much of the information contained in it is depressing.
For one thing, in many ways the integration of women into the workplace and the rise of the two income family has not had the positive effect one might have hoped it would. Because so many families are now two income dependent they have become trapped and are more financially vulnerable than previous generations. Many families use all of the income they receive from both husband and wife, and barely get by. As a result, any interruption of the income flow can result in disaster. One telling statistic: today's two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but actually has less discretionary income once their fixed monthly bills are paid.
This is generally blamed on overconsumption and claims that we are a credit card generation that it is paying the price for its free spending ways. And no doubt credit spending has its role in the financial problems of middle America. But Warren and Tyagi make a compelling case that this is not necessarily the whole story. Instead, they propose that the culprit is in large part the ever escalating cost of housing and education in America's suburbs.Read more ›
Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi have the experience and are appropriate authorities on this phenomenon. They identify the primary reasons of it: fixed expenses. Those expenses which are constant and "come in every month" has increased substantially in the last 3 decades.
Remember in the 1980s when the acronym word "DINK" was in vogue? Double Income No Kids. It may have sounded hip then but DINKS earn less today than one person earned thirty years ago, in 1973.
It is a commonly known fact that middle class two-income earning families have been and still are losing economic ground. And they will continue to lose ground. Warren and Tyagi correctly argue with ample and valid evidence that it's not spending sprees, lavish vacations, or luxury items that are doing it. It's the necessities stupid. Property values supported with gargantuan mortgages are pushing debt ratios beyond the 38% considered the maximum safe and acceptable limit. Housing prices have outpaced wages significantly. Insurance premiums are constant and steady expenses that take a higher percentage of income today than in previous years and they too, are necessities. Education costs have risen dramatically more than wages. What's the American solution? Simply to borrow more money to pay for the higher tuition. Taxes have risen to mammoth proportions and take major chunks out of hard working families hard earned paychecks (taxation is not an issue delved into by the authors.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a must read for anyone wanting to buy and own a home. She exposes the banking industry.Published 4 months ago by karen abel
A great gift to a son or daughter considering marriage or newly weds. Well written and and data that supports the authors' opinions. Their follow up book is also a must. Read morePublished 4 months ago by F. B. Rang
I have read this book at different points in my life, and I have to say that my understanding and take away points are vastly different each time I've read it-- First assigned to... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Miss Chelle
Very disappointing. I bought this book in the hope of learning why one breadwinner is better than two. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Swordsman
Intro stuff was excellent. The setup is very important. The suggested remedies are clearly defined. Good sense of humor as wellPublished 10 months ago by Margie Gerry
Interesting points and data, but how she arrived at some conclusions was beyond me. Definately didn't address all possible options for some of the problems. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Guide03
Everyone should read this book! How many times have any of us heard someone saying that another person just didn't try hard enough to help themselves financially? Read morePublished 11 months ago by B. Milani