Did you know 40% of Americans are struggling in this “great economy?”

Well, DUH!! Of course they are!

When you’ve got people not earning a lot of money but spending it as if they are then there WILL be hardships.

They ought to try ditching the fancy cars; the fancy phones; the expensive internet; the tons of clothes and shoes; the gym memberships; the eating out 5 times a week; the “to-go” coffees multiple times a day; etc. Maybe get another job? A second job? Refrain from vacations?

Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs last year, including paying for food, health care, housing or utilities.

That’s according to an Urban Institute survey of nearly 7,600 adults that found that the difficulties were most prevalent among adults with lower incomes or health issues. But it also revealed that people from all walks of life were running into similar hardships.

The findings issued Tuesday by the nonprofit research organization highlight the financial strains experienced by many Americans in an otherwise strong economy.

The average unemployment rate for 2017 was 4.4 percent, a low that followed years of decline. But having a job doesn’t ensure families will be able to meet their basic needs, said Michael Karpman, one of the study’s authors. Among the households with at least one working adult, more than 30 percent reported hardship.

“Economic growth and low unemployment alone do not ensure everyone can meet their basic needs,” the authors wrote.

Food insecurity was the most common challenge: More than 23 percent of households struggled to feed their family at some point during the year. That was followed by problems paying a family medical bill, reported by about 18 percent. A similar percentage didn’t seek care for a medical need because of the cost.

Additionally, roughly 13 percent of families missed a utility bill payment at some point during the year. And 10 percent of families either didn’t pay the full amount of their rent or mortgage, or they paid it late.

While startling data to some, it comes as no surprise to those Americans who are struggling to get by.

Debra Poppelaars of Nashville, Tennessee, underwent spinal fusion surgery last fall and was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly thereafter. Although she is insured, she owes roughly $19,000 for her portion of the medical bills.

Between disability, a job change and the mounting debt, she hasn’t been able to make ends meet and is now facing bankruptcy.

“It’s very hard at 64 years old, I look back and think I am in this position and I should be able to retire,” she said.

Jerri Wood of Renton, Washington, says she makes choices each month to pay one bill instead of another as she struggles to pay for her health care. Wood has lived for years with a brain tumor that requires regular monitoring and was recently diagnosed with diabetes that she takes insulin to manage.

Rising costs for her care, even with insurance, have her juggling bills to get by — such as paying her cellphone or electricity bill one month and not the next. And she still feels like one of the lucky ones as she is able to survive.

“There is such a need for safety nets, so many people are in this position,” she said.

The Urban Institute survey comes at a time when lawmakers are considering cuts to some safety-net programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP and housing assistance.

The researchers said that lawmakers run the risk of increasing the rate of hardship if they reduce support services.

It is the first study on the subject by the DC-based organization, which looks at economic and social policy issues. The institute plans to conduct the study every year to track the well-being of families as the economy and safety net systems evolve.

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  1. bogsidebunny says:

    Next to cellphones credit cards are the invention of the devil. People, in general, are stupid. They think the posted speed limit on roads is the “lower limit” and it’s the same for the limit on their credit cards. of course stupid people being bombarded on TV and the internet by ads saying: “YOU DESERVE IT” doesn’t help either. Imagine now the price of an average “MUST HAVE” merely to enhance your image new monster pick-up truck is North of $50,000 and people are buying them with $1,000 down. It’s like telling the spawn of former slaves they deserve reparations because their great, great, great granddaddy was picking cotton.

    We’re DOOMED! (Despite the Trump created Mega MAGA economy)

  2. Call me Infidel says:

    Over here its much the same. When I was a kid if you saw a Rolls Royce or an Aston Martin it was something you told your friends about as it was such a rare occurrence. Now I see Rollers, Bentleys, new Astons all the time. Even £50k Audi’s and BMW’s are commonplace. The reason being the banks have a new scam. PCP £1000 down and payments of £350 a month, but with a balloon payment after 3 years of say £25k and when that rolls around these deadbeats either have to hand the car back or get a new car and stay on the treadmill because you can be damn sure they don’t have a spare 25k in the bank. This will be the next big financial crash.

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