Two-income Trap

Two-income Trap

Why Middle-class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke

Book - 2003
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More than two decades ago, the women's movement flung open the doors of the workplace. Although this social revolution created a firestorm of controversy, no one questioned the idea that women's involvement in the workforce was certain to improve families' financial lot. Until now.In this brilliantly argued book, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and business consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today's middle-class parents are suffering from an unprecedented and totally unexpected economic meltdown. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable than ever before. 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.How did this happen? Warren and Tyagi provide convincing evidence that the culprit is not "overconsumption," as many critics have charged. Instead, they point to the ferocious bidding war for housing and education that has quietly engulfed America's suburbs. Stay-at-home mothers once provided a financial safety net if disaster struck; their move into the workforce has left today's families chillingly at risk. The authors show why the usual remedies--child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women--won't solve the problem, and propose a set of innovative solutions, from rate caps on credit cards to open-access public schools, to restore security to the middle class.
Publisher: New York, NY : Basic : 2003
ISBN: 9780465090822
Branch Call Number: 306.36 W252t
Characteristics: 255p illus
Additional Contributors: Tyagi, Amelia Warren


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oldhag Jan 20, 2012

Warren posits that pursuit of safety and good public schools is what fed the housing frenzy that became so diastrous for the nation. Her suggested solution is vouchers for everyone. Parents would then be able to shop around for a good school with education dollars which would follow them rather than having their children assigned to schools based on their zip code. I see two problems with Warren's assessment: 1) since crime has been dropping for two decades, who is it (and why) that has been continuously stoking some citizens to fear other citizens?; and 2) he who giveth a voucher, can taketh away a voucher. What happens if the public schools, as they are currently constructed, are abandoned for vouchers and charter schools, and then, somewhere down the road, comes the mantra, "we can no longer afford entitlements"? Poor parents would be left with no option other than to pay for their children's education on their own since the once public, and free, schools will have deteroriated beyond salvation. I'm a big Elizabeth Warren fan but I wonder if she would develop her suggestions differently in 2012 than she did when this book was published in 2003.

Nov 08, 2007

too USA oriented

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