Navigation Links
Why does the American middle class continue to struggle financially?
Date:8/10/2013

NEW YORK CITY Since the mid-1980s, unrestrained household spending has damaged American family finances despite the fact that globalization and technological change have caused consumer prices to fall widely, says Queens College sociologist Joseph Nathan Cohen. In his paper, "The Myth of America's 'Culture of Consumerism': Policy May Help Drive American Household's Fraying Finances," which Cohen will present at the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, he examines the factors that keep American families from tightening their belts.

A brief summary:

  • Household spending on goods that fulfill pleasure, self-esteem, or social status needs have generally been falling, including personal care items, apparel, home furnishings, and automobiles.

  • However, consumption spending has risen most in four product categories that shape families' health, safety, and economic viability: health care, education, housing, and commuting costs.

  • Prices in these four product markets have greatly outpaced both wages and prices in general.

  • Americans may be systematically pressed to overspend on housing because access to better schools, public services, and transportation infrastructure varies considerably across communities, and better-heeled communities often restrict affordable housing developments. Americans may face a relatively high well-being penalty for living in more modestly-priced homes.

  • Compared to other highly-developed countries, the U.S. does considerably less to control the personal financial burden borne by households to ensure access to these products and services essential to well-being.

  • Soaring tuition and health care costs are not the principal drivers of household financial distress, but they constitute the fastest-growing problem.

  • Cohen argues that our penchant to blame household spending problems on wastefulness or frivolities obscures the fact that Americans increasingly face a lose-lose dilemma in which they must choose between sustainable finances and access to quality schools, child care, medical care, public safety, and employment opportunities.

Cohen, a Canadian with a business background who studied at Princeton (Ph.D. sociology, 2007), also examines how other countries tackle the provision of essential services in different and potentially less financially damaging ways. "Canada's policies control the personal financial burden of accessing essential services, which might be why household finances are in better shape there," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. North American Spine to Offer AccuraScope Procedure in New San Antonio Facility
2. The American Hospital Association Now Offers No Cost Job Feeds to AHACareerCenter.org
3. American Addiction Center's Team of Adolescent Addiction Specialists Provide Key Professional Advice for Parents in Talking to Their Teens About Substance Use
4. American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Recognizes North Fulton Hospital’s Critical Care Unit with Beacon Award for Excellence
5. Santa Rosa Boot Camp Celebrates Successful 1,000lb Meltdown Challenge by Donating All Proceeds to the American Heart Association
6. Escape from poverty helps explain diabetes epidemic in the American South
7. Obese black Americans half as likely as whites to have bariatric surgery
8. Genetic Testing for Kidney Disease Among African-Americans with Hypertension to Become Part of Primary Care Offerings Through Mount Sinai and Partners
9. Katherine A. High, M.D., to present 2013 American Society of Hematology E. Donnall Thomas Lecture
10. North American Drug Delivery Systems Market Examined by MarketsandMarkets in Topical Study Available at MarketPublishers.com
11. North American Seminars Receives PT Continuing Education Course Approval in NJ for a Master Level Differential Diagnosis, Evaluation and Treatment of the Foot and Ankle
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media ... Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice ... X users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently ... of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada ... become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by ... to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from ... the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ) ... medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred ... to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s dealers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today ... when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set ... 2016. "This is an important milestone for ... "It will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing ... thus the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: