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:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the ... facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated ... Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of ... popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation ... scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), an ... showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual American ... to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will ... during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual ... F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System will join ... International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by Jeffrey Dome, ... at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of the Division of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined central ... and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), today ... included the unveiling of new signage at its headquarters ... as at a few other company-owned facilities across the ... patients, some of whom will begin to see the ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal ... wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients ... a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for ... analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in ... immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology ... personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 ... to enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy ... EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: