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越来越多的美国人陷入财务困境

2017-03-30 15:21 美国政策研究所

摘要:美国数百万家庭面临的财务压力更可能是四十年来收入停滞所致。半数工人没有分享到的经济成果基本上都进了富人腰包。人进一步减税,给全球化公司更大权力凌驾于普通民众之上。人们需要站出来阻止这一情况继续恶化。

More Americans Are Drowning Financially in Underwater Nation

原文标题:More Americans Are Drowning Financially in Underwater Nation

中文摘要:美国政策研究所资深学者Chuck Collins在《越来越多的美国人陷入财务困境》一文中说,美国近20%的人生活在水深火热之中,净资产为零甚至为负。还有更多的人几乎没有能够渡过艰难时期的现金储备。这是导致许多中低收入家庭承受巨大压力的一个原因。保守派会指责个人“入不敷出”,在财务上不负责。但数百万家庭面临的财务压力更可能是四十年来收入停滞所致。美国半数工人没有分享到的经济成果基本上都进了富人腰包。他们的实际工资没有改变,但医疗、住房和其他费用持续攀升。对此,一些政客会找出移民或其他弱势群体当替罪羊。他们试图让你把注意力从富强的精英身上移开,精英操控着获得更大财富和权力的规则。他们想把人们的注意力从现实转移,而现实是,人们的经济苦难是精心谋划的政府规则造成的。这些规则让大富豪和全球化公司享受更多减税措施,压低了工资,推高了学费,并使企业为普通人创造的价值支付低廉的工资。国会和特朗普政府提出削减医疗保健,为富人进一步减税,给全球化公司更大权力凌驾于普通民众之上。人们需要站出来阻止这一情况继续恶化。(编译:罗婧婧)

原文:

Are you or a loved one having trouble staying afloat? You’re truly not alone.

While the media reports low unemployment and a rising stock market, the reality is that almost 20 percent of the country lives in “Underwater Nation,” with zero or even negative net worth. And more still have almost no cash reverses to get them through hard times.

This is a source of enormous stress for many low and middle-income families.

Savings and wealth are vital life preservers for people faced with job loss, illness, divorce, or even car trouble. Yet an estimated 15 to 20 percent of families have no savings at all, or owe more than they own.

They’re disproportionately rural, female, renters, and people without a college degree. But the underwater ranks also include a large number of people who appear to be in the stable middle class. Health challenges are a major cause of savings depletion for these people, both in medical bills and lost wages.

Plenty more Americans could be vulnerable.

A financial planner will advise you to put aside three months of living expenses in financial reserves, just in case. So if your living expenses are $2,000 a month, you should try to have $6,000 in “liquidity” — money you can easily get to in an emergency.

But 44 percent of households don’t have enough funds to tide themselves over for three months, even if they lived at the poverty level, according to the Assets and Opportunity Scorecard.

Even having a positive net worth doesn’t mean you can always tap these funds, especially if wealth takes the form of home equity or owning a car.

A Bankrate survey found that 63 percent of U.S. households lack the cash or savings to meet a $1,000 emergency expense. They’d have to borrow from a friend or family, or put costs on a credit card.

Seven percent of U.S. homeowners are underwater homeowners, with mortgage debt higher than the value of their homes. And more and more people have taken on credit card debt to pay the bills. Meanwhile, student debt is rising rapidly and is projected to become one of the biggest factors in negative wealth.

Conservative scolds will blame individuals for “living beyond their means” and being financially irresponsible. And individual behavior is important. But the financial stresses facing millions of families are more likely the result of four decades of stagnant incomes.

Half the workers in this country haven’t shared in the economic gains that have mostly gone to the rich. Their real wages have stayed flat while health care, housing, and other expenses continue to rise.

So not everyone is on the edge at this time of dizzying inequality, after all. The 400 wealthiest billionaires in the U.S. have as much wealth together as the bottom 62 percent of the population.

This is only possible because of the expanding ranks of drowning Americans.

Some politicians will scapegoat immigrants or other vulnerable people for this suffering. When this happens, hold on tight to your purse or wallet. They’re trying to distract you from the rich and powerful elites who are rigging the rules to get more wealth and power.

They want to deflect your attention away from the reality that your economic pain is the result of deliberate government rules that give more tax cuts to the super-rich and global corporations, keep wages down, push up tuition costs, and let corporations nickel and dime you for all you’re worth.

Congress and the Trump administration are proposing to cut health care, pass more tax cuts for the rich, and give global corporations even more power over you. They promise benefits will “trickle down.”

Unless we speak up, the only trickle will be the expansion of Underwater Nation.

责任编辑:罗婧婧

相关阅读 美国人财务困境 美国经济 收入不平等

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