Last May, the Federal Reserve Board published a comprehensive Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015. The report, based on extensive survey data, portrays many who financially are doing okay or better, and many who are not.
A highlighted statistic that startles: 46% of adults could not cover a $400 emergency expense without selling something or borrowing some money. (Hat tip to New York Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson for remembering and writing yesterday how startling these data still are.)
The Fed report sits alongside U.S. Census Bureau data showing that household incomes grew significantly in 2015.
These data are not inconsistent—“doing better” can be a recent, good turn in a life of “still struggling.”
I am pretty sure that many people in the U.S. voted last week for a candidate who as president would, they hoped, improve their circumstances. And I suspect that those voters—some for Clinton, some for Trump, and some for fringe candidates—add up to a very large number.
I hope that their votes all get counted, and that they win. In a decent society, the project of all, including government, should be to insure that every person has basic security—a place on the raft.