Nearly half of Americans are living in a state of “financial fragility,” a new paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals. To determine this statistic, researchers from the George Washington School of Business, Princeton University, and Harvard Business School asked survey participants whether they would be able to come up with $2,000 for an “unexpected expense in the next month.” 22.2 percent predicted they would be “probably unable” and 27.9 percent said they’d certainly be unable to foot the unplanned bill. The hypothetical cost “reflects the order of magnitude of the cost of an unanticipated major car repair, a large co-payment on a medical expense, legal expenses, or a home repair.” But, it was the participants’ method of coping that really determined their fragility:
Taken together with those who would pawn their possessions, sell their home, or take out a payday loan, 25.7% of respondents who were asked about coping methods (equal to 18.6% of all respondents) would come up with the funds for an emergency by resorting to what might be seen as extreme measures,” the authors write. “Along with the 27.9% of respondents who report that they could certainly not cope with an emergency, this suggests that approximately 46.5% of all respondents are living very close to the financial edge.
“So it’s a boy, right?” a neighbour calls out as Kathy Witterick walks by, her four month old baby, Storm, strapped to her chest in a carrier. Each week the woman asks the same question about the baby with the squishy cheeks and feathery blond hair. Witterick smiles, opens her arms wide, comments on the sunny spring day, and keeps walking. She’s used to it. The neighbours know Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, are raising a genderless baby. But they don’t pretend to understand it.
Not only is this article interesting but so are the comments. The one that makes me feel icky is the most is:
This is a perfect example of why
you should have to have a license to have children. What selfish, irresponsible, short sighted people these parents are. They have no business putting their poor children through this demented experiment, and then the mother has the audacity to claim other parents are ‘obnoxious’? who is the obnoxious one lady? These people are setting their kids up for a solitary, lonely, unhappy life, and for what? They are also ‘unschooling’, oh great, so what happens when their kids are 18 and want to go to college or even get a job but they can’t because they don’t even have a first grade education? I doubt the parents have thought that far ahead, or that they would think of that at all, because that would mean thinking of someone other than themselves which they are obviously incapable of. This is the most disgusting thing I have read in a long time. My only hope, the best case scenerio I can see, is that someone from Childrens Aid will see this article and intervene.
Education researcher Lloyd Dunn first documented the disproportionate assignment of minority students to special education in 1968. Since then, the United States has made little progress toward equity.
“So why is it that Black women are so invisible in social situations? Some argue it is because they don’t fit the prototypical image of a stereotype target. In general, when people discuss “women’s issues” or when research is conducted on gender bias, the focus is usually on White women. And when people discuss “racial issues” or when research is conducted on racial bias, the focus is usually on Black men. Because of their multiple subordinate-group identity, Black women live in the intersection between these two stereotyped groups, and as a result, often fall between the cracks.
So not only do Black women have to overcome the disadvantage of being a member of two underrepresented groups (a disadvantage sometimes referred to as the “double jeopardy hypothesis”), they also have to deal with another form of discrimination that is not shared by White women or Black men: Invisibility. This means their presence is more likely to go unnoticed and their voice more likely to go unheard. To stand out and voice their opinions, Black women have to work even harder than their fellow Black men or White women counterparts.”—Melissa Burkley, Ph.D. The Social Thinker Blog: “Are Black Women Invisible?” Psychology Today 2010 (via tobia)