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Source: Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2018. Graphic by Yaryna Serkez

Who Has Enough Cash to Get Through the Coronavirus Crisis?

The following is excerpted from a New York Times article by our executive director Alissa Quart and Yaryna Serkez.

Do you have enough money saved to weather this pandemic? If you are an American, your answer may well be no.

Even before Covid-19, many Americans were living check to check, because of the costs of housing and child care, student debt payments, medical bills and the rest. Despite the cheery insistence of people like President Trump and personal finance gurus, the economic growth of the last decade had not brought wealth or security to most Americans. Fewer than half of American adults — just 47 percent — say that they have enough emergency funds to cover three months of expenses, according to a survey conducted this month by the Pew Research Center.

Alissa Quart is the executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and the author of “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America.”

Co-published with The New York Times.

Save An Endangered Species: Journalists

Alissa Quart is the author of five books of nonfiction including the acclaimed Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream, now out in paperback, Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America and Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers. She built the non-profit the Economic Hardship Reporting Project with the late Barbara Ehrenreich: she has run it for close to a decade. She is also the author of two books of poetry Monetized and Thoughts and Prayers, and has written for many publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and TIME. She has produced films and the show “Going for Broke,” centering on EHRP’s lower income contributors. Her awards include an Emmy, an SPJ Award, a Columbia Journalism School Alumna of the Year Award, a Nieman Fellowship, and a National Press Club commendation. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.

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