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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 forthcoming Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream (Ecco, 2023), Squeezed (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2018) and Branded (Basic Books, 2004). She is the Executive Director of the non-profit the Economic Hardship Reporting Project which she collaborated on with the late Barbara Ehrenreich. She is also the author of two books of poetry and the creator of “Going for Broke," also producing the show's first season, a podcast. She has written for many publications including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and TIME. Her awards include an Emmy, an SPJ Award, and a Nieman fellowship. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.

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