Forty percent of Americans financially struggle with routine medical bills, housing and food, and would have difficulty covering an emergency expense, according to a survey highlighted by The Washington Post.
The news outlet in the report also detailed how 30 Americans who were unable to pay their bills were able to at least eke by until they faced an unexpected crisis, such as a major health issue, job loss, car problems, or storm damage.
"So many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck," Signe-Mary McKernan, vice president of the Center on Labor, Human Services and Population at the Urban Institute, told the Post. "We are headed toward a political crisis, if not an economic one."
The Post quoted data from a May report by the Federal Reserve, which stated, "relatively small, unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a broken appliance, can be a hardship for many families without adequate savings."
The story also cites the disparity seen among lawmakers from both parties, with President Donald Trump and his administration arguing that the strong economy is helping many Americans, including blue collar workers, and Democrats saying the economy is doing more for the top earners.
Currently, unemployment is at 3.6%, the lowest it has been in about 50 years, and stocks have soared. But some families are still reeling from the 2008 recession, and others who earn minimum wage cannot save or invest.
"I keep hearing this is one of the best economies we've ever had and unemployment is down, especially among African Americans, which I am," Sommer Johnson, 39, who lives in Douglasville, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, told the Post. "I'm looking around going, 'Where is this boom?' From where I sit, this doesn't look like the best economy ever."
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