In this revolutionary exposé, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and financial consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today's middle-class parents are increasingly trapped by financial meltdowns. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable to financial disaster than ever before. Today's two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but has 25% less discretionary income to cover living costs. This is "the rare financial book that sidesteps accusations of individual wastefulness to focus on institutional changes," raved the Boston Globe.
Warren and Tyagi reveal how the ferocious bidding war for housing and education has silently engulfed America's suburbs, driving up the cost of keeping families in the middle class. The authors show why the usual remedies - child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women - won't solve the problem. But as the Wall Street Journal observed, "The book is brimming with proposed solutions to the nail-biting anxiety that the middle class finds itself in: subsidized day care, school vouchers, new bank regulation, among other measures." From Senator Edward M. Kennedy to Dr. Phil to Bill Moyers, The Two-Income Trap has created a sensation among economists, politicians, and families - all those who care about America's middle-class crisis.
©2003 Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I didn't give five stars because the book was a little dates and because I wish Elizabeth Warren would have done the narration herself. Aside from that this is an excellent book on the rarely discussed plight of the middle class. Many who live one disaster (job loss, medical expense etc. ) from financial ruin.
First off, it is an interesting book and I'm glad that I listened to it. The authors clearly did their homework when it came to collecting data and looking for underlying trends when it comes to bankruptcy. Many of the patterns that they found are truly surprising as they go against conventional wisdom. This allows anyone who reads the book to gain uncommon knowledge when it comes to financial planning.
My first problem with the book (and the primary reason for the low rating) comes from the straw men that the authors seem to be constantly battling. Rather than using the facts and figures to simply inform people of hidden financial risks and recommend reforms, the authors reliably use their findings to segue into political arguments.
This is not to say that there are not meaningful reforms proposed. I just felt that the sections that included partisan bickering were mostly worthless as it did little to change my political views while simply devaluing the book in my mind.
My second problem with the book comes from the fatalism that it seems to imply. Most of the book is written as though it was meant to give fodder to those who would love to say, "It's not my fault!" At one point in the book, the authors actually suggest that calling your congressman or congresswoman is one of the best things you can do. The day that you believe that your congressman is more concerned about your finances than you are is the day that you officially commit financial suicide.
In the end, this book should be read for the valuable insight that it provides in regards to very real risks that everyone faces. But keep in mind that there are dozens of other financial books out there that provide very real wisdom that can help you avoid virtually every risk the authors found.
The book is very good. It is a bit dated. Their other book, All Your Worth, contains most of the same information in addition to more extensive financial advice. I would recommend that one if you are evaluating their books.
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