Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Biography author Neal Gabler levels on the loss of financial stability for average Americans in long Atlantic piece

A well established writer, Neal Gabler, who authors big non-fiction (biographies like “Barbara Streisand: Redefining Beauty, Power, and Femininity (Jewish Lives)” (2016) and “Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination” seems to be the kind of author whom Author’s Guild wants to protect, making his living and supporting a family with a complicated advance system from traditional publishers.

So Gabler opines a booklet-length piece in the May 2016 Atlantic, “The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans”  The subtitle is “Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.”  He explains how liquidity of average middle-class Americans  has declined since the 1980s, and even more since 2003, partly because of the 2008 crisis, backed up by Pew Research data.
It’s harder to people with “average Joe” skills to keep up as they get paid less as jobs are automated, and as the financial services industry leverages their reduced purchasing power with debt devices, which particularly blew up with the subprime mortgage crisis.  People who take on responsibility for raising families are particularly vulnerable to “stuff happening.”  Childless professionals may be better off (and this plays into older forms of debates about LGBT) but could be shocked by eldercare.

Above, Gabler talks about “The Art of Biography”, almost like a professor in freshman English.

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