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America’s struggling lower-middle-class families live in economically precarious situations, where one major setback could push them into poverty

America’s struggling lower-middle-class families live in economically precarious situations, where one major setback could push them into poverty, says Brookings Institution in releasing a policy paper on the economic facts and the impacts of tax and transfer programs. More than half of families in the United States earn $60,000 or less a year.

Poverty can produce such a mental and emotional health burden that “the poor are left with little mental ‘bandwidth’ with which to perform everyday tasks,” says the Urban Institute, adding that the long-term mental health effects of poverty are even more alarming. The research organization says baseline data from its Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) demonstration sites in Chicago and Portland “clearly illustrate a relationship between distressed neighborhoods and mental health.”

12/18/2013