On the Precipice

[Content Note: Financial insecurity.]

This is the sort of statistic I would like to see introduced in the presidential debates. What are you going to do, specifically, to address this?
In a recent survey, 56 percent of Americans said they have less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts combined, Forbes reports. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) have less than $100 to their name.

Meanwhile, 38 percent said they would pay less than their full credit card balance this month, and 11 percent said they would make the minimum payment—meaning they would likely be mired in debt for years and pay more in interest than they originally borrowed.

It paints a daunting picture of the average American coming out of the spend-heavy holiday season: steeped in credit card debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, at serious risk of financial ruin if the slightest thing goes wrong.
Even the progressive candidates in the race don't have detailed policy prescriptions for meaningfully addressing this sort of endemic individual financial precariousness. Sure, go after Wall Street corruption, break up the banks, get the money out of politics. But what about how most people don't have any real savings? What about how healthcare run through insurance companies is garbage, especially when you can have an insurance policy with a deductible that's $1,000 (or more)? What about how a broken furnace can wipe out people's entire savings?

What are you actually going to do that will urgently address that hundreds of millions of people in this country are living on the precipice, and there's no social safety net anymore to catch them if they fall?

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