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The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Brokeby Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi
Synopses & Reviews
This groundbreaking exposé brings to light the surprising financial consequences of mothers going to work, and the precarious position of today's middle class.
More than two decades ago, the women's movement flung open the doors of the workplace. Although this social revolution created a firestorm of controversy, no one questioned the idea that women's involvement in the workforce was certain to improve families' financial lot. Until now.
In this brilliantly argued book, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and business consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today's middle-class parents are suffering from an unprecedented and totally unexpected economic meltdown. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable than ever before. Today's two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but actually has less discretionary income once their fixed monthly bills are paid.
How did this happen? Warren and Tyagi provide convincing evidence that the culprit is not "overconsumption," as many critics have charged. Instead, they point to the ferocious bidding war for housing and education that has quietly engulfed America's suburbs. Stay-at-home mothers once provided a financial safety net if disaster struck; their move into the workforce has left today's families chillingly at risk. The authors show why the usual remedies — child-support enforcement, subsidized daycare, and higher salaries for women — won't solve the problem, and propose a set of innovative solutions, from rate caps on credit cards to open-access public schools, to restore security to the middle class.
"The authors recommend a number of useful societal solutions to get families out of this trap....Overall...this is a needed examination of an emerging social problem." Publishers Weekly
"Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi have unearthed startlng new facts about bankruptcy. The most vulnerable are middle-class, two-income families with children — in short, the typical American. Read this riveting book, to find out how to make your family secure again." Jane Bryant Quinn, author of Making the Most of Your Money
This groundbreaking expose brings to light the surprising financial consequences of mothers going to work, and the precarious position of today's middle class.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 193-244) and index.
About the Author
Elizabeth Warren is the Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She is the co-author of As We Forgive Our Debtors and The Fragile Middle Class, as well as three leading commercial law casebooks. She is vice-president of the American Law Institute, and served as Chief Advisor to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Amelia Warren Tyagi has worked as an Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company, specializing in health care, insurance, and education, and she co-founded the successful healthcare start-up HealthAllies. She lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with her husband and two-year-old daughter, Octavia.
Table of Contents
1 Just the Way She Planned 1
2 The Over-Consumption Myth 15
3 Mom: The All-Purpose Safety Net 55
4 The Myth of the Immoral Debtor 71
5 Going It Alone in a Two-Income World 97
6 The Cement Life Raft 123
7 The Financial Fire Drill 163
About the Authors 255
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