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The New York Times dubbed this section of the population [who are working, educated, struggling to make ends meet] the "near poor."
"They drive cars, but seldom new ones," wrote reporters Jason DeParle, Robert Gebeloff and Sabrina Tavernise. "They earn paychecks, but not big ones. Many own homes. Most pay taxes. Half are married, and nearly half live in the suburbs. None are poor, but many describe themselves as barely scraping by."
"The emotionally charged terms 'poor' or 'near poor' clearly suggest to most people a level of material hardship that doesn't exist," he said. "It is deliberately used to mislead people."
...Part of the trouble, according to Wider Opportunities for Women, is "1970s level wages that fail to cover modern expenses."
"In the past, threats to economic security were supposedly clear — dropping out of high school, being a single parent or having a large family," the group told Reuters. "In today's economy, we cannot assume we know who lacks security."