As the financial crisis on Wall Street unfolds with intense media coverage, we are losing sight of another crisis: more than a million families across the United States will face foreclosure in the next six months as the last of the sub-prime mortgages contracted in 2006 and early 2007 reset. Accelerating job losses and low wages aggravate the lives of tens of millions of families. In the rush to focus on Wall Street, these are the families whose lives must not be forgotten. These are the working people who need attention and help from a new stimulus package as well as structural economic reforms. This study focuses on the needs of these economically distressed workers and proposes economic policies that will improve their lives while strengthening the overall economy.
Almost 21 percent of households in the U.S. are economically distressed, almost twice the official poverty rate. To reach full employment we need a stimulus package with sustained increases in government spending of $220 billion to generate a $330 billion increase in GDP required to create the new jobs. Economically distressed families also need structural economic reforms as well as the immediate benefits of the stimulus package