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Question of the Year

In the Charles Murray thread, reader Bradley P. writes:

How is it that I’m in Murray’s top 20%, usually earn right at six figures, am in church on Sundays, have a useful college degree from a good school, have a healthy lifestyle, and live frugally–truly–but have had to rely on debt the last couple of years just to make ends meet? I live in fear of car repairs, car with 172,000 miles blowing up, house repairs, braces, insurance, clothing for my kids, and taxes. That’s all just more debt. Saving for retirement? Forget it. Saving for college for my two kids? Forget it. Vacation? Forget it. A nice date with my wife more than twice a year? Forget it. An optimistic view of the future? Forget it. I’ll retire when I’m dead.

Something tells me that the 20% is on its way to becoming the 10% or less. I’ve often read that this nation’s healthy middle class was a post-war aberration. It’s looks like we are simply in the process of returning to normal.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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