This is all well and good, and people need to understand that the Affordable Care Act will help drive down the number of bankruptcies in this country. But just as interesting as the discussion of Warren's data is a long article Warren wrote for the Boston review on the root causes of the middle class squeeze. All the talk about designer brands and fancy household appliances tends to obscure the fact that prices of these goods have been declining thanks to globalization. Middle-class Americans aren't engaging in more frivolous spending than they were 20 years ago, they're engaging in different frivolous spending. Warren identifies three big ticket
- The normalization of one car per driving-age member of the household.
- The rise in cost of "the basics": medical care, child care, and education (pre-kindergarten and college)
- The rise in housing prices, often largely driven by a frantic search for quality school systems.