39m US households pay more for housing than they can afford

In-brief: One-third of U.S. households in 2015 were “cost burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes to cover housing costs. Of that group, nearly 19 million are paying more than 50% of their income to cover their housing needs, a report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies concludes.

Calling all Runners: Brendan’s Home Run this Sunday

Hey Blogging Belmont readers. Just a reminder that Brendan’s Home Run, Belmont’s longest running 5K race and walk happen this Sunday – Father’s Day – June 18, 2017. Online registration can be found here.  You can also register on Sunday morning ahead of the starting gun, which goes off at 9:30 for the charity walk and 10:00 AM for the 5K race.

Speaking as a runner, this is a great event: well organized and friendly, with a fast, flat course and good support all along the route. If you aren’t able to register online, you can register on Sunday (race day) prior to the start of the event.

For those who aren’t up for a 5K, the charity walk that begins at 9:30 and follows the race course is well-attended with lots of families, kids and seniors taking part.

Brendan’s Home Run celebrates the life of Brendan Grant, the 19-year-old Belmont resident and baseball player who was fatally injured in a collision with an outfielder in June 2001. The Foundation created in his honor funds scholarships to senior members of the varsity baseball, softball, and wrestling teams as well as baseball and wrestling tournaments and other youth-sports focused improvements around town. You can check out the Foundation here: http://www.brendangrant.org/

I’ll see you there!

Is America becoming a Developing Nation (again)?

I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles about what’s going on with the American middle class, of which I consider myself a member. There are lots these days – frankly: a worrying number.

Consider this chestnut from last year, in which the writer Neil Gabler wrote about the 47% of Americans who say they cannot come up with $400 to cover an emergency expense (including Gabler, himself). Or this one from the New York Times last month about a study showing that the middle class in the U.S. has contracted over the last two decades.

The big question is “why”? That’s why I was interested in this review of a new book by MIT Economics professor Peter Temin on “the vanishing middle class.” Temin’s thesis: the U.S. is now two countries. There is a small, prosperous nation inhabited by high wage elites mostly living in coastal states who work in fields like finance and technology and a vastly larger, poorer nation populated by…basically…everyone else.

Temin employs a well-known, simple model of a dual economy to examine the dynamics of the rich/poor divide in America, and outlines ways to work toward greater equality so that America will no longer have one economy for the rich and one for the poor.

The result, Temin argues, is that for many Americans, the country is not the vanguard of the First World most of us think of, but a poor, developing nation. From the MIT Press write up:

Many poorer Americans live in conditions resembling those of a developing country—substandard education, dilapidated housing, and few stable employment opportunities.

The proof of this, he says, is all around us:

We have entered a phase of regression and one of the easiest ways to see it is in our infrastructure: our roads and bridges look more like those in Thailand or Venezuela than the Netherlands or Japan.

Source: America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People