If you’re not poor now, there’s a good chance you once were or will be eventually, per the Washington Post:
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The poor in America are not a permanent class of people. Who’s poor in any given year is different from who’s poor a few years later.
Census data on who participates in assistance programs suggests as much. But Mark Rank, a sociologist at Washington University, has for several years been compiling far more comprehensive evidence of this pattern. He and colleagues have been studying the economic fortunes of several thousand families in the longest running longitudinal survey in America, going all the way back to 1968. Follow people over a really long period of time, they’ve found, and an incredible number of them experience economic insecurity at some point.
In fact, a vast majority do.
By the time they’re 60 years old, Rank has found, nearly four in five people experience some kind of economic hardship: They’ve gone through a spell of unemployment, or spent time relying on a government program for the poor like food stamps, or lived at least one year in poverty or very close to it.