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In-Depth Interview: Veteran Journalist James B. Steele Fears Covid’s Impact on Vulnerable Middle Class

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Jim Steele and co-author Donald L. Barlett first warned about erosion of the middle class in 1992, and have just released an updated edition of their important book.The re-issue of America: What Went Wrong? The Crisis Deepens is now available.  Steele articulates the origins of the wealth and income divide that is more critical because of the layoffs, job losses, and loss of employer-based health insurance this year.  His main point to those impacted: it’s not your fault.

Steele enumerates the origins of middle class decline, going back to the 1980’s. Over time, the tax burden has eased on the wealthy and corporations, saddling working families with much of our government’s tax revenues–even as real wages have remained flat, and the cost of healthcare has shifted to workers.

In the updated release of the book, the Pulitzer-winning duo who reported for The Philadelphia Inquirer explain the political decisions that have left to many Americans at risk, leaving 40% of households with less than $500 in savings, even before the pandemic.

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