The American middle class is no longer safe from poverty — and that might be a good thing

More Americans than ever are vulnerable to economic insecurity. The silver lining is that this means we might actually do something about it.

Food bank
(Image credit: (John Moore/Getty Images))

We tend to think of the poor as a fixed group mired in disadvantage, far removed from the relative security of the middle class. But the truth is that in post-recession America, poverty has become a thoroughly middle-class issue.

More than 46 million people live in poverty, and that's bad enough. But a full 80 percent of American adults experience economic insecurity at some point in their lives, according to a survey by the Associated Press. This is defined as unemployment, spending more than a year receiving government aid, or living below 150 percent of the poverty line.

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