This is the second in our series on income inequality.
Marianne Cooper's curiosity about what was keeping Americans up at night inspired her to write "Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times."
I learned that the rich don't think they have enough and strive to attain more, while middle and working-class families realize they can't do much to improve their situations so they lower their expectations and try to get used to less. These different approaches to managing insecurity don't just reflect inequality, they actually fuel it.
While economic insecurity has grown, so too has the divide in our country between the haves and the have-nots. This means that families face different obstacles and have varying amounts of resources at their disposal. But what unites us is worry. From well-paid business executives to low-paid retail workers, everyone I talked with is weighed down by something similar -- the anxiety generated by hard times. Across the class spectrum, we all feel insecure. We just feel it and deal with it in different ways.
Cooper looks at the connection between financial stress and emotional duress that more families are enduring as the divide between rich and poor widens.