Defining economic security in lean times

If you're a single parent with an infant in the DC metro area, you need to make at least $57,000 to feel economically secure. That's according to a report released yesterday by the local organization Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW). 

I don't doubt that many people reading this post swallowed hard when they read that. How many jobs today pay $57,000--and how many people have the education to qualify for those good jobs plus benefits? (It translates into a $27-per-hour wage for full-time work.)

The reality is, if you don't quality for subsidized child care, it can cost more than college tuition

According to the most recent Census, 3 in ten children in the District live in families struggling below the poverty line. But that doesn't include families who feel at risk, any day, of slipping into poverty if a parent loses his or her job, or if someone falls ill. There are more and more families who fit into that category today. 

WOW defines economic security as more than just "scrapping by." It means being able to save for emergencies and retirement. How many people today are able to do that? It's something all of us -- individuals, families and policy makers -- must strive for if we want to break the cycle of poverty. 

Read the Washington Post article on WOW's report.