Friday, August 15, 2014

Middle Class Squeeze

Here we are in August already, the summer flying by. What with vacation and all, I have been absent for a few weeks from here (though not @gwaynemiller and Facebook!)

Readers of The Providence Journal have been reading our latest year-long series: Middle Class Squeeze, about the economic ground that the middle class has lost over the last two decades. This is a look the economy through the prism of personal stories and an election year and it follows Reinvent Rhode Island, our 2012 year-long look at the overall Rhode Island economy, which remains sluggish in 2014. As with all of our major efforts, this one has been expertly illustrated and designed, and supported online with innovative interactive graphics, polls, photos and video.

I wrote the lead-off story in the series: FRACTURED, a profile, supported with data and great graphics, about Cumberland's Danielle and Josh Maziarz and their three young sons and and their struggles to get by on Josh's blue-collar salary. The Maziarzes are illustrative of so many families today.

Josh and Danielle Maziarz and their sons.

I have written several more stories already published (with more to come), among them:

-- A mix of empathy, anger and frustration: readers speak out, May 24.

-- As incomes slide, voters check out, June 7.

-- Millennial flight, Aug. 3.

John DosSantos: Native Rhode Islander, now in Vermont

Several colleagues, including Kate Bramson, Paul Grimaldi and Paul Parker have also written stories and supplied other support, all under the leadership of project editor John Kostrzewa, and Karen Bordeleau and Sue Areson. And as always, the online and visuals people have pitched in nicely. For the full series, visit the Middle Class Squeeze page. For all of our recent special reports and series, visit the special reports page.

Stay tuned for more #MiddleClassSqueeze as the election season heats up...

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