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The Calls for Help Coming From Above the Poverty Line

Posted on AllSides April 8th, 2024
From The Center
Justin J Wee for The Wall Street Journal

Some of the country’s savviest economic trend predictors spend all day answering call-center phones. 

Operators at 211 emergency helplines raised alarm bells about a baby formula shortage ahead of the headlines about empty shelves. And they knew that families were defaulting on their mortgages before the subprime collapse in 2008.    

Now, even as the economy looks healthy by many measures, 211 workers say they are hearing something concerning: more people living very close to poverty than the federal poverty line might suggest. The disparity aligns with polls showing high levels of consumer malaise despite...

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