The New York Times

In the Middle Class, and Barely Getting By

“Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America”

By Alissa Quart

320 pages. Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers. $27.99.

Over the months that I was pregnant, my overriding fear was that I would not be able to afford a child. How much do diapers cost? I asked a friend with a 1-year-old, as if the answer wasn’t online. She couldn’t answer; diapers were just one of countless minor recurring expenses. The cost of child care, however, she could tell me. If it didn’t cost an arm and a leg, it did seem that every month she cut off a finger and a toe and Venmo’d them

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