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Families today are squeezed on every side from high childcare costs and harsh employment policies to workplaces without paid family leave or even dependable and regular working hours. Many realize that attaining the standard of living their parents managed has become impossible.

In her book, "Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America," Alissa Quart, executive editor of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, examines the lives of many middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children. She shows how our country has failed its families. Her subjects, from professors to lawyers to caregivers to nurses, have been wrung out by a system that doesn’t support them, and enriches only a tiny elite.

The prospect of entering treatment is overwhelming for anyone facing a diagnosis of cancer. While patients have access to a vast amount of medical information online, this advice is often unreliable or confusing. In their new book, Living with Cancer, Drs. Vicki Jackson and David Ryan have crafted a step-by-step guide aimed at helping people grasp what’s happening to them while coping physically and emotionally with cancer treatment. 

The book is designed to be a resource full of patient stories, teaching patients and caregivers how to ask the right questions to get the best possible care - beginning at the moment of diagnosis. They also explain how to work with a team of doctors and nurse practitioners to minimize symptoms and side effects while living as fully as possible in the face of cancer.

If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right?
 
Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it.
 
Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls.

Congressman Peter Welch
Congressman Peter Welch

How much should an EpiPen cost?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Representative Peter Welch tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock why his committee has been looking into that question.

  Crude oil's global collapse is now expected to soon push the national average U.S. price for gasoline below $2 a gallon for the first time since early 2009.

Nationally, regular unleaded gasoline currently averages about $2.12 a gallon, down 46 cents from just four weeks ago and $1.01 cheaper than year-ago levels. Gas prices are also expected to fall more than previously forecast for the full year.

To talk about plummeting gas prices, we welcome economist Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors for his thoughts on what is happening with gas and oil prices.