Picture of Marc Ballon

Marc Ballon

Middle-Class Poor

But like many members of the middle class, the busy professional — who declined to give his name for this article — suffered a major financial blow as the economy faltered. Over a year ago, an import-export firm for which he subcontracted failed to pay him a $65,000 commission.

Suddenly, his financial security evaporated, and he quickly fell behind in his children\’s tuition payments. His marriage grew strained. Nights were sometimes sleepless.


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