A new report out today by the Corporation for Enterprise Development looks at measures of financial security by state, and Massachusetts does not exactly shine. We do get high marks in education, healthcare, and average incomes, compared to other states. Not surprising, given the hard work and high standards of many before us, and many readers here.
But despite having the very high average incomes, relative to other states, many Mass households are financially fragile. Though 12% of Mass residents are considered below poverty –which is likely an underestimate in this high-cost state– 37% of Mass households are one emergency away from financial disaster and 47% have subprime credit scores.
Why? Low wages are a big part, for sure, as were the disruptions of the recession. But we do need to look at predatory financial products, a culture of consumption, and a lack of financial education and planning.
A statewide non-profit organization, The Midas Collaborative, has been supporting a broad range of programs and policies that support and incentivize increased financial stability, personal savings, and consumer protection, including these. Ideas welcome! @midascollab