Wednesday, October 16, 2019
EconomyIn this issueVideo

WSJ video series: ‘Financial inclusion in America’

Nearly one-fourth of U.S. adults can’t pay their monthly bills and have little or no access to a bank. In Tchula, Miss., many families struggle to make ends meet with a patchwork of jobs and high-interest loans. Community leaders and the town’s only bank try to help, but the cycle of despair isn’t easily broken.

Early this year, The Wall Street Journal created a series of videos highlighting Americans’ economic struggles—from finding jobs that pay a livable wage to forgoing health care because insurance and medical payments are unaffordable. Other topics covered include student debt, the lack of retirement savings, and the use of high-interest and payday loans for emergencies.

Below are five videos from WSJ’s 12-part series, “Financial Inclusion in America.”

Portrait of poverty in America

By Clara Ritger/The Wall Street Journal

Health care in America

In rural communities around the country, many residents are underinsured or uninsured and often forgo medical care. This burdens local hospitals, which in turn close or scale back care, putting patients at risk.

By Clara Ritger and Emily B. Hager/The Wall Street Journal

Student debt in America

Student debt in the U.S. has reached record levels, making higher education out of reach for many people. In New York City, a program called ASAP is gaining national attention for helping students earn a college degree and escape the burden of loans they would struggle to repay.

By Emily Hager/The Wall Street Journal

Small Businesses in America

For small businesses in Philadelphia and across the country, getting capital to operate or expand can be costly, as traditional banks are often reluctant to extend small loans or work with risky new ventures. Enter online lenders, which typically approve loans quickly but also carry high annual percentage rates with tough payback terms.

By Emily B. Hager and Clara Ritger/The Wall Street Journal

Saving for Retirement

More than 30 million full-time workers don’t have access to a retirement plan at their workplace, nor do millions of part-time or independent contractors. Oregon is among five states in the country now requiring employers to automatically enroll workers in a Roth IRA retirement savings plan. Employees can opt out, but if too many do, the plans could fail.

By Emily B. Hager and Clara Ritger/The Wall Street Journal

Weathering the storm after Hurricane Harvey

When disaster strikes, having a safety net like flood insurance, a stable income, or savings can mean the difference between getting back on your feet, and living every day among the wreckage. We profile two families in Houston still recovering from Hurricane Harvey six months after the storm.

By Clara Ritger/The Wall Street Journal