Diane Sawyer takes belated look at ‘forgotten’ Americans as small business optimism booms

by WorldTribune Staff, January 10, 2017

ABC News is set to broadcast a Diane Sawyer “20/20” special which shines a light on the “forgotten” American middle class that struggled mightily in the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The special, which took over a year to make, is called “My Reality: A Hidden America”, and is slated to run on Jan. 13 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, according to an exclusive report by TheWrap.

Donald Trump’s election victory has fueled a surge in optimism among small business owners. /Reuters

Among the heart-wrenching stories ABC News found was a man working full time who was sleeping in a storage unit in the same apartment building where he once lived. Also featured is a man who sold his blood plasma to buy a birthday present for his child.

The “20/20” special is set to air a week before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration and amid surging optimism among small businesses that analysts say will surely boost the middle class.

The share of business owners who say now is a good time to expand is three times the average of the current expansion, according to National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) data. More companies also said they plan to increase investment and keep hiring, citing Trump’s plans of spurring the economy through deregulation, tax reform and infrastructure spending.

Small companies represent more than 99 percent of all U.S employers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. A small business is defined as an independent enterprise with no more than 500 employees.

Meanwhile, Sawyer and her ABC News team traveled across the country to detail what is being billed as a “startling portrait of struggle, frustration and anxiety” of the first generation of middle class Americans in 50 years who were likely to earn less than their parents.

The special points out that more than 8 million Americans work multiple jobs and nearly half of Americans would be unable to cover their weekly expenses if hit by an emergency costing $400.

“Sawyer’s team traveled to more than a dozen cities for the special report, finding middle class Americans struggling to live at every stop along the way,” TheWrap report said.