Emergency funds or assets - liability. Thus is important. If emergency fund, that means it includes saving account and stock market investment and it does not include house. I think asset - liability is a better measurement on rich or poor.
I know quite a few people who did have big house but their networth is actually negative since they borrowed equity loan.
For those people who kept arguing how they experienced and reject author's claim, please use numbers. Personal experience can be very subjective. For example, how many people here live in middle American? How many people here live in inner city? You have no idea what it is like out there (me included).