Posted by: DCox | June 4, 2009

It Sucks to be Poor

from The Washington Post 5/18/09

Put it another way: The poorer you are, the more things cost. More in money, time, hassle, exhaustion, menace. This is a fact of life that reality television and magazines don’t often explain.

So we’ll explain it here. Consider this a primer on the economics of poverty.

“The poor pay more for a gallon of milk; they pay more on a capital basis for inferior housing,” says Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). “The poor and 100 million who are struggling for the middle class actually end up paying more for transportation, for housing, for health care, for mortgages. They get steered to subprime lending. . . . The poor pay more for things middle-class America takes for granted.”

The poor make decisions some of which result only compound their poverty. While we all make bad decisions from time to time, the poor suffer disproportionately because they are already at risk. When you’re living on the line, a small crisis can begin a downward cycle from which you can’t recover.

the poorHow many in the U.S., are for the first time getting a glimpse of the insecurity that comes with being poor? And yet, we in the middle class, still have a sense of entitlement while ignoring the needs of the poor – who we hope remain invisible.

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