Saturday, December 6, 2014

Why poor people stay poor: A firsthand account

[HT: GP].  My Tea Partying friends need to read this firsthand account of real life in America and try for one millisecond to get out of their own self-righteous skin and imagine the lives of America's working poor, who walk the knife edge of bankruptcy, joblessness and homelessness.

Related but unrelated... Sometimes I listen in the car to the show "Simply Money" on conservative talk radio, the running theme of which is useful and "true," as far as it goes: to have a household budget and stick to it. 

Often the hosts chastise their listeners for not setting aside an "emergency fund" of at least $20,000. And again, that's true as far as it goes, an emergency fund is definitely a good thing to have... assuming you could possibly manage, by Hurculean efforts and monastic self-denial, to earn and set aside such an amount if you're working two part-time jobs in America. Yet the real truth is that rainy day funds and savings accounts are a fantasy for most working Americans. We're all living hand to mouth.

Until conservatives and the GOP acknowledge real life in America, they will never be trusted by the majority. They may win midterm elections with low turnout in gerrymandered districts, but they won't be trusted, they won't win support except from the already comfortably converted.

By Linda Tirado
December 5, 2014 | Slate

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