There’s this argument out there that poor people in the United State have stuff and that if you have stuff and are poor you aren’t living frugal enough. A recent segment on FOX News reported that 99.6% of those living in poverty have a fridge, 81.4% have a microwave, 78.3% have air conditioning, 63.7% have cable, 54.5% have cell phones, 48.6% have a coffee maker, 32.3% have two or more TVs, 25% have a dish washer.
The same folks making this argument would tell the poor to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. I’d like to make a couple of points.
- If you don’t have a fridge, you have to eat out, which is more expensive.
- If you don’t have a microwave, how do you cook a warm meal when the gas company shuts off your gas?
- Just because your housing or public housing comes with air conditioning doesn’t mean you can afford to run it.
- If you don’t have cable or Internet, how do you find jobs, apply for jobs, stay informed about the world?
- If you don’t have a cell phone, how does a possible employer reach you. Even middle class folks have dropped their land lines. (Note: I’ve seen garment workers who earn $24/month chatting on cell phones. This aren’t the day of bag phones and $1/minute phone calls. Cell phones are a necessity.
- When you’re raising three kids by yourself, you need some coffee.
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you ain’t got no bootstraps!
The Daily Show did a great piece on class warfare, but you can only watch it if you can afford a computer, electricity, and an Internet connection.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|World of Class Warfare – The Poor’s Free Ride Is Over|