Washington Post examines the Reddit thread (What do insanely poor people buy, that ordinary people know nothing about?) on why people who are poor can’t “pull themselves up” through saving and being thrifty:
The poor pay more for everything, from rolls of toilet paper to furniture. It’s not because they’re spendthrifts, either. If you’re denied a checking account, there’s no way for you to avoid paying a fee to cash a paycheck. If you need to buy a car to get to work, you’ll have to accept whatever higher interest rate you’re offered. If you don’t have a car, the bus fare might eat up the change you’d save shopping at a larger grocery store as opposed to the local corner store.
It’s easy to feel that “when you are poor, the ‘system’ is set up to keep you that way,” in the words of one Reddit user, “rugtoad.” That comment is at the top of an extraordinary thread full of devastating stories about what it’s like to get by with nothing in the United States of 2015.
“Growing up really poor means realizing in your twenties that Mommy was lying when she said she already ate,” wrote “deviant_devices,” another commenter.
Pew Research reports on where the poor are in the U.S. Some notes:
Today, most poor Americans are in their prime working years.
Far fewer elderly are poor.
But childhood poverty persists.
Today’s poor families are structured differently.
Poverty is more evenly distributed, though still heaviest in the South.
Poverty among blacks has fallen sharply (though still high).
But poverty has risen among Hispanics.
Image by swanksalot Wikidenizen at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.0 <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)],> via Wikimedia Commons</a>
posted by Ann Fontaine