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comment by briandmyers
briandmyers  ·  1673 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How poor people stay poor

Being frugal (when you're not really poor) is only playing at being poor, it's nothing at all like the real thing. Real poverty is a mountain of stress because your life is literally on the line, every single day. One day of bad luck and you can go from 'poor' to 'on the street' - and from there, the next step down is 'dead'. It's a lack of control that you really can't imagine if you've never been poor.





ThatFanficGuy  ·  1673 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is it possible to survive on the street and prosper enough to get back to the "poor" level?

user-inactivated  ·  1673 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think I get the question, and the answer is no. Being poor is very expensive, and everything you do has added costs that you can absorb or not deal with when you are middle class or above. The fees for check cashing in this thread show an example of that.

Living on the street, and you get sick, you are screwed. Since money and food are scare your body is under stress, and being exposed to the elements, you will get sick. One hospital bill with no insurance and you are in permanent debt. One arrest and trip to jail, and now you have a criminal record which makes it harder to do everything from getting loads, renting a place to live, employment,even volunteering; some volunteer organizations won't take convicts. Then you have no transportation, miss a single court date and now you get fees, fines and warrants leading to a spiral you don't get out of.

Maybe 4-5 people out of every 1000 make it out; it happens so rarely that the successes get on TV, book deals and movies of the week. Can it happen? sure. Does it? The odds are very much against you.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  1672 days ago  ·  link  ·  

More often than not you see "from rags to riches", like with the "radio voice guy" (have you heard of him?).

Thank you for explaining that. I've never been poor or have ever seen poor lifestyle (except in fiction, scarcely), so I have no idea just how bad it is.

briandmyers  ·  1672 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ted Williams - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Williams_(voice-over_artist)

And even with the extraordinary attention his situation received, he still had recurring battles with alcohol. Without his internet fame he would be just another guy dying on the street.

user-inactivated  ·  1672 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Thank you for explaining that. I've never been poor or have ever seen poor lifestyle (except in fiction, scarcely), so I have no idea just how bad it is.

And here is to hoping that you don't need to ever experience that.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  1672 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Cheers.

briandmyers  ·  1672 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Next to impossible, in most parts of the world. People who do get out nearly always have the kindness of some stranger to thank for it, and there are never enough of those strangers. This is why it's not worth the savings for a nation to dismantle its social safety net. In America there's no limit to how far you can fall any more.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  1671 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    In America there's no limit to how far you can fall any more.

What does that mean? I'm unfamiliar with the economical situation of the US so closely.