LA Times’ Business Section front page recent headline, “POVERTY IN A LAND OF PLENTY” tells us, or better said, tells the newspaper’s readers what so many of us live everyday – so, what’s new?
Well, the smaller headline under the massive attention-getter reads, “California’s poor have been left out of a booming recovery”
Then there’s the book, “$2.00 a Day:Living on Almost Nothing in America.” written by two University Professors.
Nope, I don’t plan on reading their description of this very sick American society that feeds the rich and starves the poor.
There’s little, I suspect, on their pages that will outdo the elderly lady I knew who managed to survive on a monthly social security check of $493.
There’s little, I suspect, on their pages that will paint a picture that is different from what I hear first hand from people on a daily basis.
But, I do suspect, for some people, reading is a bit more digestible than getting off the freeway and driving through the streets of Los Angeles and seeing mothers with their children, their belongings and maybe even a pet being pushed along in a grocery shopping cart.
I can’t help but reason, now that a bunch of used-to-be-middle-class Americans are forced to shop with us low-income folk at the 99Cent store, attention is being focused on the poor.
But we poor folk, I prefer to call low income folk, have been living on nothing, forget the phrase “next to nothing,” for decades. We’ve watched the construction of expensive high-rise condos being built everywhere while the homeless are routed from their tents on nearby bus benches.
We know or hear of families living with their children – babies and teenagers – in their cars and praying everyday that the repo man doesn’t catch up with the fast-changing places where they park.
What’s new? Maybe you’ll read the book and learn more about the plight of the poor. Maybe you’ll read the book and discover, hey, you’re not as bad off as many others.
Perhaps there’s something to this discovery that prosperity or lack of it can be charted by statisticians and in the long run that makes it all quite palatable.