Poor means not having enough money to obtain the most basic things or have enough money squirreled away for emergencies; when you’re living on the most *barest* of assistance and that is about to be yanked in a month–with no job in sight?
People still have the broadest misconceptions that the poor can actually afford everything else that “normal” (higher income) people can afford (cars, boats, houses), and that is simply not the case.
Because of my income levels, I can barely afford to pay my most basic bills each month, but have little else left over. I can’t even afford to buy a bike that I have my eye on because I no longer have the money.
I can’t even afford to renew my identification card because the money is simply not there. But a car? Not even *remotely* close. Maybe a hubcap or the steering wheel, or a wiper blade, but not the whole thing. ^_^
Yes, we are a little better off than we would’ve been 30 years ago, but the stigma and problems are still here: They haven’t changed.
We still live in poverty–even though I’m working on changing our circumstances once again. But even if the jobs were there, realistically-speaking, they’d still be minimum-wage; seeing how access to higher education is off the table for the time being.
And those jobs would only give us some relief, but we still wouldn’t have much as before. We’d still be poor and still living in poverty.
Nothing will change until the country starts adopting a more SERIOUS attitude about the causes of poverty and starts doing something about it.
But since I’ve been waiting almost 40 years for those changes, I know in my heart that it may be another 40 years until this country is finally serious.
Or it may be that it simply doesn’t care. Because right now, so many people are trying to bury the poor and elderly into the ground–by cutting off our social programs and safety nets so that they can be left alone with their own tax money.
Politicians are busy cutting people like me off from our own assistance because of budget problems they themselves created in the first place.
And because of that, the problems are only going to be worse, not better.