Saturday, 8 December 2018

It is expensive to be poor

Most wealthy people believe that poor people today have it 'easy' because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return. This is an infuriatingly obtuse view of what it means to be poor - the soul-rending omnipresence of worry and fear, of weariness and fatigue. This can be the view only of those who have not known or have long forgotten what poverty truly means. 'Easy' is a word not easily spoken among the poor. Things are hard, the times are hard, the work is hard, the way is hard. 'Easy' is for uninformed explanations issued by the willfully callous and the haughtily blind.
  • It is extraordinarily expensive to be poor. The less money you have, the more expensive many things are likely to cost. When your income is only just enough to cover your basic living costs, even modest unexpected outgoings can push you into debt. 
  • It’s no secret that the poor pay more. The poor pay more by living in food deserts, by having to commute longer distances and stand in longer lines to buy or do just about anything, by not having enough cash on hand to shop when items are on sale, by receiving less efficient. At the same time, prices increase every year, even as wages stagnate. For those who struggle to make ends meet, it means paying for anything takes deeper chunks out of their limited income.
  • The more affluent you are, the more likely it is you’ll be able to access credit at low interest rates. Poorest households spend about 25% of their monthly income servicing debts.
  • Poor people usually have hard time getting credit. Doorstop lenders and extortionate companies target poorer customers because they are the least likely to have other options. 
  • The poor people earnings are more heavily taxed than the earnings of wealthier citizens.
  • Minimum-wage jobs are physically demanding, have unpredictable schedules, and pay so meagerly that workers can't save enough to move on.
  • Many poor people work, but they just don’t make enough to move out of poverty.
  • If you’re earning is just enough to cover rent, food and bills, finding regular extra income can be a struggle.
  • Easy credit has been similarly disastrous for households struggling to make ends meet. Government policies have only exacerbated this situation.
  • The homelessness and crippling debt are being inflicted deliberately, in an act of sadism.
  • The current situation – where people are forced into crippling debt trying to sustain themselves and their families – is a genuine moral catastrophe.
  • Low-income households are facing a difficult 2018, with rising prices, frozen benefits and a wage squeeze all putting further pressure on household incomes.
  • The poor man's hardships are endless, but the point is: Being poor is anything but easy.

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.