I am reading the book This Land is Your Land by Barbara Ehrenreich, the noted author of the 2001 investigation into the U.S. working poor Nickel and Dimed.
It is mostly the standard fare criticism of the wealth from the left – not suggesting it is justified or not, but standard nonetheless.
However, one brief chapter did stick with me, one entitled “Could You Afford to Be Poor?” [Page 41 in hardcover].
She referenced a 2006 study of the Brookings Institution, which cited the “ghetto tax,” a higher cost of living in low-income urban neighborhoods. Many of the individual examples we all know or could recognize but seeing them together collectively was daunting.
Here is her list
- Poor people are less likely to have bank accounts, which can be expensive for those with low balances, and so they tend to cash their pay checks at check-cashing businesses, which, in cities surveyed, charged $5 to $50 for a $500 check.
- Nationwide, low-income car buyers, defined as people earning less than $30,000 a year, pay 2 percentage points more for a car loan than more affluent buyers.
Continue reading This Land is Their Land: Could You Afford to be Poor?
Family friend Lee-Ellen Pisauro shared with me a warm piece she had featured in this month’s edition of Exceptional Parent, a magazine for parents of children or young adults with disabilities.
The mag doesn’t share it’s content online, so I thought I would – it’s brief and isn’t losing them a darn dime.
The Wisdom of a Child
By Lee-Ellen Pisauro
My four-year-old son, Steven, is wise beyond his years. His faith is so strong. His belief in “the good” does not waiver.
When my second son, Sam, was born, friends and family members assured my husband and me that Steven was the perfect big brother for Sam. After all, he is so gentle, loving and compassionate. I was sure everyone said this to take the sting away from the diagnosis. Sam was born with Down syndrome.
Continue reading Exceptional Parent: "Wisdom of a Child"
Recently, I stumbled upon one of my favorite contributions to a newspaper I’ve ever read, “Seeking Wisdom,” a note by Philadelphia Weekly‘s Editor Tim Whittaker from last April.
Whenever he was facing a dilemma or required a bit of counseling or simply needed relief from the assault of everyday fools, he’d hunt down Wisdom. Ethical crisis, love impasse, job dustup, financial quandary, whatever, Wisdom was his go-to guy. With Wisdom, he learned, it was best to express your predicament quickly and directly.
“Cut to the chase, my man,” he’d say the second a story seemed it might have a beginning and a middle.
Once, five years back, he went to Wisdom torn up about two girls he thought he liked equally. Wisdom asked if he was certain beyond doubt he couldn’t keep both.
Certain, he told Wisdom.
“Tragic,” Wisdom said, sorrow filling his voice.
Read more of it here at PW.