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View Diary: Economics Daily Digest: Doing the Dishes (9 comments)

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  •  Inability to save for an emergency, (4+ / 0-)

    and inability to put any distance between yourself and the cliff.

    If you are middle class, when you realize that your car makes a squeaking noise when you start driving or stop, you work out a way to share a car with your spouse, or plan to rent one, and you take your car in to get it fixed. You get it fixed, pay the bill, consider that hundred dollars well spent to avoid a major bill later, and go on with life.

    If you are poor, well, you put up with it. Try to put money aside, but that's liable to get swept away by another small crisis between now and then, and when you can only save ten bucks a week, that doesn't add up fast. You can't rent a car; you may not have a credit card, only a debit card. You may not have but one vehicle in your household; ours is needed by three households, because his mother depends on us for transportation, as does his father. So the squeak gets worse. And worse. And then it goes away.

    And one day your drive shaft rips the transmission out of your car, because the U-joint totally failed. If you're lucky, it happened at slow speeds, and no one else was involved in the accident. But either way you probably just lost your job.

    There's no room in the budget to do the preventative maintenance, to invest in the good stuff that lasts, the more energy-efficient upgrade. The things that keep the crises from happening, or keep them down to just a little annoyance.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 12:06:57 PM PDT

    •  Beginning 2008 I Reported Here Seeing Drive-In (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, Amber6541, Alexandra Lynch

      window shoppers at fast food including 1 or 2 a week who had to open their car doors to talk to the box because their windows don't roll down any more. My town is just about dead center middle income, maybe a hair below. Never is any car I see doing this --here-- a rolling wreck, they're all in ostensibly great condition.

      I'm still seeing it.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:14:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used to be middle to low class (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541

        and now would be considered by some to be middle-upper to upper class.

        I can very deffently relate to Alex's car , health and home  maintenance  very differently get less attention than they deserve.  

        I remeber many distinct issues, but one stands out for me.

        The first major thing I bought once I started earning money was energy efficient windows for my mother.

        It was obvious all along that we would have benefited from them. But there simply was no money.

        Once I started earning Money/full tuition  from an assistantsship , I dropped the $15k I earned as an intern into as many new windows as I could.  That investment has already paid itself off. But It would have saved us thousands more if had the money to do preventative care sooner.

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