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View Diary: The New White Poor are Not Honey Boo Boo, They Sleep in Their Cars and Shop at Trader Joe's (194 comments)

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  •  Refrigerators (7+ / 0-)

    I thought the photo was taken at the produce store they run, not at their house. My beef with these stories is they universally find people to portray as the face of poverty in this country who it's hard to be sympathetic towards. It's like they go out of their way to make you subconsciously not feel empathy.

    Appalachia, just like the inner city or much of rural America, is poor because there are no jobs and the jobs that do exist pay lousy. Decades ago those families migrated to the big cities and worked in the factories and pulled themselves into the middle class.

    I'd like to see the media find poor people who did everything right and still can't make it. The ones who had a good paying job until the company moved its plant to China, the ones who got sick and their insurance didn't pay squat and they went broke, the ones who went to a trade school (culinary) only to find they have tons of debt and are making 10 dollars an hour.

    •  (raises hand) (4+ / 0-)

      A major surgery or a childbirth every year for ten years ruins your financial world. And of course at the end of it you're not 21 and healthy any more, and there's two kids to take care of, and he's got arthritis, and.....

      yeah.

      If we didn't have family, we'd be homeless.

      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 Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 04:04:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  refrigerators, unexpected white poverty (0+ / 0-)

      I lived in Appalachia..and much of  the poverty there is long term..  HOWEVER, I now live in Central Florida, in a county with 31 percent senior population...and a school population where 60 percent of the kids qualify for free or reduced prices lunches..and with 'Backpack blessings (NOT RELIGIOUS)' many kids would have no food for a weekend.  Young couples both working, usually the father in the booming construction industry... Bottom fell out...no jobs, rent was high, and in late 08, the numbers of homeless families was HUGE.  Now these parents are working two or three part time jobs, they MAY be out of the tents and campers, there is no health care for the kids, no daycare available, and no transit system for people to even get to interviews for almost non-existent jobs.  Children are being brought to the soup kitchens during the summer by a parent, so they get a meal..if it is close enough they can walk.  People told the fathers, "Go elsewhere and get a job"; many did..but they couldn't pay for families here and for themselves...

      We have many seniors who were middle class, us included, who are now living at the poverty level.  Many of us women did NOT have a chance to build up a 'good retirement' because we were 'being good wives and mothers'.  And, before people say, "Why didn't you save money when you were working?", I tell them...kids had to eat, they went to college, getting loans and scholarships, they also had to eat.  My IRA is gone...thanks to Wall Street...  I get 450 a month SS...GROSS...my total income..as I didn't get to retire from teaching.  Out of that comes my 'FREE' medicare and plan d and a supplemental so I can see a doctor.  NET for me a month 157 dollars.  New clothes, what are those?  Should we walk away from our house and let it be foreclosed on?  Oh, we go to Trader Joe's 70 miles away when my husband has to go to the VA hospital because we can get things we use and like for considerably less than Publix or Winn-Dixie...and it tastes better.  

      Take a look at some of the new 'poor whites'; many are seniors who depend on a church hot meal each day..  veterans who no longer have jobs because they can't compete for fast food jobs at Mickey Dee's.., young couples who have lost a home that they were paying for...  Houses that 6 years ago were appraised for 200,000 dollars are now 89,000 and are in foreclosure..and investors buy them and then try to rent them for 600 a month..and they sit empty...

      •  fellow Floridian (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nomandates

        I can so relate to what you are saying.  I live in North Central Florida, little town called Middleburg in Clay county.  My mother lives in Cresent City, in an income based apartment, gets about what you do, barely making it.  My husband is retired military, Vietnam Vet, disabled, and I am also a vet.  We are raising a granddaughter.  My neighborhood is full of people just like the ones you talk about.  The house next door was originally sold for $120,000, last year sold for $30,000.  It is empty again, was raided last month cause it was being used as a grow house.  My old neighborhood in Jacksonville, where we lived for 29 years, was ruined by investors. They bought up all the foreclosures, started renting out to whoever they could get money out of, its a drug infested rathole now.  It used to be a middle class neighborhood and we were going to live the rest of our lives there until it got so bad we feared for our lives, so we sold cheap to an investor ourselves and got out 7 years ago.  So now we have another mortgage, nice place in the country, but I worry about if I will be able to afford it when my husband dies and his VA disability is gone.  America is going to hell.  That is the way I see it. We used to believe in the American dream, but now all I see is a nightmare.  I keep plodding alone and I hope, but I am also afraid. I also get angry when people make asumptions about the poor.  Lots of us hide it.

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