Last month I wrote about how it is actually kind of expensive to be poor. This is clearly not helpful when the goal of a lot of policy is to help poor people stop being poor, or at least to be less poor.
A reader friend of mine (thanks Dan L) noted that this concept, in his opinion, is blatantly obvious, which is perhaps true to a degree. However, it’s not clear to me how much thought people give to the situation, even if it doesn’t seem groundbreaking when it’s pointed out. Barbara Ehrenreich has basically made a living by writing about how hard it is to get by as a low-income worker- for her book Nickel and Dimed, she spent time in low-wage jobs in various places throughout the country (I think Key West and somewhere in Maine were on the list) to show how the logistics of not having money, well, suck. (Hence the lack of being groundbreaking.) I think it’s quite an interesting read even though I wanted to smack her around a little when she admits that she couldn’t take a decent-paying job because she had a moment of weakness and thus couldn’t pass the drug test. (In retrospect, I suppose I shouldn’t really judge someone for being human in a crappy situation. I also don’t mean to imply that only people in cushy white-collar jobs are entitled to smoke pot from time to time, since I’m one of those people who kind of wants to buy booze for homeless people- I’m pretty sure that if I were homeless I would probably want to be drunk, so why not?)
I figured it would be nice to provide a cartoon as a follow up, courtesy of the Cartoonist Group. (Sidenote: I think it’s really funny that the site tries to implement copy protection but does so in a way that takes about 3 seconds and 5 brain cells to circumvent.)
In related humor news, apparently the Treasury Department had planned to hire a cartoonist in order to improve employee morale. They seem to have dropped this plan when they realized that money is generally what makes employees happy and stupid gimmicks generally just piss people off, especially when said gimmicks cost money. This is a bit unfortunate for me since a constant stream of treasury cartoons would make my job very easy. 🙂