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Why It's More Expensive Being Poor

Nick Englehart

Posted on October 2, 2019 20:02

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It's not a privilege being poor, because being poor costs a heck of a lot more money.

I’m not poor but by all measures, I should be. I currently have no income and live in one of the highest cost of living areas in the world. That’s right, the whole flat world! Yet I can strut around with no fear. I can survive on a minimum wage job. I am lucky. There are a few reasons this is the case. One, I am supported by my parents. Not in the 'trust fund I want to be a rapper' kind of way, but in a, ‘my Mother saved enough money for college and I worked to save money in the inevitable hope of making my dreams come true,’ kind of way.

This being said I am extremely aware of how lucky I am, and some of that is thanks to the government. I know we don’t like to admit it but the ACA has allowed me to stay on my parent's insurance until I’m 26 and the state of California has raised the minimum wage to (at least in my area) $14.25 an hour. For now, these things make living, not just surviving, possible.

The realities of a possible future are constantly present. I have no job path. I’m a state college graduate with a theater degree and although it’s a Bachelor of 'Fine' Arts, not just, ‘of Arts’ it hasn’t been helpful in the job search thus far. If god-forbid anything happened to my Chinese factory level of safety nets then I too would plummet to debt, homelessness, and possibly my actual death.

I know, I know, I’m being a little hyperbolic. But it really is way more expensive to be poor. For one thing, the IRS has admitted they’re against you. As ProPublica reported, “Last year, the top 1% of taxpayers by income were audited at a rate of 1.56%. EITC recipients, who typically have annual income under $20,000, were audited at 1.41%,” which means they audit the impoverished at almost the same rate as the super-wealthy, and the IRS knows about it.

How am I supposed to climb the ladder, pull on the boots and tie them down, when I’m fined monthly by my bank if I don’t keep a certain amount deposited. Why does the gas station charge me a fee just to use my credit card. How do I make a living when the closest job is two hours away by bus and buying a car would cost me more than it’s worth? How will I ever invest in my future or the future of my children?

Why is it more expensive to be poor? How do we abolish welfare cliffs and unfair economic practices so every person struggling under the weight of circumstance can at least try and break out? Opportunity should be for everyone. It's either that or we're going to have to eat the rich.

Just an Idea. 

Nick Englehart

Posted on October 2, 2019 20:02

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Source: Forbes

Here’s how one couple is fighting poverty with a charitable IRA rollover.

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