A couple of years ago there was a discussion about poverty and how poor people spend their money. Someone made a comment (or maybe linked to a comment they made elsewhere) about how it makes a certain kind of sense for people with very limited means to buy cigarettes since they were an appetite suppressant, an energy booster, a mood lifter, and a recreational activity. I would love to locate this comment again. Can anyone help me out? It was such good information.
There was a comment or maybe a series of comments, that described pretty eloquently why the poor and disenfranchised spend money on small, wasteful things rather than saving. Or maybe it was on smoking? I can't find it or remember the context. [more inside]
Please help me find this post: An opinion piece from a larger publication about what the author would do if they were a poor (black?) kid, and wanted a good education. The author suggested they'd teach themselves using something like Khan Academy or other opencourseware. [more inside]
Ok, bear with me, I know this is vague: I've been searching fruitlessly for a comment about how one of the greatest predictors for whether or not an elderly woman will end up in poverty is if she owns her home. [more inside]
This discussion thread is disgusting, and it's not just the poop. The practicalities of working-class poverty are subtle and insidious. Poor people generally don't do things because they're systematically stupid. Seeing otherwise reasonable users lead with a cavalier attitude of "why don't they just…" is absolutely heartbreaking. Sometimes it really feels like we haven't evolved very far from the NYT online comments section after all.