Slate has an interview with a food stamp recipient. No mention of lobster or living high on the hog.
Instead it is about the gut wrenching choices families have to make to continue existing. Things like skipping meals in order to ensure one's children are fed. And reducing the frequency of washing clothes to cut corners.
She eats. I’m her mother. I let my daughter eat. Last night she was hungry and we had some peppers. I made her an omelet with eggs, lunch meat and peppers and I went to bed without eating. I could have made myself an omelet too, but that would have meant no eggs for the weekend. And I had been in Baltimore that day—I’d bought a corn beef sandwich for $4. I didn’t know what she had eaten all day, but I had food in my belly from lunch. So it came down to me feeding her and I went without. This morning, though, she didn’t have breakfast, and I had cereal.
I used to do laundry twice a month. Now I can only afford once a month, $20 instead of $40. I also used to spend $40 per month on transportation. But I’m only putting half of that on my Smart Card [for D.C. bus rides] now. It’s a challenge if I don’t have enough money to go to the food bank. I forgot to tell you—I am a mental health patient and I have individual therapy twice a week. I need money to get to those appointments. If I can’t make it I have to text and let them know I can’t come, but it’s not good. I’m very fortunate because a lot of clients have it much harder than me. I get those two checks every month and they have even less money. I don’t know how they make it.These decisions are being made nationwide by families with little to start with and having a portion of that taken away.
My own decision to forgo new glasses falls under the same category. As does my dental care. Hopefully I will get my dental issues cared for after the ACA allows that in January. If I can ignore the pain that long and avoid extensive infections. Because then the only care I am entitled to is extractions, but only after it becomes a threat to my health.
I can hope for change but it looks like we need to look to each other if we want to do something about this runaway economy that throws the passengers off to lighten the load instead of applying the brakes.