I grew up in the 1950s and early '60s. We lived 2.5 miles out'ta town; we had a house with the proverbial "outhouse out-back!!" My parents each had full time jobs.... we only had one 'full time' vehicle. My Mom walked two-miles down to the corner (where our dirt road met the state highway) to catch her ride to work-four miles away. We had several radios, but never got a TV until I was seventeen, in 1963.
I've been on someone's payroll since I was 13 (so I lied!). There were times when the income didn't quite keep up with the outgo; so much so, that at one time, I 'lived under a bridge' in the Kansas City, Mo., area. Never once--I take that back; ONCE--did I consider "going on the county." That once was a (just one) monthly allowance of $122 in foodstamps (in the early 1980s when they actually were coupons!). When I tried to pay the county back some several months later, I found there was no mechanism to receive repayments; they wouldn't--COULDN'T--take my money!! I donated the funds to the Salvation Army!
Can I be poor, P-L-E-A-S-E?!?
When judged by the standards I grew up under (and we were by-no-means, poor!), today's "average poor family" would be considered UPPER middleclass!!
The same "average poor family" has (and we didn't have):
Enough "owe-bama Money" to live comfortably without working, and
Big Screen Televisions, andA-a-h-h-h!! If only to be 'poor!!'
Video Game Systems, and
Central--or multiple Window--Air Conditioners, and
Personal Computers with Printers, and
Premium Internet Service, and
Cell and/or Cordless Phones, and
Washers and Dryers, and
at least one DVD Player, and
Cable or Satellite Television Service, and
a Microwave, and
Stoves and Ovens!!