Above the below and below the upper

We are trying to wrap our brains around the fact that we’re poor. It truly boggles the brain because according to tables, charts, and graphs by experts on the matter, we aren’t, so why on earth we’re having trouble keeping food on the table, clothes on our backs, tires on the cars, trash pickup turned on, etc. is beyond my understanding.

We make too much money to be poor. We don’t qualify for any assistance, help, aid, special programs or pricing. Everything says we are good. Golden even, living the dream. Except we’re not.  Every month we spend less and come up shorter.

I watch food prices and the appetites of my youngens rise in tandem. They grow as fast as the price of cheap shoes increases. They are growing and blossoming and now I’ve had to add bras, deodorant, facial soap, and razors to our budget.

I don’t need to be told why everything costs more. I’m aware of the price of gas, increased costs to producers, and how I will bear that increase on my back. I am aware of government projects, new laws, and spending that we pay for in part every other week. We know how our state has completely rewritten their tax structure and they advised everyone to claim less than they thought they could because next year, we don’t want the penalties that occur for owing the governor money.  I know about all of these things, I just want to know when or if it’s going to stop so we can make plans.

I know that if many other people are struggling the way we are,  collectively we’re going to collapse under the pressure. It’s really just a simple energy equation. We need to do more work (load to carry) so we need to use more energy to accomplish that work. All we really need is food, but as we parents collectively take smaller and smaller portions to make sure the next generation is adequately fueled, well it stands to reason that if we keep going the way we’re going, we’re going to run out of fuel ourselves. So the best we can hope for is to keep the engine going long enough for the next generation to take over.

Funny, sitting here, I remember being told how WE were the generation who would fix the ills of the world.

Update: Out of curiosity, I looked up our income against our state’s SNAP requirements. Much to my surprise, we are not that much above the allowable income (I expected a much greater difference). This really doesn’t make me feel much better. It’s not a good feeling working so hard and doing all of the things “they” tell you that you need to do to be sucessful (go to college they said, it’ll get you ahead they said), and getting “there” and finding out that it isn’t any better and is in many ways worse than what you left behind.

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