July 13th, 2009

Sea dragon

In an ongoing series of stories about poverty in America

This article about running out of work, money, and luck is really interesting. Note the presumption of access to health insurance and a car.

And this: "Meanwhile they were finding out why some recipients have taken to calling the assistance program “Torture and Abuse of Needy Families.” From the start, the experience has been “humiliating,” Kristen said. The caseworkers “treat you like a bum — they act like every dollar you get is coming out of their own paychecks." " - I get the feeling welfare/jobs caseworkers in the US and UK treat people about exactly the same.

The UK assumption of the classes people are in being permanent is interesting to me. And the Parentes would have considered themselves middle class, as do I. But I think that I could just as easily slip into the same situation in two years as they have - out of work, no place to live, being treated like a scrounger by the government. My only saving grace is that I don't have to take care of any children. But I don't see myself having enough money saved up to keep this from happening, and God knows I would have no one to turn to to bail me out. My only hope is to just keep working and hope I stay employed.