posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 08:50 PM
My wife, bulldog, and I live in Washington DC. DC is an average city as far as the cost of living in the US. We have been very fortunate in our
lives, we've had several successful businesses, and manage to now live comfortable lives. Not first class airline tickets and no Ferraris, but we
fly business on air mile upgrades, drive $35000 cars and live in a three bedroom townhouse. For all intents and purpose we are a middle class
The reason I mention all this is that I want to share a conversation that my wife and I now have almost on a daily basis. It costs us about $200 a
week for gas, $250 a month for cable/voip/internet, $300 per month in electricity, crazy money on food, insurance, vet bills, mortgage, taxes,
medicine, doctors, dentists, storage. This is not counting the odd vacation, dinner out, holiday presents for friends and relatives. Most
importantly we don't have kids so we avoid all of those expenses. Also, these days, we buy very little in the way of luxuries like new clothing,
So we ask ourselves, how do people less fortunate than us do it?
Please don't call us elitist. We live an average life in an average town. No BMWs and Armaini suits here, just two people and a dog who spend what
seems like an inordinate amount of money just to stay still. We go to Costco every month to buy our home staples, and still, the amount of money that
goes out of our checking account is shocking.
We look at the gloomy economic news everyday on TV, we see the price of gas rise every day, and we know a great majority of Americans are hurting. At
least half of our friends are behind on their mortgage and at least two thirds of them can't make their minimum payments on their credit cards. With
prices going up on everything everyday one small crisis can break a family.
I was speaking to my dentist last week, and he told me that his business is down at least 60% because people can't afford basic dental work. It
broke my hart the other day, I was at the vet to get my dog her shots, and the vet told me that they he been putting twice as many animals down
because their owners can't afford to pay for their beloved pets medical care.
And as far as we can tell this is only the beginning. The credit issues that have been plaguing the mortgage business are about to hit the unsecured
credit market, as people have had to put more and more on their credit cards to cope with all the price increases.
So we keep wondering what it must be like for all the families less fortunate than us and who also have children? Are we at the cusp of an entire
nation having a gigantic poverty class?
Meanwhile the west is on fire, the heartland is under water, and the southeast is parched. We're fighting two wars, begging Saudi Arabia for more
oil, hoping the Chinese don't call in their loans, and turning the dollar to toilet paper. Then there is Darfur, Zimbabwe and so much death for
Sorry for the depressing rant. It's just that somedays we get so down with what's awaiting us in the future. Yes we are grateful for our personal
circumstances, but with all this suffering around us there seems to be little reason for joy.
I was just wondering how the rest of you are coping?
[edit on 7/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]