I’m what you would call the working poor. I make enough money to pay my bills, and I might have $100 left over before I get paid the next day. Unlike the middle class that likes to live above their means, I have the absolute minimum it takes to get by. There aren’t any luxuries; no cable TV subscription, a Roku, and I can barely afford to pay for Netflix and Hulu Plus, in fact, the Hulu Plus was put on hiatus for a few weeks. I did not pay for my cell phone this month, and that will be cut off in two days. It is what it is. My car is old, the mileage is high, and I only have it because I could not save up enough money to purchase a car outright before the winter. Did I mention that I still have to pay for two other vehicles that were repossessed?
But I am still encouraged, and still going with God. Not much else that I can do at this point. Those of you that jump off of the deep end because you’ve lost a few million dollars on paper, I don’t know what to say; it is a problem I cannot afford at this point. I would be lucky enough to put $50 a month into a Share Builder account. The last time I was on Share Builder, that was sufficient to pay the fees, and still have some money left over.
They say that the top one percent of Americans own a considerable amount of the wealth in this country. If your household earns $20,000 a year, it is in the bottom 18 percent right now. On my own, I would be in the bottom 15 percent. In Flint, Michigan, I would actually be in the bottom 29 percent, according to this calculator I found at the New York Times. The bottom line is that if you’re not in the top 50 percent, which requires an income of $50,000 per household, you’re suffering. Even if you are in that top 50 percent, you probably do not have enough money to live on for a year if you lost your job right now.
In reality, the top 1 percent in America are not rich, nor wealthy, by any means. It only takes a household income of $383,000 to put that household into the top 1 percent in this country. The one percent we like to talk about in the media have an income of well over one million per year, per individual, so our reality is somewhat distorted when we speak about the one percent. So when we say one percent, we might be talking about individuals who live in our neighborhoods or several neighborhoods away in our own city. Individuals who live in states as diverse as West Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi, as impoverished as those states are in comparison to the rest of this country. Perhaps I should take the term “one percent” out of my mouth, and simply refer to those that are wealthier than I am, as being better off than I am at the moment …