Re: The poor in America - How do they live?
We went from "Comfortable" (just under 100k/year combined income) to "All but homeless" over night December 17, 2009. I became disabled and we lost our home, SUV and everything we could sell. Our only income was the pittance my wife made as a Nanny and the whopping 10% disability I was drawing from the VA as an E4 ($123/month).
After a year and several months, we have my VA disability increased to 20% and we FINALLY got Social Security Disability at 100% which, along with what my wife makes at $10/hour sitting with the elderly/ill is JUST enough to live on but there is NO slack and we aren't saving a dime and our saving account is at a whopping $10.02.
In the time it took to get my Social Security, we lived with whoever could put us up. For several months that included living in a storage area with no windows, no A/C and the only heat was provided by tiny electric space heaters. We used a portable toilet as well and had no bathtub but did have a shower.
If it weren't for the VA, I wouldn't be here. They provide my meds and all of my health care which is significant. Back when I was employed and had good insurance, I was spending better than $15,000 a year out of pocket on myself alone.
I know poor. I know how bad our healthcare system is. I know how corrupt our government is. I know how people cheat "the system" and live well where an honest guy like myself is left to starve and rot for following the rules...