What prolonged poverty is like

It means that when you then suddenly have, say, 20 bucks or 40 bucks, you stand in the supermarket and have no idea what to buy because your world has shrunk so immensely in so many ways.

You’re terrified of buying anything because you know you shouldn’t simply just get another bag of rice and tube of tomato paste but you have no idea what else to buy. You’re no longer familiar with many products, have forgotten they exist.

You would have to scrutinize it all.

You can’t just go ahead and buy stuff, because that takes more cash than you can afford to spend. So what the hell do you get?

Poverty shrinks your world immensely and I have a very deep anger, yes, hate, for people who make fun of other people’s poverty. There are way too many of those.

I mean, sometimes, you can hear or see the joy someone has over your misfortune when that person’s brain structure makes it impossible to feel empathy but that’s a different story.

There are lots of very mean people who have no excuse at all. They just choose to be mean because they think it gives them more status.

Or because they equate poverty with stupidity because they don’t know that in many societies there is no way of escaping out of persistent deep poverty. That it is a trap. (That’s partly because many things are more expensive when you’re poor. Did you know that?)

(I heard Toby Young say a few days ago that only educated people make sure that their kids do their homework. That makes him highly uneducated.)

And then there are people who just want money so that they can research poverty that is already well documented and has been researched over and over and over again, but well, they too are just trying to stay alive, ultimately.

Almost nobody researches the medical effects of prolonged poverty in the western world, as far as I know. Doctors are not aware of it at all and may tell patients to go to the gym. That’s a Boris Johnson -style blind spot. “If it doesn’t occur in my own life, it doesn’t exist.”

One way or another, I am going to DO something about this. I mean, really DO about this.



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