Making Ends Meet

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I found this today, concerning rising prices and how low-income families manage, and I found it interesting.  Read it carefully before you read the source.Prices are rising and it's harder to stretch the dollar - are times worse than before?

What is to be the solution of the present-day problems of living

Years ago, students of philanthropy and social service assured us that we were getting down to hard pan, and that something would have to be done to improve the condition of the small wage earner, either by paying him more money or by readjusting prices to make his few dollars go further. 

In spite of this, however, there is but one thing that has been done – prices have steadily continued to advance. Meats are higher today than ever. Vegetables are higher. So, too, are milk, eggs, rent, clothing, and almost every other item that is classed among the necessities of life in the household budget.

“Well,” as one woman said, helplessly, “I suppose we shall have to eat less meat, although I can’t see how we can get along upon much less … As I can’t afford to pay any more for our food, I suppose that I shall have to accept smaller quantities for my money.”

And this is the way in which the burden of higher prices is to be borne. Savings will cease and people will try to get along with smaller quantities

There will be less food
less fuel
less recreation, and 
less clothing, if possible, and, 
by such economies, they will undoubtedly meet the emergency, even though it may be at the cost of the physical, mental, and moral strength of future generations.

Pretty powerful imagery, isn’t it? And I think it can resonate with all of us today. I go to the grocery store and factory-produced ground beef is “on sale” for only $5.99 per pound.

When I question my Facebook readers about the things they worry about, the answer comes back in a numbing sameness. They worry about money, about buying groceries, about making ends meet. In many countries, they worry about paying for medical care. 

And the source of this passage is ….

Good Housekeeping, 1908.

Seriously. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Andrea - a couple of years ago

The more things change, the more things stay the same?  Am I recalling French class ca. 1991 correctly? 

Canadian Doomer - a couple of years ago

Most definitely. In fact, that really just reinforces the idea that things are *not* so bad as they once were, even if many of us are upset about rising prices. That article in Good Housekeeping said that the low income earner spent every penny to acquire the basic necessities of life. That's rarely true today.

sharkbytes - a couple of years ago

Even the very poor are not spending all their time hunting and gathering and hoping that they don't literally starve over the winter. We are quite blessed.

Canadian Doomer - a couple of years ago

I think that there will always be poverty, no matter what. Everyone can't be a wealthy lawyer, doctor or businessperson. There will always be cleaners, grocery store clerks, stock boys, etc.The point of the article, though, was that they were complaining in 1908 that the price of necessities just keeps rising, and now we're saying the same thing in 2011. Even when wages increase, the cost of necessities go up.

Farmgal - a couple of years ago

I love the saying what is old is new again, and when it comes to food, shelter and the basic's, the workers thoughout recorded history (and no doubt beyond) have struggled to provide a quality of life for themselves and their families. I am young enough to remember when at our lcoal schools, they knew that we would be out of class during planting and harvesting times, I remember missing a whole week of school in the late fall, because it took the whole family to butcher and process the large game dad brought home, typically one to two deer and a moose.My parents felt real life education was just as important or maybe more then formal, having said that, we all finished with advanced high school and went on to collage or higher.

krantcents - a couple of years ago

I taught at a Title 1 high school.  Students were from economically disadvantaged families.  The parents struggle to survive, but many do not see education as a way out of poverty.  The drop out rate was higher than anyone would like.  Until parents realize that education will help in the long run, there will always be poverty. 

Canadian Doomer - a couple of years ago

"Normal" for humanity has always been, I think, that the average person works very, very hard just to barely make ends meet.The Golden Age is over.

MyOldNewHouse - a couple of years ago

The scary thing?  Look at what the 30 years following that article brought.It seems the "golden years" were those following WWII, and maybe now we are just getting back to  "normal"??

Lake Lili - a couple of years ago

le plus que sa change… le plus que sa rest la meme…

robinsroost - a couple of years ago

Yes, we went to the store today and dry milk was so high I didn't buy it.  A package to make 3 quarts was 2.98 (about $4.00 per gallon),  5 quarts 7.58 (about $6.00 a gallon), and a 4 pound box was 18.98 (about $4.oo a gallon).  I am amazed at these prices.

Canadian Doomer - a couple of years ago

That's what I was thinking when I read that.  And then I read something modern, right afterwards, talking about the rising cost of meat, vegetables, rent, etc.

robinsroost - a couple of years ago

Maybe times haven't changed as much as we think??? 

Farmgal - a couple of years ago

Hi Doomer, Did you get a good basket on tuesday and have been busy working in the kitchen making goodies for your family, hope you have a wonderful long weekend planned..

Carolyn McBride - a couple of years ago

The price of bread, milk and eggs is indeed skyrocketing. I think that the poor  *are* spending more just to make ends meet. There is no more budget for entertainment.  That's the internet now. There are more and more families that could not afford to go to McDonalds and call it a night out. There are more working poor than ever before, more homeless and more folks so far below the poverty line, they cannot even afford any education beyond high school, even if they did believe education is the answer.Believe me when I tell you that when you have to pawn your jewelry to feed your kids, education does not seem to be much of a saviour.

Arsenius the Hermit - a couple of years ago

Rising prices and the devaluation of money are common problems in virtually every society and every historical period. So is poverty. I doubt anyone will ever figure out a way to solve those issues.

Canadian Doomer - a couple of years ago

Le plus que ça change, le plus que ça reste le même. That's the phrase with the accents. 🙂 There's a cedilla under the 'c' in a couple of places, and the circumflex on the last word. I don't know how Mr D switches the keyboard over, but I do know you can use ALT codes for all of the accents.As Andrea says, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Lake Lili - a couple of years ago

A gold star to the top student!  Your teacher would be so proud… However the first "e" in meme should have a chapeau… I have never figured out how to switch my keyboard to French…

Canadian Doomer - a couple of years ago

Here in Canada, we don't get food stamps, so I don't know. :)I like to buy my "generic, no name" food from the farmers.

Schweds - a couple of years ago

I wish the would bring back "commodities". Generic foods with black writing on white packaging.  Used to be given instead of food stamps.  Fill the food banks with it.  What is it called?  Surplus food.  There was milk, butter, cheese lots of good food and plenty of it.  Does anyone remember?  We were poo

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