Friday, May 22, 2009

Another example of structural violence

The invisible cost of being poor:
Let’s take this bad boy, point by point, and I’ll try and put the pieces together since people can’t easily read the article (I guess you’ll have to trust me a little bit that this is what the article did in fact say).

Corner store:
Wheat bread: $ 3.79
Milk 4.99
Bologna 3.79
Butter 4.49
———-
Total: $17.06

Safeway:
Wheat Bread $1.19
Milk 3.49
Butter 2.49
Bologna 2.50
——–
Total $9.67

Difference: $7.39 for FOUR items. These four items each week is nearly $30 for a month. I would walk to the the store for that kind of money.

The article points out that it is a 3 hour bus trip for people to go to the Safeway from the neighborhood where they price-checked the corner store. Nobody’s walking that far, particularly when time is at a premium and the article reiterates, over and over again, that there is a time crunch for working poor. For fuck’s sake, the last line of the article is “When you are poor, you wait.” Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of space in your apartment, you’re not going to be able to store food, so you’ll need to make these purchases again and again. You’re not going to be spending 6 a week just getting to and from a store.

I'd strongly recommend reading the whole damn thing.

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