A poverty simulation?

You can’t make this stuff up. Two and a half hours at a country club…

The city announced Tuesday it was partnering with the Alliance for Human Services, Family Focus, Moraine Township, and the Highland Park Community Foundation to host “a poverty simulation event to increase residents’ understanding and awareness of what it is like to live in poverty in Lake County.”

The event, set for Saturday at the Highland Park Country Club, will give participants an “immersive experience” aimed at showing them what a month in poverty feels like, according to the city’s posting…

Highland Park is an affluent community located on Chicago’s North Shore. In a report from 2021, the Chicago suburb was listed among the richest cities in the country, with a median household income that was "more than double the national figure…



Lot of idiot uninformed reaction from social mediums. Knowing nothing about a thing is the best incentive to say bad things about it I guess. And I’m sure most of the off-mouthers were not anywhere near actual poverty.


Social media aside it seems, shall we say, ineffectual. Two hours is silly. A better approach would take a week. Get on a bus and go to Milwaukee or St. Louis or some other city. Give each person an allowance, no credit cards allowed. Choices on how to spend your money, your time (taking buses uses up more time). Et cetera.


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I remember the local news covering an event where middle/upper income kids spent a night as a homeless person, sleeping in a cardboard box, in benign, by Michigan standards, weather.

As someone pointed out years ago, the thing about these events is the participants know they will be back in their warm bed, and full stomach, the next day.


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Oh yes indeed. I don’t think this little seminar is going to move the needle on anything. I was directing my exasperation at the commenters and their comments only.

So it’s held at a country club in a rich 'burb with rich people in attendance? It is not (from what I gathered from the article) a sort of Rich People Acting Poor Minstrel Show. It’s organized by agencies/people with a actual concern for economic disparities. IOW people who know what they’re doing.

The venue was available and the people in attendance are just the one’s you’d want to be a little more sensitized to the situation. Yes “Branding” like someone said. What good would holding it in a poor neighborhood with poor people do?

I learned a great moral lesson in an unlikely place once. To wit: Have respect for other people’s work." More people, rich, poor, and their sympathizers would do well to contemplate that one.


You wouldn’t even have to leave home to take the “eat on a food stamp budget for a week” challenge.



Better to use the monthly amount–and do it for a month.

Exactly. In college my last two years a friend and I ran a Boarding House with 14 inmates wherein we were dictators, cooks, building maintenance and psychologists.

You can go a very long ways on beans, rice, veges in season, and spices. And you need to do month long menu planning and cook in big batches with planned freezer and frig storage.

It is not hard, but it isn’t easy.

david fb


Don’t forget pasta. Also flour. You can make lots of biscuits cheaply. Lots of calories but filling.

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Agreed. But we were students, him at Harvard Law and me at Harvard College in hard core physics and political theory. We let the expert Italians in Somerville do the pasta and breads for us…

david fb


Correct but this simplistic approach just muddles the waters. The glycemic index might say that bread and pasta are the same but glycemic load will give an entirely different result based not on carbohydrate content but on the insulin spike it causes. When I first looked at the glycemic load index from Harvard I was incredulous to find that al dente pasta has a lower glycemic load than the same pasta when overcooked. The explanation is quite simple, cooking is a form of pre digestion. The more pre digested the faster it gets into the blood stream causing a larger insulin spike. Bread is fluffier than pasta and easier to digest.

Harvard glycemic load

Downloadable pdf

Back in Caracas I ate a fair amount of pasta as well as oatmeal for breakfast and Sauteed Shoestring Potatoes while losing 20 Kgs or 50 pounds. Note the date, August 8, 2010, that was half way through my weight loss travels.

It is important to highlight that diet is very personal, what works for one does not necessarily work for all.

The Captain


Yes! It is utterly amazing but dead on true, and you can see the difference between those who eat food lovingly cooked for them (“al dente” is a rapidly passing moment in pasta cooking and requires Actual Attention!) by doting dictatorial grandmas or the like, and those who eat pig slop mac and cheese out of steam trays or microwave reheats.

david fb