… is felt at the micro level.
... “Captain Sam Vimes Boots theory of socioeconomic unfairness”. In full, it runs like this:
*“Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.”*
It’s a devastating summary of the class divide that illustrates how the rich and the poor see and experience the world in completely different ways. That a shifting of a few pence, here or there, can make no difference to one person, while being enough to make another go hungry. That being poor is actually more expensive than being wealthy and, worse, traps you in a cycle of being poor.
Fortunately, the COVID-19 relief programs Congress passed — like the stimulus checks and those monthly Child Tax Credit payments — helped me keep our apartment.
With this help, I could look for work while homeschooling my daughter. I was even able to put a few dollars into a savings account for the first time in my life, which was a huge relief. My family wasn’t just surviving — we were on our way to thriving.
That’s exactly what a safety net is for. But now what’s going to happen?
The credit expired last December ....