I was watching the Daily Show the other day and learned that nearly 50% of America is made up of 4-person families making (collectively) ~$22K a year. (I’ll have to remember that next time I complain about my own salary.) I know a huge chunk of low-income families make up the U.S., but for some reason, I find it so hard to grasp that an average family of four makes far lower than I make a year – not that I even make a hefty amount. Maybe it’s because I live in NYC, where I’m mostly exposed to yuppies, old monies, socialites, semi-famous to famous people, and my brilliant friends with great jobs. Or maybe it’s because I went to an Ivy League, where money wasn’t too scarce and most kids were from private schools and rolled around in fancy cars.
When I was watching the Daily Show, I couldn’t help but wonder how it works for those families making so little. Ironically, I came from a family of 4 with a ~$22K income. I guess it worked for me pretty easily since I was a pretty low-maintenance kid who wasn’t too bratty, wore my sister’s hand-me-downs (until I grew about 5 inches taller than her), and ate a lot of fast food (couldn’t have been good for me). I mean, I still consider myself poor (for the likes of a New Yorker), but I’m pretty well off compared to my parents. How many of you can say you make more than your parents at 23 years young? Weird – it never really occurred to me until now. Which brings me to the point – let’s not raise taxes on people like my parents, k? Sheesh.
It’s pretty humbling to know that 22K would not support my lifestyle now – but at one point in my life, it did.