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The Source: Living In Poverty Takes Psychological Toll


The idea that low-wage jobs and jobs at the very bottom dehumanize workers isn't a new one. It launched diatribes from religious figures and political ones at the launch of the industrial revolution. The idea that being poor means you can't save or plan ahead because the unrelenting need to work to live is also not a new one, but the first-person narrative of someone living it and being open about the effects of impoverished life bring the issue into focus in a way that feels new. 

Linda Tirado does this with her new book "Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America." Launched from her essay published in 2013 entitled "Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts," Tirado takes dead aim at all the things the poor are criticized for and explains the rationale for many of them. Eating bad food is not only cheaper but is nearly guaranteed if you don't own a stove, or a pot, or salt, for instance.


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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive