[ExI] can't feed em

SR Ballard sen.otaku at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 18:08:09 UTC 2020

The kids at my work, their parents are all ima similar situation. Mostly, my co-workers are the eldest, and will have to quit working to look after the kids. 

Awkward for 2 reasons: 

(1) They provide a good portion of the family income, generally “covering” the utilities.

(2) This is the last moment you want to experience a cash crunch. Anyone’s work could close in a moment’s notice. My coworker, or more pointedly, their parents. 

This is a time where the #1 priority of hourly workers, such as myself, is stockpiling cash and food. 

We, as a group, do not have savings. I have some, had more, but got engaged 3 weeks ago.

Without savings, living paycheck to paycheck, low stores of food in the house, most low-income hourly people (like me, make $13K before taxes in a year) are sweating bullets.

Missing 2 days of work can make people in my situation late on rent. 2 weeks out of work means eviction. There’s no way to catch up after all the late fees.

We all rent. Often with many roommates. One of my roommates is now out of work until the whole thing blows over.

Sure, I can make it. I’m paranoid and always saving money. But other low income earners can not afford to have that bit of their income taken away.

Being short on babysitters and food is one thing, but eviction is something else. Here in Texas, some people who pay weekly could be out on the street 7 days after they can’t pay the rent.

And even when (if?) those low hourly jobs come back, now the barriers to renting are so very high with an eviction on the record... the cost of renting can nearly double in my local area. 

Perhaps the US will do something like Italy and “suspend” payments, but I doubt we would be so lucky.

The repercussions of evictions will be quite large. With no work, there’s no money for transient forms of housing. More people living in their cars and on the streets.

I’m not saying this WILL happen, of course, but the possibility needs to be confronted. 

I, like everyone, see the parallels to 2008. But there are other things you can compare it to. None of which are as “polite” as 2008.

Now really is a time where we are going to have to decide if we want a social safety net or not, as a country. 

Social services have a very real possibility of breaking down, like in spike’s example.

What about SNAP (food stamps)? Many people on it live too far from a grocery store to get food is public transit were to be closed. 

I would be physically unable to get to work without public transit. 


SR Ballard

> On Mar 13, 2020, at 10:37 AM, spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> California’s Silicon Valley is a prosperous area, but it has a few spots where grinding poverty perisists.  
> An associate (widowed mother of 2) was explaining to me a problem they had with her son gaining weight like crazy and she couldn’t figure out why, given his diet, which she strictly controls (and knows what she is doing.)  I had been with the boy on a scout campout recently: oh MERCY can that kid wolf down the chow, my goodness.  He eats like three of me with change left over. 
> Come to find out… she was sending him to school with a nutritionally balanced sack lunch after a nutritionally balanced breakfast, but… he had gotten himself on a list for free lunch without her permission.  Then their school started offering free breakfast for those who qualified (he did (secretly.))  So he was eating at home, eating school breakfast, eating school lunch in addition to his own from-home lunch, then coming home for a fifth meal in the evening.  Adipose resulted.
> I wouldn’t have learned of it but for a thorny problem our local school system faces.  The district where my associate’s children attend school have nearly half their students eligible for free lunch and free breakfast (she lives in a scary neighborhood down there.)  The school building where we have our scout meetings hangs in the balance: they are contemplating closure.  If they do, we must suspend our scout meetings for lack of a venue.  Our local school district has already put in place remote-learning options should they close, which will happen if even one local corona virus case is found, even if not a school employee or student.  We have Skype and FaceTime, and every student has access to internet from home as far as we know.
> However… a few of the local families are partially dependent on that school to feed their children one meal a day (we don’t have free breakfast at this school.)  The San Jose school district previously mentioned is intensely dependent on school to feed their children.  Both districts are heavily dependent on providing free daycare for their children while the parents work their asses off.
> In one form or another, both districts have said they have no idea how to provide these social services to the families who have come to depend on them in the event of a corona-related shutdown.  A school is not set up to prepare and deliver meals, or to provide babysitters.  I didn’t realize how big a problem we have until I heard of someone in that situation.
> spike
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