The calculus of living paycheck to paycheck in America is getting harder. What used to last four days might last half that long now. Pay the gas bill, but skip breakfast. Eat less for lunch so the kids can have a healthy dinner.
Across the nation, Americans are increasingly unable to stretch their dollars to the next payday as they juggle higher rent, food and energy bills. It’s starting to affect middle-income working families as well as the poor, and has reached the point of affecting day-to-day calculations of merchants like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) (WMT), 7-Eleven Inc. and Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO) (FDO)
Food pantries, which distribute foodstuffs to the needy, are reporting severe shortages and reduced government funding at the very time that they are seeing a surge of new people seeking their help.
While economists debate whether the country is headed for a recession, some say the financial stress is already the worst since the last downturn at the start of this decade.
(AP) Marcia Watkis, far left, a volunteer at the Bedstuy Campaign Against Hunger, a food pantry that…
From Family Dollar to Wal-Mart, merchants have adjusted their product mix and pricing accordingly. Sales data show a marked and more prolonged drop in spending in the days before shoppers get their paychecks, when they buy only the barest essentials before splurging around payday.
“It’s pretty pronounced,” said Kiley Rawlins, a spokeswoman at Family Dollar. “It seems like to us, customers are running out of food products, paper towels sooner in the month.”
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said the imbalance in spending before and after payday in July was the biggest it has ever seen, though the drop-off wasn’t as steep in August.
And 7-Eleven says its grocery sales have jumped 12-13 percent over the past year, compared with only slight increases for non-necessities like gloves and toys. Shoppers can’t afford to load up at the supermarket and are going to the most convenient places to buy emergency food items like milk and eggs.
“It even costs more to get the basics like soap and laundry detergent,” said Michelle Grassia, who lives with her husband and three teenage children in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
(AP) Marta Zepeda an employee at a 7-Eleven store stocks the shelves at the store in downtown Los…
Her husband’s check from his job at a grocery store used to last four days. “Now, it lasts only two,” she said.
To make up the difference, Grassia buys one gallon of milk a week instead of three. She sometimes skips breakfast and lunch to make sure there’s enough food for her children. She cooks with a hot plate because gas is too expensive. And she depends more than ever on the bags of free vegetables and powdered milk from a local food pantry.
I know this situation upclose and personal. There have been times, especially when being on disability on and off from heart surgeries and recovering from epileptic seizures in recent years. In the good ol’ USA anymore when counties are cutting back on services to the poor, companies moving overseas to pay slave wages and remaining companies telling employees “take what we pay ya, or hit the streets” ( except for executives of course), living paycheck to paycheck is definitely a challenge. The working poor and lower-middle class in this country aren’t running an increasing debt load just to buy extra “goodies” like stereos, HDTVs, computers and iPods. They’re running a debt just to pay the bills and eat. And I’m not even touching on expenses like car repairs, car insurance or any of that sh*t.
The proof is in the pudding of this article. Bu$hco has almost singlehandedly destroyed the greatest republic in Western History in just seven short years. Once this nation is destroyed economically, the path will be cleared for the neoliberal agenda of creation of the North American Union.
Thus the next phase of the NWO plan of Global Dominance will be complete.