As a city resident I have a corner store several blocks from my home. While it has a steady flow of pedestrian traffic it isn’t located in the best of neighborhoods. But that’s not why I don’t pop in for a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. I don’t patronize the store because the prices are exorbitant.
Poverty 101: We’ll start with the basics.
Like food: You don’t have a car to get to a supermarket, much less to Costco or Trader Joe’s, where the middle class goes to save money. You don’t have three hours to take the bus. So you buy groceries at the corner store, where a gallon of milk costs an extra dollar.
A loaf of bread there costs you $2.99 for white. For wheat, it’s $3.79. The clerk behind the counter tells you the gallon of leaking milk in the bottom of the back cooler is $4.99. She holds up four fingers to clarify. The milk is beneath the shelf that holds beef bologna for $3.79. A pound of butter sells for $4.49. In the back of the store are fruits and vegetables. The green peppers are shriveled, the bananas are more brown than yellow, the oranges are picked over.
(At a Safeway on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda, the wheat bread costs $1.19, and white bread is on sale for $1. A gallon of milk costs $3.49 — $2.99 if you buy two gallons. A pound of butter is $2.49. Beef bologna is on sale, two packages for $5.)
Go on and read the entire article. Yes, it’s five pages, but it’s worth every minute. How in the world are people supposed to attain the American Dream when the entire system seems to function as a vicious cycle designed to make sure they don’t get ahead – even when they’re doing everything right?
Now about that corner store I don’t patronize… wonder how often I’d shop there if I didn’t have a car?
Tags: The Economy