Poverty gets more expensive every day

A view of Philly from my shack before the weather changed
From my shack, a view of Philly when the weather was good

Yesterday at the shack we woke to bone-chilling wind and a blanket of ice. The swamp rabbit was huddled in a corner with a bottle from the case of Wild Turkey I stole to help him get through his post-holiday funk. I told him to fetch wood from the swamp so we don’t freeze, it would be two below zero soon.

“That booze won’t warm you for long,” I said. “I’ll find you stiff as a board tomorrow morning.”

“Won’t be my fault,” the rabbit said. “You ain’t nothin’ but an enabler, don’t ya know?”

While the rodent fetched wood, I chopped ice off the roof and surfed the Net for more weather and news and so on. I saw a letter to the Naked Capitalism guy that I read to the rabbit when he got back with some dead branches that looked like bones:

My expenses are beginning to get the better of me and month’s end is stretching beyond my dollars. Next year is looking the same. So, yesterday I was pointedly reminded how expensive it is to be poor. Instead of buying a lot when something I use is on sale, I have to buy what I have dollars for. No savings for me! And instead of buying by unit price–I’m a ferocious unit price shopper–I have to buy whatever size I have dollars for. And now I have to make more trips because I can only buy small dollars worth at a time.

“Amen to that,” the swamp rabbit said. “I used to buy carrots at twelve bucks a carton when I worked for that magician, gettin’ pulled out of a hat. Now I can barely afford one of them two-dollar bags that don’t hold no more’n a half-dozen carrots.”

The lying varmint never worked for a magician but I could feel his pain, especially now that our secessionist Congress is cutting food stamps and unemployment, and reactionary governors in 25 states, with help from our neo-Confederate Supreme Court, are denying Medicaid to 4.8 million people who aren’t eligible for Obamacare. I read to the rabbit from something by William Greider:

The Supremes have done quite a lot in the last fifteen years to mess up our already weakened democratic system. They stole the presidential election in 2000. They cut loose Big Money to swamp elections by destroying lawful restraints. They are trying step-by-step to restore hoary old legalisms that favor capital over labor, corporations over individuals. Shouldn’t we be talking about how to stop them?

“No, we should be talkin’ about gettin’ somethin’ to eat,” the rabbit said. “I’m too hungry to talk politics.”

I told him to get a fire going in the stove so I could unfreeze the pack of wieners I pinched from Pathmark.

“What you take me for, a heathen?” he said. “I don’t eat no swine.”

“Better get used to it,” I said, “or start growing your own carrots.”

Footnote: Now I’ve got in my head Captain Beefheart’s “A Carrot Is as Close as a Rabbit Gets to a Diamond.”