How does the other-other half live? You know, the families who are now forced to "squeak by" on $300K a year? Leave it to the Washington Post to not only find out, but to attempt to elicit empathy!
Yes: "squeak by," as in the article's title: "Squeaking By On $300,000." Now, give the writer the benefit of the doubt. Surely, she knows that $300,000 a year is opulence to some American families, right? She couldn't just write this in a bubble in which that's not much money. Hell, she doesn't make nearly that much money herself. And the case Washington Post staff writer Anne Hull — now the Cintra Wilson of Washinton Post staff writers — tries to be fair.
It goes something like: various expenses and a bad real estate market, paired with investments (houses, cars, private schooling) made in better times have now become fiscal traps that could - theoretically, bear with me - become difficult to edge your way out of. Right?
Let's skip to the very last line in the piece:
"We might live in nice houses and drive nice cars, but we're just holding on," she says. Perfect looks perfect from a distance.
Oh, yes. More:
The decline is found in the fine print. On the bulletin board at the YMCA in Rye, for example, where nannies and maids who've been let go look for new employment. On the wait list at the $7,000-a-year nursery school at Rye Presbyterian Church, where only 30 names hover instead of the usual 300. On the sleepy crime blotter of the Rye Police Department, which shows an increase in neighbor and domestic tensions. "You have a guy who was at the top of his game on Wall Street," explains Police Commissioner William Connors. "For the first time, he gets up in the morning and he has no place to go." He hears a neighbor using a loud leaf blower at 7 in the morning and calls the police to complain.
When Wall Street crashed, so did this community.
It's like the exact opposite of recession porn. And you know what? Why not?
Why not write a story that's not often told? It's something different. It's a story we otherwise don't hear about. A somehow common, yet obscure human story of voices drowned out by larger, louder complaints of economic hardship onto economic hardship. Isn't this what the people want to read? Judging by the comments on the piece, now at 628...