The pandemic has pushed more people into poverty and the divide between the rich and poor is getting bigger.
The income divide has been growing sharply in America over the years and the pandemic has only widened the divide further. According to the US census, the official poverty rate in 2020 jumped 1.0 percentage to 11.4, from the 10.5 percent in 2019, making it the first increase in poverty after five consecutive annual declines. Those who have grown up privileged and with access to resources and social capital will quite never understand what it means to be poor, and the daily struggle that comes with it. Being poor is a fight for survival day in and day out, and it involves prioritizing money just for what will get you through the day, sometimes even in acquiring the next meal.
Many obvious signs reveal if a person is rich, but there are so many subtle signs that many may not pick on. One Reddit user asked those "who grew up poor, what do you associate with being rich?" and people commented on the things they personally connected with being wealthy and it's an eye-opener. Here are some of the prominent replies from the thread:
There's a line from Nick in 'New girl' that describes being well off as 'filling your gas tank up all the way rich.' That was the rich I wanted to be. Comfortable. Also, not having to do math in the grocery store to see what food you can buy. I hated that. I wanted to just go buy necessities like gas and food without worrying. Proud to say that now I usually fill my gas tank all the way and don't do the math when buying groceries. - u/Top_confidence_9177
Going to a store to pick out furniture. Like, actually buying NEW stuff, not just taking whatever you can find at thrift stores or garage sales. That seems so luxurious! - u/Nonsenseinabag.
Parents buying a car for your 16th birthday - u/ghosthues.
I was poor for a bit and my wife and I would have $100 for food and gas for the month. We had to balance driving too much or eating better food. The first time I was able to fill my tank and buy whatever I wanted to eat was the best feeling - u/allf8ed.
Kids that went to summer camp. I got sent to long distant family and worked on a family farm. u/Jim105.
The cool thing about having money tho is that you can pay $1000s to send your kid to work on a farm as a summer 'experience'. - u/notcreepycreeper
I didn’t see a dentist from the age of 16-34. - u/donotmathews
Indifference. I realized what real wealth meant in high school when we cleaned up trash from a creek and the rich kids wore their Polo shirts, Guess jeans, and Jordan's because if they were trashed they simply would get new. The poor kids wore their grubby clothes they do labor in. Wealth is shown most acutely by indifference, nothing matters because money will fix it and there is plenty enough to fill black holes. - u/Waxnpoetic
Eating pizza because you want to, not because it's $2. That and mom eating along with us normally instead of pretending that the crust is her favorite part and that's why she'd eat the crust we leave - u/DirtySingh.
I just bought my first table. It’s pretty wild how cool something so seemingly small feels. - u/Doctor-Whodunnit
Everyone having their own room. We all slept in a single room - u/CostSoLow. I cant believe it took me so long to find this. Like kids being told to go to their room as punishment? Geez, I wish. - u/1_Non_Blonde
Disneyland, vacations, I thought some kids in elementary were loaded since they always talk about Disneyland or their 8th trip to the Caribbean during their break. Me, I was just excited to go to a different Walmart outside of town. - u/Coyotelighting-T
I remember my dad giving me and my sister an early Christmas present one year, both electric blankets, then leaving the heat off because we had electric blankets. - u/Umbrella-merc.
Mine and my other poor friends’ parents were always fighting. Most of the time my parents fought it was over money. You could tell that they were just scared whether or not we were going to make it and that’s how it manifested. You just never really saw that same type of fighting at the friends' parents who were comfortable. Like obviously, there’s more factors but there’s a unique chaotic tension in poor households that is hard to describe.
Especially if they're the ones who pack all your sh*t for you, too. So many times, I would borrow a friend's pickup (and buy my friend's help with offers of pizza and beer) to move from one sh*tty place to another. For my most recent move, my wife and I packed everything but hired professionals to load and unload it. I felt like a king. - u/KhaoticMess
I'm 23 and still have never slept on a new mattress. When I was a kid I used to think mattress stores were the Pinnacle of wealth lol. u/thejoeyboel.