When I look back on my childhood, although we were poor, we had it pretty good.  We didn’t know that the big block of cheese we received had anything to do with government handouts.  We didn’t care about getting used clothes from consignment shops or hand-me-downs from older cousins.  My siblings and I never complained, mainly because we knew not to. We recognized the fact that after my parent’s divorce that we had to make sacrifices.   Although there were about 8 people at a time living in my grandmother’s house, it was our norm.  Even before Hillary Clinton made the saying, “It takes a village”, we knew exactly who was in ours.

Thank god that was in the 80’s.

If we had to live how we did in the 80’s in 2012, we might not have made it.  Back then it was easy for adults to have access to programs such as Section 8, Medicaid and subsidized childcare.  Those programs are what helped my mother and some of my friend’s parents survive.  Nowadays, you have to jump through hoops, to have access to programs that were built to help families in need.

Being poor in 2012, is almost a death sentence.  Recently, Melissa Harris-Perry asked, “What is riskier than living poor in American?”

With programs being cut, and politicians aiming to cut access to more programs, survival of the fittest will become commonplace.  As many people struggle just to make ends meet, I’m grateful that I grew up during the time I did. I can’t even imagine my mother having to struggle during this day and age raising 4 children as a divorced single parent. The odds would definitely be stacked up against her.

As the 1% complains about being taxed at a higher rate, the unemployment rate is still high. As the cost of living rises, a person making minimum wage is barely able to survive.   Growing up poor wasn’t easy, but as Melissa Harris-Perry said, “What is riskier than living poor in America?”

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