I have learned something about pity in my most recent year of poverty: Very few people on all rungs of our society are equipped to assist others who need it without thinking lesser of them, and in some cases, vilifying them.And from her comments:
I would hope that my choice to get an MFA wouldn't make you think less of me, because we do have a similar background, but what I would hope for the world is that we will no longer have a pissing contest like this to decide who has had it hard enough to claim they can't make enough money to live.Link here: The Rise of the Privileged Poor by A. Wolfe.
Edited to add:
This brought to mind that I read this book by Ernest Callenbach just after I graduated from college in 1979, and have always lived with it in the back of my mind. Ironic, no, that's it's $48 on amazon.com? (Now I'm sorry I got rid of it.) But then I see that Callenbach revised it and changed the title to Living Cheaply With Style. More irony.
There's also an excellent book by M.F.K. Fisher entitled How to Cook a Wolf (first published during WWII). I read this around the same time I read Callenbach's book in the 70s. Highly recommended reading, as it's a good reminder that this way of life is nothing new. We've been here before. And we survive.