Opening a bakery at 5AM for forty years or owning a fleet of semis is a constant headache in a way being the regional director of the Department of the Interior is not.
By that, I mean it is far harder to net $150,000 in the muscular private sector than in the world of the tenured bureaucratic technocracy.
The “Private Health & Human Services Department”:
Somehow paying the mortgage for a daughter, picking up the funeral bill for a cousin, loaning a brother-in-law cash for his business — all that never computes into wealth and poverty statistics, despite the fact that in every family there are “cash cows” whom everyone seems to approach for help (and they rarely go away refused).
Is there a government form that asks of the middle class, “How much help, direct or indirect, have you obtained from a relative — parent, sibling, cousin, child — this year?”
Never forget: “progressives” live in the past:
Liberals talk as if we live in the world of coal-dusted Dickensian London and the Cratchits, or perhaps millions are still like the Joads putt-putting in smoky cars from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. Yes, there is poverty, but it transcends income, entitlements, and most of the rules of what used to apply in the pre-globalized world.
My local Wal-Mart — in the poorest section of one of the poorest counties in a near bankrupt state — does a brisk business in new cell phones, DVDs, big-screen TVs, laptops, and discretionary purchasing.