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Growing Up Poor in the ‘80s Wasn’t Reall That Poor, and Many Agree
It seems like today being poor is sort of the norm. No one can afford rent or housing, and many people struggle to get by. This “new poor” is a whole new world to older generations, and many do not understand why it is happening. These Gen Xs and Boomers seem to have no idea exactly what it means to be “new poor” because they considered themselves “poor” throughout the 80s. But what was it like to be poor in the 80s? Were people actually poor at all?
A man writes that he was a child in the ’80s, and he grew up knowing that his family was “poor.”
To begin, the man describes his family’s financial makeup and how his family made money. The user says that his father worked at a pizza place.
All the father did was make and deliver pizza. He was not a manager or an assistant manager. The man’s mother stayed at home and took care of the kids. She did not work.
The man’s parents bought a very cheap house which in today’s market would cost over $350K. Their family was made up of 3 children, and they also had 2 cars.
The user also goes on to say that they never struggled for food and were always fed.
The family also enjoyed simple pleasures like going to the movies and even having a brand-new Nintendo. All on a pizza delivery salary.
Although it doesn’t sound poor, the user went on to say that their clothes were always second-hand. The cars were definitely not brand new but were older models.
They also never went on vacation and lived in the “bad” part of town.
The kids at school even let the poster know that he was, in fact, poor. But this ‘80s poor is way better than the 2020s poor.
The man goes on to write that he knows he is “old poor” and believes that this “old poor” is nothing compared to the “poor” that people are experiencing in today’s day and age.
The prices of cars, rent, houses, and more are through the roof, and he states at the end that “Capitalism is a monster that is actively making our lives more difficult.”
So people who grew up in the ‘80s who were considered “poor.” Were you actually poor at all? When you look back on stories from parents and grandparents who grew up “poor,” you often have to wonder how they could have ever been considered below the norm. With one income like the above, people bought homes, drove multiple vehicles, and were completely full after supper. Being poor in the ‘80s sure beats being poor in the 2020s.
Many people agree with the original poster:
To begin, someone replied, “Even 2000 was good for being a poor teenager working a minimum wage job where I could get an apartment without needing a roommate. Being poor now would just blow with how expensive everything is, from food to smokes.”
Another user added, “I can confirm this. Poor in the 80’s was comfortable. Poor today is unliveable.”
One popular comment was, “I miss the safety nets before Reagan. They weren’t great, but being actually able to access them was amazing. Government grilled cheese saved the day, and free school lunch helped me through elementary school.”
A second comment said, “I was homeless in the late 90’s due to issues with my family. Homelessness looked WAY different back then. It was mostly old, homeless drunks. Now it’s opioid addicts, and it’s rampant. Homelessness looks very different today.”
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