Poor Spend Too Much To Survive

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Americans spend an awful lot of money on transportation, but that’s about where the similarities end.

By JJ Feinauer, Deseret News National Edition

Americans spend an awful lot on transportation, at least according to the latest Consumer Expenditures Survey released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to BLS data, the income brackets wedged between the top 10 percent and the bottom 10 percent typically spend over 16 percent of their income on transportation. The other two brackets aren’t too different, with the bottom 10 percent spending closer to 14 percent and the top 10 percent spending just under 16 percent.

But while transportation seemed to be a great equalizer among the classes, the Wall Street Journal noticed something else lingering in the data: The poor spend about as much (proportionally) on food as the rich spend on pensions, insurance and investments.

“When you have money, you spend less on the stuff that ensures you survive the day and more on the stuff that ensures that you (and your children, and your possessions, and your estate) survive and thrive for many years,” The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson wrote in response to the study.

“As a result, the poor spend relatively more on what will keep them alive, because they must. And the rich spend more on what will keep them rich, because they can.”

Horizonte, Salt Lake City School District’s alternative high school and adult education provider, hosts a Utah Food Bank mobile pantry monthly.  Almost all high school age students qualify for free or reduced school lunch.  Adults would if they could.  Horizonte believes providing post high school financial help for applied tech career training and college offers the best hope for emerging from poverty.