Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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Before her eviction, Beaker had asked Larraine why she didn't just sell her jewelry and pay Tobin. "Of course I'm not going to do that," she said. "I worked way too hard for me to sell my jewelry. ... I'm not going to sell my life savings because I'm homeless or I got evicted." It wasn't like she had just stumbled into a pit and would soon climb out. Larraine imagined she would be poor and rent-strapped forever. And if that was to be her lot in life, she might as well have a little jewelry to show for it. She wanted a new television, not some worn and boxy thing inherited from Lane and Susan. She wanted a bed no one else had slept in. She loved perfume and could tell you what a woman was wearing after passing her on the sidewalk. "Even people like myself," Larraine said, "we deserve, too, something brand-new."

[...]

To Sammy, Pastor Daryl, and others, Larraine was poor because she threw money away. But the reverse was more true. Larraine threw money away because she was poor.

[...]

People like Larraine lived with so many compounded limitations that it was difficult to imagine the amount of good behavior or self-control that would allow them to lift themselves out of poverty. The distance between grinding poverty and even stable poverty could be so vast that those at the bottom had little hope of climbing out even if they pinched every penny. So they chose not to. Instead, they tried to survive in color, to season the suffering with pleasure. They would get a little high or have a drink or do a bit of gambling or acquire a television. They might buy lobster on food stamps.

If Larraine spent her money unwisely, it was not because her benefits left her with so much but because they left her with so little. She paid the price for her lobster dinner. She had to eat pantry food the rest of the month. Some days, she simply went hungry. It was worth it. "I'm satisfied with what I had," she said. "And I'm willing to eat noodles for the rest of the month because of it."

after all, why should the poor have to live with so much less than everyone else? is there a moral argument to be made for it? obviously not. and the world continues as if there is

there's almost a moral argument to be made for giving them more, to atone for all the crap they've experienced before

at the same time i have ambivalent feelings about this just because of my mom, though obviously her level of poverty isn't nearly as bad as Larraine's

—p.218 Lobster on Food Stamps (215) by Matthew Desmond 6¬†years, 11¬†months ago