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On a personal note, kinda-sorta related to this (it made me think of it):

Last year, I made less than I did the first year out of college. And I don’t mean in terms of buying power, I mean in actual dollars.

Buying power makes that figure even lower.

In that time I have had two children and paid an enormous amount of money in childcare (some years, nearly a third of my income). I have worked two jobs at times. I went through a long term lay-off, divorced, been chewed up and spit out by the legal system regarding custody and child support, and scrimped and saved to pay down debt I didn’t create.

I am, officially, living paycheck to paycheck. But not in reality. Why do I say that?

I would actually bring home more,*including if taxes were withheld*, if I were receiving unemployment and pulled the kids at of daycare.

That’s right ladies and gents, I’d be more ahead financially.

Something is seriously effed up about all that. I don’t know how to fix it, but that is majorly effed up. To get 9 years out of college and make enough less that unemployment nets me more money? Nuts.

Also, I have a safety net, a security blanket most cannot count on. My family would never allow me to fall far, and for that I am grateful. If I needed a car, I would have help acquiring one. If I needed a roof over our heads, one would be offered. Most people living paycheck to paycheck do not have this luxury, and I do.

I don’t know – I’m all jumbly today. Discuss topics from unemployment to real wages from 2000 thru now to daycare expenses to everything in between.

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