Bruno Behrend – Building a Life from $25

This post is by Bruno Behrend. My response will go in comments.

Homeless: Can you build a life from $25?: In a test of the American Dream, Adam Shepard started life from scratch with the clothes on his back and twenty-five dollars. Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and a small savings. (Peter Smith, 2/11/08, The Christian Science Monitor)

During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company.

Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000.

The effort, he says, was inspired after reading “Nickel and Dimed,” in which author Barbara Ehrenreich takes on a series of low-paying jobs. Unlike Ms. Ehrenreich, who chronicled the difficulty of advancing beyond the ranks of the working poor, Shepard found he was able to successfully climb out of his self-imposed poverty.


Blogger’s comment:

Ms Ehrenreich’s mind-numbingly stupid book is frequently assigned as reading for in-coming college freshman, any number of whom have written to thank us for simply pointing out that in order to struggle getting by she has to behave like a sociopath.

Just FYI,

If you have any interest in perusing my favorite cultural/political blog (AB’s ECON ## crunching isn’t its forte), I recommend Brothers Judd

Not always on base, but very insightful.


This one was by Bruno Behrend. My response will be in comments.