Life isn’t easy, you know.

Ronnie Dunn – Cost of Livin’

In 1960* minimum wage was $1.00. It was $1.15 the year my Dad was born. The year my Mom was born – $1.60. It didn’t go up from there until 1974 when we got to an even two dollars. In 1980 it was $3.10 and in five long years it only went up by 25 cents. The year I was born minimum wage was $4.25 and by the time I got my first job at Tim Hortons sixteen years later I was making a solid $5.85/hr. My first paycheck was like two hundred dollars, or something near there. My grandparents would have worked for TWO HUNDRED HOURS to make that money. I took my Mom to a concert.

Right now, gas in my town costs $126.9/litre. To any American readers I might have – that might seem cheap because you buy gallons right? It doesn’t seem like much but it is. And the cost of milk is going up? Kevin and I go through 8L of milk every two weeks! Between the two of us I’ve seen 3 gas lights come on this week, and I used our gas savings coupons to get 4L of milk for $1.07. I’m trying to save for school but I have been trying to have a fun summer too! Turns out you can’t do both.

The worst part is we aren’t even bad-off. There are people around the world who are struggling to eat every day, who don’t have hopes of going to school because there is just no way to afford it. The people who think they are safe and secure in their jobs lose them.

Then what?

What do you do when there just isn’t enough to make ends meet? Do you look for a job? Ask for help? I don’t have a good answer, and it doesn’t seem like the economy is heading North anytime soon. I can imagine not having everything, I can imagine always wanting and needing and hoping, but I can’t imagine losing everything – some people in this world know all too well.

Once, when our power was out (that happens a lot here, I think we’re on a bad grid) I mentioned to Kevin that someday we could be back to the horse-age. No electricity, no running machinery, just dirt-packed roads and riding to the market. Our kids in skirts and bonnets. The good ‘ole days.

Nah, I’ll stick with the era we’re in at the moment, but sometimes it’s good to think about where we could be, if we aren’t careful. A little taste of humble pie to go with our technology and big dreams.

Because – life isn’t easy, you know.

*wages based on http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0774473.html and not on actual accounts.

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