Letter Published in the Tuesday, 14 April 1998, Wall Street Journal
Letters to the Editor.
I am a student and clerk here in Washington, D.C. I make $10 an hour,
which adds up to, including cleaning the office on weekends, about
$200. That's only $800 a month and D.C. is expensive, but I do all
right. My efficiency apartment has two big windows. Once a month I buy
daisies from a street vendor for three bucks, and they last for awhile
if I change the water and cut the stems. I don't have a TV or a car nor
do I do drugs. I ride a bike, patch my clothes, eat mainly rice and
lentils, sit in the park, hold hands with my girl, and sometimes eat and
laugh with my friends. I have a fine time, thank you.
I don't like to hear people writing that life on a modest income is
hell, or degrading. Live is always what you make of it. Before this
job I worked as a busboy. The head busboy had been at it for eight
years. I don't think he could read very well, and he could barley speak
English, but he was a hard worker. He and his wife have a nice place,
their son is doing well in school, and they have saved a remarkable
(well into six figures) amount of money with the hope of moving back to
Life is hard and we should never be without compassion. However, this
is a great country and these are remarkable times. With a little
imagination, a lot of hard work and modest goals you can make it here.
-- $ firstname.lastname@example.org Seattle, Washington U.S.A. $