Like everyone else I know, I am feeling the pinch of a straitened economy. I eat out less often, I drive less far and I write fewer checks to my favorite charities. These are all middle-class concerns, I know (does anyone admit to being upper-middle class?), which is why I hesitate to mention them.
My small cutbacks are nothing compared to those of the woman I hear on the evening news. Fear has dried her mouth and made her words brittle. She is about to lose the first home she ever owned. While she is trying to keep up with her ballooning mortgage payments, the interest on her credit card is growing like a virus. Should she drop her health insurance or sell her car? How long can her kids go without seeing a dentist? This woman would gladly trade places with me. She would happily eat in every night of the week if that meant she and her children would not be turned out of their house.