Monday, November 20, 2006

Utility Affordability Problems Affecting Middle Class

(Chart courtesy of the Providence Journal)

An article in yesterday's Providence Journal (Registration Required) reports that the number of Rhode Islanders who have lost their utility service due to non-payment has jumped 12%. The biggest increase is in households that do not receive Federal Heat Assistance.

In other words, households that make too much money to qualify for heating assistance don't make enough to pay their heating bills and although the although the information is specific to the state of Rhode Island, it's not too hard to imagine that there are similar trends here in Massachusetts.

It's a sobering reality that I fully understand because I feel the pinch of rising costs. I know the feeling of frustration that comes with realizing that your paycheck just doesn't go as far as it did just a year or so before.

It's too easy to say 'tighten your belt', 'live within your means' and 'save for a rainy day'. What is the solution? How do we save ourselves? How do we save middle class?

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