'Downsized' Family Forced to Give Up Cable

jenny erikson
Jenny Erikson
Most people are cutting back these days. Not those people living on pensions in California, or teachers in New York, or state employees working on the New Jersey Turnpike, but most of us are feeling the squeeze from the bad economy.

The housing market is down and unemployment is up. Those that do have jobs are dealing with cut hours or not receiving raises to keep up with the cost of inflation. Employers aren't hiring anyone in this climate of economic uncertainty.

Since this is America, someone is ready to capitalize on the plight experienced by thousands of families across the nation. Once rags to riches, the story to tell today is riches to rags. WEtv is getting ready to premiere Downsized, a show following the once affluent Bruce family as they struggle to make ends meet.


The concept of the show is a good one. The blended family was living the good life a few years ago, until the crumbling economy changed their financial status. They lost their business and their home, had to declare bankruptcy, and now clean houses for rent money.

One clip for the show features an embarrassed teenage daughter telling the mom that she couldn't buy everything on the grocery list, because they didn't have enough money on the food card. My heart breaks for a family that has lost so much that they have to rely on food stamps to feed their children. To me, that's the last thing you do before your children starve.

Other clips from the show show Dad sitting in a leather office chair, in front of a flat screen computer monitor, making calls to try to collect on some debts, and Mom making the tragic announcement that they're cutting the cable and limiting daily showers to five minutes apiece. Wait -- what? This is the poverty-stricken family?

Everyone is cutting back; clipping coupons, giving up expensive hair care products, and bypassing more expensive stores for Walmart. I know that my family has had to make sacrifices to make up for our increased taxes and rising costs of living, and unless the Bush tax cuts get extended, our income is going to be cut by nearly $4,000. Let me assure you that we make significantly less than a quarter of a million dollars a year.

Taxes are going up to cover the deficit created by a rapidly expanding welfare state. But as long as we have people that receive food stamps, yet still have money for cable, or people that spend their welfare checks in exotic locales, no amount of taxation will ever be enough.

I'm sorry that your family is having a hard time. Mine is too. Please curb your spending before you raise my taxes.


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