Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Yorker Problems

“If they raise the subway fare one more time, I’m going to explode. I’m making nine dollars an hour. I walk home three hours from work every day to save that $2.50, because that’s a half gallon of milk for me and my daughter. And every time they raise the fare, they have a ‘hearing.’ But they aren’t hearing anything. It’s a fucking joke. If you go to one of those ‘hearings,’ every single person stands up and says: ‘Don’t raise the fare.’ Then they raise it anyway. Oh man, it burns me up. ‘We need the money,’ they say, ‘America is hurting.’ That’s bullshit! If I see one more TV program bragging about multimillion dollar homes I’m gonna scream. How about a fucking TV program that shows me if there is anywhere in this city that I can fucking afford to live anymore. I’m sorry, but it’s burning me up.”


I really love some of the posts at Humans of New York , and this one spoke to a truth so many fellow New Yorkers face. For the majority of us, we are getting priced out of our neighborhoods due to rising cost-of-living expenses.  Also, the majority of the population is absolutely reliant on subway system, so fare hikes really hurt the working class and poor.

I must research other methods public good services are funded so that the increases aren’t always passed off to the commuter.  At this rate, it’ll cost commuters an average of $8 to simply leave their home.  That’s a little much.


Marie, 30: Houston, TX (2011)

(Snapshots, Elsewhere is a feature of recessionFRESH, where users are asked to submit photos and prices of everyday items to explore the cost of living around the world. If you’d like to submit, please visit this link.)


2011-10-01 16.19.41Marie, 30: Houston, TX (2011)

Marie is a toy hoarder and lover of all things kawaii, antique and vintage. She also an account executive who holds a high interest in art, culture and traveling.


Lunch: [$7.00] Parmesan Truffle Fries, Fried Avocado Tacos, Fried Green Tomato Tacos. I purchased these items from the Htown Food Streat Taco Truck.


Phone Bill: [$332.44] Sprint Phone Bill


Usual Commute: [$6.00] to Berryhill Tamales. This is a traditional place I commute to every Monday for their $1.99 Original (Fried) Fish Tacos. The cost of commute to the establishment costs $6.00 to and from home.


What do you like most about this neighborhood or city? What I like most about this city is the cost of living and cheap food.

How has the recession affected you? The recession over the years has greatly affected my chances of advancing in my field of work, due to company downsizing, massive lay offs and budget cuts.

What would you spend your last $5 on? A bucket of fried chicken or some designer vinyl toy figure.


Thanks so much Marie, for taking us on this Texan tour! – h!

When There Are No More Texts, I’ll Be Forced to Have an Actual Conversation With You

In the next year, there seems to be a push for major cell provider networks to kill texting. According to CNNMoney , the popularity of Smartphone data packages and free text providers (like RIMM’s Blackberry messenger) are convincing major service providers to label text messaging “passé.”


Text is a primary form of communication in my life.  I, as a po’ folk, cannot afford to pay for a data plan.  I do not have a smartphone, not because I don’t enjoy convenience, but because it is an incredible luxury to someone without income.  Anything  $100 or more for a phone bill is ridiculous to me.  I’m positive that there are millions of other Americans, just like me, who can’t afford that kind of expense.  My cell phone has taken the place of a landline, like many other households in the US.


I can no longer picture life  without a phone.  When you’re unemployed and waiting for employers to call, or need identity verification for various security things, it’s vital to have a means of contact.


Recently, when I asked T-Mobile about the options available to reduce my bill (which is now round $87.00/mo) they simply had no options that made sense.  The most inexpensive package they had was more expensive than the unlimited call and text plan I currently use.  Because they’re dumb (and because I still am under their contract for 3 more months) in my defeat, the only thing I channeled my rage into was the VERY STRONGLY WORDED EMAIL I’d write some time I’m free.


The article linked above states:


 Texting may sound cheap, but it’s actually an incredibly expensive way for consumers to send data. Text messages max out at just 160 bytes, which means 20-cents-per-message plans cost wireless customers an astounding $1,250 per megabyte.


While I was abroad in the Philippines this summer, I spent a lot of time with my local Nokia cell phone.  It was the ugly kind.  The kind you had in the year 2000.  Though there were some battles lost to predictive text, my Nokia was pretty reliable.  You know what else?  My phone was pre-loaded.  I would buy the equivalent to a $12 phone card/load and that would last me one month with about 350 texts, and some minutes for some quick conversations.


It costs about $0.02 USD to send ONE text in a developing nation.  So that $0.20 / message quoted above for US-based providers is actually $0.18 going to the pockets of middlemen, and other ridiculous inefficiencies that have absolutely nothing to do with the mechanics of sending your text.  So, again, this is just some bullsh*t about profits, and people changing things up so that it becomes compulsory to purchase a smartphone and its accompanying data plan, since there are practically no data-less packages at this point.  STOP OVERCHARGING.


If you think that there’s some tomfoolery a-happening on your cell phone bill, the FCC has put together tips on what to look for in the event you wanna hang out and take part in a larger class action lawsuit against your provider eventually.


Please visit MyRatePlan for a very straightforward listing of the rates available in your zip code by major service providers (AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint, Verizon, etc.), and a peek at web design back in 2001.  However, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your bill, and a more personalized assessment of your needs (requires your login info with your current cell phone provider to analyze data) try Bill Shrink.  The listing will then be emailed to you so that it can sit in your inbox archives 4evs.


(Also, let’s not forget how some of these corporations are absolute dbags.  LOOKINATCHU, VERIZON!)