"I mumble thanks for the advice, feeling like I've just been stripped naked by the crazed enforcer of some ancient sumptuary law: No chatting for you, girl."
"In the early 1960s when the method of calculating poverty was devised food accounted for 24 percent of the average family budget (not 33 percent even then, it should be noted) and housing 29 percent. In 1999, food took up only 16% of the family budget while housing had soared to 37 percent. So the choice of food as the basis for calculating family budgets seems fairly arbitrary today..."
Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America