- Could you get by on $7,000 a year? In 1977, The Atlantic published a story about how one man, identified by the pseudonym John Brooke, lived on an equivalent sum for some time.
- In this email, we update Brooke’s budget. In the podcast that accompanies this story, the economist Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute breaks down how the broader economy has changed since Brooke kept track of his spending.
- The audio of our interview with Shierholz is available on SoundCloud and in your members-only podcast feed. Here’s how to access it via your podcast player of choice.
John Brooke saw his move to San Diego as a kind of surrender. He was jobless and nearing 60. His savings had nearly run out. He needed to be somewhere warm where, in his words, he could learn “how to be poor.” In 1977, The Atlantic published his story.
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