Poor people, you may be aware, own televisions. This has regularly been used as evidence that they're not, you know,
There are really two points in the story by Annie Lowery. First, that the cost of things like electronics and cell phones have dropped consistently over the past decade. Lowery describes the "Walmart effect": "Since the 1980s, for instance, the real price of a midrange color television has plummeted about tenfold … . Similarly, the effective price of clothing, bicycles, small appliances, processed foods — virtually anything produced in a factory — has followed a downward trajectory." Included in the story is a graph showing how prices have shifted over the past decade. The biggest drop in prices relative to inflation is for televisions. The biggest increase is college tuition.
Leading to Lowery's second point. The cost of things like food, child care, and college education have increased dramatically — and even low-price expenses can be prohibitive if they're recurring. Lowery spoke with a Walmart employee and mother in Maryland, Tiffany Beroid, who "said she works part time, rather than full time, because she and her husband could not otherwise afford child care. … 'Child care was costing probably $350 a week,' said Ms. Beroid, who makes $10.70 an hour. 'I would love to be in full-time work, if I could make enough to cover child care payments.'"