It is unlike me to comment on a study that is developed through polling, especially without knowing the polling criteria. It is just not scientific enough for me. But it is quite possible that a poll about getting by conducted by the New York Times and Siena College might provide some insight into how we are getting by and I’ve decided to make an exception in this case.
The remarkable aspect of the study, if it is correct, is that regardless of the stresses on an individual, those who have the least have the most positive outlook for the future. Is one of the things that sustain the poor – hope? And how does this, if it does at all, get translated into action. Hope is a marvelous and human trait but if it is not in conjunction with action, it might actually be a detriment.
What I am inartfully relaying is that the poor have a very large stake in the economic and philosophic direction of the country because that is how the social net is changed for the better (or worse). Yet the poor do not vote in any larger degree than anyone else or involve themselves in community action. While this aspect of getting by is not part of the referenced study it would interesting to find out what, other than an unrealistic dream, is the basis of optimism by those just getting by.
“Half of New York City residents say they are struggling economically, making ends meet just barely, if at all, and most feel sharp uncertainty about the future of the city’s next generation, a new poll shows.”
“The poll, conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, shows great disparities in quality of life among the city’s five boroughs. The stresses weighing on New Yorkers vary widely, from the Bronx, where residents feel acute concern about access to jobs and educational opportunity, to Staten Island, where one in five report recently experiencing vandalism or theft.”
“But an atmosphere of economic anxiety pervades all areas of the city: 51 percent of New Yorkers said they were either just getting by or finding it difficult to do so.”
“Even in Manhattan, three in 10 said they were just getting by. (Fifty-eight percent said they were doing all right or thriving financially — the highest response of the five boroughs.)”
“…In those boroughs, nearly three in five residents said they were straining to make ends meet. In the Bronx, 36 percent said there had been times in the past year when they did not have the money to buy enough food for their family; only one in five said they and their neighbors had good or excellent access to suitable jobs.”
“But if the city appears divided into broad camps of haves and have-nots, it was, perhaps surprisingly, the less privileged segments of New York that shared the most positive outlook on the future.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/19/nyregion/half-of-new-yorkers-say-they-are-barely-or-not-getting-by-poll-shows.html?emc=edit_th_20151119&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=63667984&_r=0
“Experts agree that “just getting by” is not easily defined because of the complex series of economic and cultural variables present around the world, but in the United States the standard of living has decreased over the past half-decade, which is due largely to higher unemployment, falling home values and food inflation as well as other basic goods and services. Generation Y may have the ominous distinction of living worse than the generation prior making their idea of “just getting by” much different from their parents.”
“If you’re struggling financially, knowing that many citizens in India have it worse than you is of very little comfort, but experts caution consumers having financial trouble to first prioritize their spending and step out of what would be considered their comfort zone. What may be a need in our minds may actually be a want and those wants may be silently forcing you in to a lifestyle of “just getting by.” http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0512/what-does-it-really-mean-to-just-get-by.aspx#ixzz3s87wegq1
Perhaps that’s it. As I say in my Sunday column, pulpdiddys permutations is about studying the want we each have and when you are just getting by how that want is translated into fact or fiction.