homeless http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10362/all en-US A Restaurant Where You Pay What You Can Afford For The Meal? http://www.wisebread.com/a-restaurant-where-you-pay-what-you-can-afford-for-the-meal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-restaurant-where-you-pay-what-you-can-afford-for-the-meal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sameimage1.jpg" alt="Same Cafe" title="Same Cafe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It sounds like something out a movie, but it&rsquo;s actually right out of Denver, my home city. And this wonderful idea is not only incredibly innovative and generous, it&rsquo;s also working well and making thousands of needy people happy in the process. </p> <p><a href="http://www.soallmayeat.org">So All May Eat Caf&eacute; (SAME Caf&eacute;)</a> was founded by Brad And Libby Birky, a couple who moved to Denver from Illinois. They had worked in various shelters and soup kitchens for eight years before they decided to take a chance and open SAME Caf&eacute;. They paid off their car, saved up around $30,000 and then sank it all into one of the most amazing caf&eacute;&rsquo;s in America, if not the world.</p> <p>The principal is simple; pay what you can. The menu in SAME Caf&eacute; suggests prices for certain meals, but they are simply that &ndash; suggestions. <strike>Examples included $5-$15 for a complete meal (which is cheap even on the high end) and around $3 - $6 for one course, such as soup. For those with enough money to pay a decent amount for their meal, it&rsquo;s a guideline. </strike>For starving musicians and artists, homeless people or anyone else down on their luck, the meal could cost a buck or even a few cents. </p> <p>If you have no money at all, no problem. You can work off your meal in the kitchen washing dishes, clearing tables, mopping floors, peeling vegetables, whatever you can do to pay back what you have just ate. It&rsquo;s the kind of payment plan that gives people a real sense of worth. It&rsquo;s not a soup kitchen, it&rsquo;s not charity, but it is the most flexible and humanitarian restaurant out there. </p> <p>It&rsquo;s not only the concept that is fresh though. Brad and Libby Birky have put an emphasis on healthy food, like fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Many of the people who come in for a bite to eat at SAME Caf&eacute; haven&rsquo;t seen these items for a long time (and in this economy, a burger is cheaper than a handful of fresh broccoli). And although the menu changes daily, you are guaranteed two types of pizza, soup, salad and a homemade dessert. </p> <p>As you can imagine, Brad and Libby already know they won&rsquo;t exactly get rich with this kind of venture, but as their volunteering background suggests, they are in this for people ( to be exact, the beauty and grace of feeding people), not money. And the last I heard, they were applying for non-profit status. </p> <p>Brad has been quoted as saying &quot;everybody should be able to have a good, healthy meal, whether they can afford it or not.&quot; I tip my hat to you Brad, and your wife Libby. In times when capitalism is king, you have both risen above it to do something truly special and unique. </p> <p>For those of you in the Denver area, SAME Caf&eacute; is located at 2023 E. Colfax Ave., between Race and Vine streets. Opening hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday. Payment is cash or check, no credit cards.</p> <p>You can also check out their website: <a href="http://www.soallmayeat.org">http://www.soallmayeat.org</a></p> <p><em><strong>UPDATE</strong>: Brad Birky was kind enough to get in touch with me and point out a few changes to</em> <em>SAME Caf&eacute;. First, as you can see from the verbiage that's been crossed out, there are no longer suggestions for meal prices. Brad and Libby felt that the suggested prices put too much pressure on people to donate a particular amount. And second, </em><em>SAME Caf&eacute;</em> <em> now has offical not-for-profit (501c3) status, which is great news. </em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-restaurant-where-you-pay-what-you-can-afford-for-the-meal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-versus-localization">Trade versus localization</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-a-good-and-memorable-first-impression">Making a good and memorable first impression.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/optical-illusions-that-make-you-fatter-and-your-wallet-lighter">Optical Illusions That Make You Fatter and Your Wallet Lighter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand">The Coffee Cup Revolution: Let&#039;s Take a Stand!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Entrepreneurship Food and Drink Green Living charity dining Help homeless innovation working poor Tue, 26 May 2009 19:31:22 +0000 Paul Michael 3202 at http://www.wisebread.com 37 Ways You’d be Better Off as a Bum http://www.wisebread.com/37-ways-youd-be-better-off-as-a-bum <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/37-ways-youd-be-better-off-as-a-bum" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clip_image031.jpg" alt="Begging" title="Begging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>First, apologies for the blatantly provocative title (although I do make good on it). But did you know that some people prefer to be homeless? I know, sounds crazy right? But I was watching a news story recently about the growing homeless population in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>, and the US, and it seems some homeless people stay in their situations on purpose.<o:p><br /> </o:p></p> <p>Now, one thing was made quite clear; no-one chooses to be become homeless. It is definitely a situation that is thrust upon people by circumstance. Over 95% hate the life they live and want out. But after a few years, a small percentage become used to the lifestyle, in the same way that some inmates become &ldquo;institutionalized&rdquo; in prison.<o:p><br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As it turns out, some of the pressures of living a homeless life are comparable to the pressures many of us face living our typical &ldquo;American Dream&rdquo; lifestyles.&nbsp; When I say typical, I mean the average family that has credit card debt, struggles to pay bills and wonders how they&rsquo;ll ever be able to afford to put their kids through college and, one day, retire on a livable wage.<o:p><br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">And homeless people can make a pretty good living collecting change. In one article that I found from <a href="http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/450951/choosing_to_be_homeless.html?cat=49">Associated Content.</a>&nbsp; Deanna Anderson describes in detail how her father-in-law chose to stay homeless, despite the offer of some help. He did stay during the Christmas break, however, and Deanna recounts this tale:<o:p><br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i style=""><span style="color: black;">While he was staying with us he asked for some cardboard. Thinking he wanted to do something for the kids (he loved to draw) I gave him some.&nbsp; I cringed with shame when he wrote &quot;Homeless, please help&quot; on the cardboard.&nbsp; He asked for a ride to Wal-Mart and stood outside all day (about 5-6 hours) collecting change.&nbsp; This was his job every day excpet Christmas Day.&nbsp; On a bad day he came home with $20.00 and on a good day he'd come home with $70.00 (what I make in a day filing, typing, and dealing with people in an 8-hour shift).&nbsp; He came home with an entire foot-long sandwich that someone gave him and a warm fuzzy blanket because &quot;no one should be cold during the holidays.&quot;</span><o:p></o:p></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are also <a href="http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2255/how-much-money-do-beggars-make">stories </a>of some panhandlers earning $800 a day:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i style=""><span style="color: black;">Anecdotal accounts suggest a few panhandlers do quite well. For instance, a recent news story tells of Jason Pancoast and Elizabeth Johnson, self-described &quot;affluent beggars&quot; from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Ashland</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">Oregon</st1:state></st1:place>. The couple estimates they can make $30-40,000 per year from panhandling. They boast earnings as high as $300 per day, and assert they once made $800 in one day. Similarly, a former <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Denver</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">City</st1:placetype></st1:place> Council president claimed to know panhandlers who made hundreds of dollars per week, or even per day. City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth said, &quot;I know some people are making $150 to $300 or $400 a day. There are some people who are in desperate situations but many who are panhandling for a living.&quot; One hesitates to generalize from such stories, though.<o:p></o:p></span></i><i style=""><span style="color: black;"><o:p><br /> </o:p></span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i style=""><span style="color: black;"><a href="http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/24/020301.php">And this, from my home town of <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Denver</st1:place></st1:city>:</a><o:p></o:p></span></i><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color: black;"><br /> </span><i style=""><span style="color: black;"><o:p></o:p></span></i></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i style=""><span style="color: black;">According to a recent survey conducted by the Downtown <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Denver</st1:place></st1:city> Partnership, 42% of the population has given money to panhandlers in the past year and the average person there gives $1.84 each time he or she is approached by a panhandler, for a total of about $25 a year. This adds up to an awful lot of money - a total of over $4.6 million, divided among about a thousand panhandlers. That's an average of about $50,000 per active panhandler per year, with confidential interviews with panhandlers indicating that they make between $35,000 and $100,000 tax free per year and view panhandling as the equivalent of a job or a profession. Some even have homes and support families on their panhandling income.</span><o:p></o:p></i><o:p><br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Fox affiliate <a href="http://www.fox11az.com/news/topstories/stories/washington-2008101-panhandling-40-an-hour.ce7d4038.html">KMSB-TV reported</a> that panhandlers in the area are making $40 per hour! That&rsquo;s over 5 times more than minimum wage, and remember, this is tax-free.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Outrageous.&nbsp; A former boss once told me that there was a beggar in <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">London</st1:place></st1:city> who camped outside of a very grand restaurant called The Ivy and committed Grievous Bodily Harm to keep another beggar off his spot; it was THAT lucrative.&nbsp; And I recently saw a <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pte2XO66Nwg/SWrowRcq9MI/AAAAAAAADKs/WI4pe-o6NSg/s1600-h/paypal%2Bbeggar.jpg">photo </a>of a beggar advertising his PayPal account.&nbsp; Wait, what?! (Looks like someone's having fun with Photoshop).</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;<img alt="Begging with PayPal" src="http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t81/pmsuggett/clip_image001.jpg" /></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>Now, those seem to be examples of extreme cases.&nbsp; I suspect much of this is speculation and exaggeration.&nbsp; And clearly, some of these people aren&rsquo;t really homeless, they&rsquo;re more like con-artists.&nbsp; Most of the time, when I see a beggar, they really do look very down on their luck and desperate for a meal and a warm bed.&nbsp; Sometimes, I&rsquo;ve offered a homeless person food and have been turned down; what they want is money for alcohol or drugs, and many people say &ldquo;who can blame them?&rdquo;&nbsp; On other occasions, I&rsquo;ve given beggars the leftovers from my restaurant meal, or offered to buy them a sandwich or burger, and they were smiling from ear to ear.<o:p><br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">And let&rsquo;s not forget that there are homeless families out there too.&nbsp; As a father of two, I can&rsquo;t imagine what kind of pressure that it.&nbsp; But getting back to the title of the story, over my few days of looking into this story, I&rsquo;ve heard and read many accounts of how beggars and &ldquo;bums&rdquo; have less to worry about than us regular civilians; some even say they have it easy.&nbsp; Some of these came directly from the mouths of people begging on the streets, I kid you not.&nbsp; I&rsquo;ll be praying that I never get the chance to find out, but here&rsquo;s the list.&nbsp; Take it all with an enormous grain of salt. <o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>37 ways you&rsquo;d be better off as a bum.</strong><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="1"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t pay taxes on any money you collect</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have a mortgage</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have a boss</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You can never get fired</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You have zero debt</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You can pick up and move anytime you want</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have a car payment</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t get stuck in traffic jams</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You&rsquo;ll never break down on the motorway</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to pay bills</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Or remember to pay bills</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t care about your credit report</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t get harassing calls from collection agencies</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t get calls&hellip;period</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to deal with junk mail</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to wake up to an annoying alarm</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to do laundry</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t get criticized for bad fashion choices</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have email to check (Well, apart from PayPal dude)</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to wait three hours in security at the airport</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to attend parties with people you hate</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to fix yet another paper jam</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You never have to sit through an ad featuring Billy Mays</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t have to vacuum</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Or spring clean</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Or scrub the toilet</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t get bothered by cell-phone salesmen in malls</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don&rsquo;t care about identity theft</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don't give a crap about reality shows (you're living one every day)</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style=""><o:p>Going to jail for the night means a warm bed and a meal<br /> </o:p></li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You've (probably) never heard of Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Newspapers are actually handy; and you can read them too</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You don't care if gas hits $4 a gallon</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Sell-by dates are your friend</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Every cent is valuable to you; spare change is an oxymoron</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Hair salons are a joke</li> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">You can say you're free...and mean it<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>I know, for every one reason listed there are five that would prove how bad it is to be homeless.&nbsp; But that doesn't stop some people from choosing to stay on the streets; and some con artists making a very good living on the back of your sympathy and good will. Personally, I much prefer donating to homeless charities and shelters than to give it to someone on a street corner or at the traffic lights.&nbsp; I know my money is definitely going to help someone who needs it. <br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p><em>Further reading:</em><br /> </o:p><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color: black;"><a href="http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=121964">http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=121964</a><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color: black;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beggar">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beggar</a><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 13pt; font-family: &quot;Lucida Grande&quot;; color: black;"><a href="http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/24/020301.php">http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/08/24/020301.php</a><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-ways-youd-be-better-off-as-a-bum">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-living-on-one-income-a-status-symbol">Is living on one income a status symbol?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Lifestyle beggars begging change homeless poverty streets Fri, 30 Jan 2009 04:48:38 +0000 Paul Michael 2784 at http://www.wisebread.com Will Work For Food: The Primal Connection Between Food and Personal Finance http://www.wisebread.com/will-work-for-food-the-primal-connection-between-food-and-personal-finance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/will-work-for-food-the-primal-connection-between-food-and-personal-finance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000034385334_Large.jpg" alt="work for food homeless" title="work for food homeless" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Article reprinted with permission from Mr. Wray Herbert's insightful blog </em><em><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/12/will-work-for-food.cfm">We're Only Human...</a>&nbsp;.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>The words are often scrawled on a piece of cardboard and always painful to read, because they remind us of life&rsquo;s fragility. They also pluck a deep chord in our psyche, because they reduce life to our most fundamental needs. After all, the sentiment behind those poignant words can be traced all the way back to the African savannahs, to a time when our earliest ancestors did indeed do just that. In the eons before minimum wages and credit cards and 401-Ks, the closest thing to earnings and savings was bounty from the hunt. Food was more than nourishment; it was an asset.</p> <p>Given this deep and ancient connection, it&rsquo;s not implausible to think that food and money might still be tightly intertwined in our psychology, even deep-wired in our neurons. And in fact, behavioral scientists are very interested in the links between scarcity and hunger and gluttony on the one hand, and frugality and charity and stinginess on the other. Put simply: Could comfort food translate into feelings of financial security? Might there be a link between satiety and generosity? Can we literally be hungry for money?</p> <h2>Cash and Calories</h2> <p>Psychologists at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium decided to explore this dynamic in the laboratory. Barbara Briers and her colleagues did a series of three experiments designed to tease apart the connections between nourishment and personal finances. In the first, they deprived some people of food for four hours, long enough that they wouldn&rsquo;t be starving but they would almost certainly have food on their mind. Others ate as usual. Then they put all of them in a real-life simulation where they were asked to donate to one of several causes. Those with the growling stomachs consistently gave less money to charity, suggesting that when people sense scarcity in one domain, they conserve resources in another. Put another way, people with physical cravings are in no mood to be magnanimous.</p> <p>In the second study, Briers actually let the participants eat as usual, but with some she triggered their appetites by wafting the scent of baked brownies into the lab. Then they played a computer game that, like the earlier simulation, tested their generosity. Again, those with food on their minds were less willing to part with their cash. Interestingly, in this study none of the participants was actually hungry, meaning that the desire for brownies alone was powerful enough to make them into tightwads.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s pretty convincing evidence. But the psychologists decided to look at it the other way around. That is, they wanted to see if a heightened desire for money affected how much people ate. They had participants fantasize about winning the lottery, but some imagined winning big (25,000 euros) while the rest thought about a modest prize (25 euros). The researchers wanted the more outlandish fantasy to increase desire for money, so they had the winners further fantasize about what this imaginary windfall would buy them&mdash;sports cars, stereos, and so forth. They basically made some of the participants greedy and not others.</p> <p>Then they had all the participants participate in a taste test of two kinds of M&amp;Ms, although unbeknownst to them the scientists were actually measuring how much they ate. And yes, the greedy people scarfed down significantly more candy. It appears that the desire to accumulate money (and stuff) is a modern version of the ancient adaptation to accumulate calories. (For what it&rsquo;s worth, people who were watching their weight did not break their diets, even if they were salivating for a large-screen TV. So perhaps we are not complete slaves to our evolutionary instincts. )</p> <h2>Link Between Poverty and Obesity</h2> <p>This final experiment is consistent with a classic study from the 1940s. In that study, poor kids consistently overestimated the size of coins, while rich kids did not. The new findings are also consistent with earlier research showing that poor men prefer heavier women. With both the poor kids and the poor men, financial insecurity was powerful enough to distort something as fundamental as perception.</p> <p>The Belgian scientists (who report all three studies in the November issue of Psychological Science) speculate that all of this is wired into the brain. Both food and money are rewards, they give pleasure, and it&rsquo;s possible that both (and perhaps other rewards as well) are processed in the same clusters of neurons devoted to savoring rewards.</p> <p>Whatever the underlying neurology, the findings could help explain a phenomenon that has long perplexed public health officials: the high prevalence of life-threatening obesity among society&rsquo;s most disadvantaged. It seems counterintuitive that those with the least money should be eating the most. But it may be, Briers suggests, that material success has become so important that when people fail in their quest for money, they get frustrated and their brains switch between two intertwined rewards. In effect, they're reverting back to a primitive state, when high-calorie food was the common currency. So those living hand to mouth do indeed work for food, but unhappily just not nutritious food.</p> <p><em>&copy; 2006-2007 Wray Herbert </em></p> <p><em>Thank you Mr. Herbert for sharing your article with our readers! </em></p> <hr width="100%" size="2" /> <p>&nbsp;<strong>About the Author </strong></p> <p><a name="Wray" title="Wray"></a>Wray Herbert, former assistant managing editor at U.S. News &amp; World Report, has written about psychology and human behavior for more than 20 years. He has been psychology editor for Science News, editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, and is currently a fellow at the Carter Center for mental health journalism and director of public affairs for the <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/">Association for Psychological Science</a>. He currently writes a column &quot;Mind Matters&quot; for Newsweek.com and authors the blog, <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/" target="_blank">We're Only Human...</a>&nbsp;.</p> <p>If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:<em> </em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/12/neurology-of-contempt.cfm">The Neurology of Contempt</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/10/where-are-you_31.cfm">&quot;Where Are You?&quot;</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/09/power-of-two.cfm">The Power of Two</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/09/chemistry-of-logic_18.cfm">The Chemistry of Logic</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/08/gloom-in-forecast.cfm">Gloom in the Forecast</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/08/natural-born-actuaries.cfm">Natural-born Actuaries</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/08/garfloms-and-pangolins.cfm">Garfloms and Pangolins</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/07/velocity-of-trust.cfm">The Velocity of Trust</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/06/teetering-on-footbridge.cfm">Teetering On The Footbridge</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2006/06/lets-just-sleep-on-it-tonight.cfm">&quot;Let's Just Sleep On It Tonight&quot;</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-work-for-food-the-primal-connection-between-food-and-personal-finance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-ways-youd-be-better-off-as-a-bum">37 Ways You’d be Better Off as a Bum</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-every-woman-can-take-control-of-her-finances">How Every Woman Can Take Control of Her Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoiding-the-poverty-tax">Avoiding the Poverty Tax</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-poor-without-being-pitiful">Being Poor Without Being Pitiful</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance homeless hunger poverty work for food wray herbert Wed, 17 Jan 2007 09:59:05 +0000 Will Chen 197 at http://www.wisebread.com