Growing up we had no electricity, no phone, no hot water (we had to heat on a stove). Certainly no TV. No indoor bathroom. No paved road for miles around.
I know it all too well.
Ryder Spearmann

Technically speaking, that doesn’t necessarily mean you were in poverty or faced hardship, considering you just described the typical Amish home. Given your name, I assume you didn’t jump the fence, though.

The fact that you heated your water on a stove means you had access to natural resources (probably wood). No paved roads means you lived in an area that wasn’t particularly regulated, and therefore had a lot of access to land and its resources, including wood, game, plants, and places to grow crops and house animals and no one to say anything about it. Your dad was probably handy with a wrench, for both vehicles and the house, and your mom probably knew a dozen ways to can every vegetable imaginable. Or maybe the roles were reversed, but since that stuff is usually passed down, it likely follows the traditional gender roles (not judgement, just is).

These resources buffer the pain of being financially poor, especially in a world of fiat currency, where the only reason cash has value is because we say it does (hell, that’s really the only reason gold has value, either).

Poverty in a practical, day to day sense is about resource access at least as much as it is about money, and that’s one of the ways rural poverty differs from urban poverty. Urban poor don’t have the natural resources rural poor have access to. City regulations forbid livestock animals for the most part, and high density housing limits both animal and plant options. Urban areas also means intentionally planted plants that are usually ornamental only. For an urban poor person to obtain the natural resources a rural poor person has access to, they have to go several miles out of town. An impossible endeavor if they don’t have a car. This makes them more dependent on society in general (not just government, but every societal mechanism for obtaining and moving resources) and means they bear the full pain when those systems fail them.

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