Clearly I don't get this article.
Here's what I'm doing wrong. I'll try and be literal and concrete.
I see the title and my Danny Kahneman system 1 says, "I've always wondered how people live on so little, and this article promises to show me not only how they don't just curl up and die, but actually *save*! Holy crap amazing. Read now."
Subtitle reinforces the above. Those ERE journals are going to look pretty opulent when I get done with this...
Americans can't save. I know. Shameful. Enough admonishment, let's get to the story Thompson.
Hmm they use social collectivism to leverage their limited means. I wonder if those micro loans truly are useful? I always suspected it was a way for management companies to prey upon "feel-good-capitalism" but maybe it works...?
Case study 1: in debt
Case study 2: in debt
Case study 3: in debt
...unfortunate. They were saving but bad luck blew away their tiny savings margins. Well the study was from 10 years ago so it'd be interesting to see if this sort of debt is surmountable on $2 per day...umm...nothing? Am I supposed to buy the book to find out?! Was this a @#^*! ad for a book? RAGE! Crap, my library doesn't have it. RAGE x2.4!
Wait, why would Thompson profile these three people from the book in the first place? So that we greasy Americans can feel a kinship? Hey we're all in debt from $2 per day to $200 per day. Shouldn't Thompson have shamed we fat, stupid, Americans by using examples of people who make ends meet AND "get ahead" on $2 per day? That's some perspective.
Hmm maybe this was just a lead in to get we spoiled and poor-at-standarized-test-taking-Americans to consider the plight of the truly poor. Here I am with my 3 SUVs with flat screens in each one, yet I'm in debt...but I shouldn't complain because Atul suffers more than me. No this isn't a tear-jerker story...
Maybe I should ask if this book has any "success" stories.
The book goes on to establish the context of the people and their lives, right in the beginning, before going on to recount their daily routines. I assure you, all of them in the book "thrive" from their "relative" positions within the "World" that they inhabit.
Awesome. That's all I wanted to know. Thanks.