Letter: The Suffering Middle Class

I would like to bring to the attention of the Lakewood public a group of people who are often seriously overlooked. The middle class.

Yes although often one or two of the parents making what seems to be a high salary, after you factor in the basic expenses of an average family, you are not left with much if at all.

Really you ask? A family making $120 thousand or $140 thousand can struggle?

Yes. If you sit down and calculate the numbers after taxes (which is 40% after $100K) and calculate: Rent (average is $2000 now,) Grocery bills which have risen astronomically 30-40%, gas, health and auto insurance, tuition for possibly multiple kids, Yom tov, all that is paid in full with no government assistance, the math adds up very quickly (or doesn’t add). I’m not talking about spending who knows what on my kids clothing. The majority of their wardrobe is from Target. Their shoes are from Old Navy.

What prompted this letter you may ask? Well I was just informed that my daycare tuition will be going from $900 to $1350. That’s $450 more. A 50% increase. Please explain to me how a middle income family should swallow that. So if you have two kids you should somehow come up with $2700 and be left with what exactly to cover the rest of your expenses?

Middle income families are not eligible for government programs such as CHS. This means we are paying everything privately. A family with 2 playgroup age kids and one school aged kid needs to pay about $600 per playgroup (as prices rose dramatically ) plus tuition so this can come out to $1800 a month. The issue is that many families who in order to keep their full time jobs need a daycare option that is open all year round which has always been much more expensive. But now it’s not affordable.

We are tired of getting overlooked from everyone and being looked at like we have so much money. Something needs to be done. Either the local Lakewood employers need to figure out a way to raise their employees salaries to a living wage or prices need to decrease drastically.

We need to be able to live a living wage and when Lakewood business owners drive up prices again and again this makes this town unaffordable. Maybe all middle class people should go on a strike. Not go to work and see how this town functions. If you really need us then show us with your $$!!

Signed,

The suffering middle class

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109 COMMENTS

  1. As a member of said class, I wholeheartedly agree. The problem is that the Democrats want to stay in power. To do that, they try to squeeze everyone out of the middle class, into the lower class, so they will be dependent on government programs, and therefore continue voting for Democrats who give more programs. That is the reason why they are doing everything not to curb inflation, including driving up the gas prices by curbing drilling. All in order to stay in power.

  2. AMEN!!!!!!
    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

    I’m not sure that this is the business owners problem, but middle class is soooo overloooed

  3. Completely agree. Every year the day care I send to charges a 100 to 150 more a month per kid. My wife and I work full time schedules and need 4 PM pickup and early drop off. We are paying $1500 a month for a 1.5 year old. Its astronomical and they are unwilling to work with you because they would prefer CHS over full paying.

    Non CHS are almost treated like second class for being middle class.

  4. Thank you for writing in. I have the same thoughts. No one believes that with my AGI of 150k I can’t make ends meet, but after paying the mortgage on my tiny Jackson house, tuition, insurance, groceries, and gas – there isn’t anything left. I end up with a large credit card bill that I just can’t fully cover, which keeps ballooning from month to month. And no school is giving a break, no one is giving us vouchers to help buy clothing for yom tov. Its so hard…

  5. It’s an old issue and one that’s getting worse as everything is increasing and although salaries may be increasing its not at the same increase of expenses.
    Health insurance alone is now increasing 20-30% more than last year.
    And rumors flowing that some companies are planning on making a back door deal of wage fixing and non poaching agreements to lower their costs of employess salaries which is against anti trust laws.

  6. Thank you for your letter. Much should be said about the middle class and how much we all get the worst end of the stick, but please please don’t make the argument that salaries should go up, that NEVER works and NEVER brings things to a settled field. Actually it’s the opposite, when minimum wage goes up, so does everything else. The only solution is for the corrupt government take a hold of our economy and allow the US to be energy efficient. We have enough energy to supply the country so the prices of everything can stay down. When the price of oil and natural gas goes up, everything goes up bc every industry relies on it. The corrupt Democrats shut down our systems and are relying on Arab countries. That and the reckless spending of our tax payer dollars has caused all the inflation, it’s a big conversation, but something has to be done. We should find a way for the cost of living to go down, not raise salaries which just drives everything else up.

  7. So you want employers to raise your pay but you don’t want anyone raising prices on you….

    I think a better idea would be to hit up Kahn Academy (free online courses) and do some homework on economics and stuff.

    As a lakewood business owner I dont stop hearing the complaints of out price increases. I am tired of explaining that unless you live under a rock ALL material costs have risen by minimum of 30%-150%. Many lakewood customers think we run a Gemach and we should have rachmanus and not raise the prices on them.

    They forget that business owners deserve rachmanus as well.

    • I have an honest question for you business owner. Assuming you have a business where people are buying things out of necessity and are buying similar amounts regardless of the price simply because they have no choice.

      The way I understand it is that if prices go up 50% and you raise by 50% you are now making much much more money!

      Because until now if an item cost you $100 and you sold it for $125 you made $25.

      But now the item cost you $150 and you sell it for $188, so you made $38 on the same item which is 50% more profit!

      I told this to a friend of mine who is a business owner, and I didn’t really get a straight answer…

      • I told this to a grocery owner – and wrote about elsewhere if your mark-up remains @30% you should be raking it in with double profits. Their only excuse is their expenses (including their own personal) went up – for some reason they are the only businesses that get to fully cover their increased life expenses…

      • Businesses work on percentages. It’s simple.
        The business has to average a certain percentage across the board to stay in business.
        true he’s bringing in 38 dollars as opposed to 25, but did you know that his electric bill went up as well. All his other expenses went up. He needs to maintain that average to keep up with rising pricees.
        Now if only employers would get that message . . .

  8. While the writer is correct, I just want to point out it is not a middle class issue only. Anyone middle class and under is in the same boat because those eligible for government funding through all the programs end up in the same basic income range as the middle class. So while you are right people tend to think the middle class are better off and they are wrong, you are struggling the same amount as a big portion of this town, namely, the lower income- program eligible people.

    • Chaim you are incorrect. With all the government programs, the lower class ends up in a much better place than the middle class. Don’t forget they don’t have to pay taxes and even get money back on their tax returns.

    • Chaim, the difference is that the middle class is working much harder then the lower class and that the lower class is getting “free money” without having to do anything for it. So although the financial results look the same, that middle class is putting in much more, but having all their hard work taken away from them. If the financial results look the same, what would incentivize anyone from putting themselves in the middle class and working so hard if they can relax and get the same results?

    • Untrue. Imagine free health insurance chs and food stamps this alone can put ppl above middle class!
      It always hurts me when I see ppl buying stuff I can’t afford in the grocery store such as take out and pay ebt! Yhey don’t know what to do with all the money they get

  9. There should be some Moras that offer better hours and schedules that are more convenient for working parents but charge higher prices. Daycares need to charge more because they need to take a cut pay the Morah and to pay for their building.

  10. While I agree that the middle class struggles as I myself fall in this category, I don’t understand what you expect the daycares to do about this? They have employees with the same financial struggles who need to be paid more due to inflation. Everyone is hurting.

    I hope everyone really enjoyed those stimulus checks…

  11. As a single girl who is completely financially independent, this hits home. While I do not have children, BECAUSE I know it’s not affordable right now it’s frustrating. I am not eligible for any government assistance but still pay 2k a month for rent, and then a load of other expenses. I am a one income household and I do not spend on money on clothes or extras, everything goes toward my bills.
    I always wish that there was affordable housing for singles or young couples

  12. Having been in this situation for twenty years I completely emphasize with the writer and commenters. BH I have been able to get ahead by realizing that the government, the “people” and those “in charge” will never rescue us. Only אבינו שבשמים. do not give up. ישועת ה’כהרף עין literally saved my life. Once I started internalizing the concept, my life turned around in the blink of an eye, literally.
    Stay strong, stay positive and keep reminding yourself ישועת ה’כהרף עין ignore the naysayers and “realists” who only care about themselves.
    Much Hatzlacha and waiting for your besura toivah

  13. This is a middle class issue only because the low income class get enough food stamps to shop stress free while we middle class cannot afford food! The low income class on CHS send their kids to summer camp stress free while we middle class have to send to the an affordable (which also raised their prices) backyard day camp with short hours and no transportation while trying to work a job to pay for all the expenses!

  14. I am a hard working father a my wife is a hard working mother. between the two of us we bring in $200k annually. I do not have a huge mortgage (I bought my house when prices were reasonable, and I did not spend more than I can afford) I agree that $200k does not get you very far in Lakewood these days. But I have many friends who are either in Yeshivah or Klei Kodesh whom are living in poverty. I think it is highly disrespectful to their mesiras nefesh to look at the economically lower class as if they are better off than you. My van might be a little older than the one out of 30 yungerleit that has a new van. (same is to houses, clothes, grocery order, cleaning help). On the other hand I work for a company where the owners are millionaires they to talk about the high cost of living and how it is not fair that they need to pay more….. Bottom line is Eizehu Ashir Hasomach Bichlko. It is also wise to be honest with yourself about what you could afford and what you can’t

    • Thank u. I was waiting for someone to remind the letter writer that us Yeshiva lite aren’t the source of her angst. Most of us are fighting to make ends meet too. It’s not east anywhere

  15. @chaim I disagree wholeheartedly, because those in the middle class typically are putting in 9-5 hours + if not more to keep their current income…. Not only are they struggling financially to make it, but they are missing out on seeing their family and don’t have a moment of Menuchas Hanefesh as work overtakes their life unfortunately. Those in the lower class, who are eligible for programs, typically are not working those hours and at least have time for their kids and to maintain a household thanks to the program covering many of their expenses which allows for them to work fewer hours.

  16. This letter is perfect! The middle class are suffering most! It is impossible to cover expenses these days. I have to think twice before a dentist appt which we have to pay for due to no medicaid. I have to think before I buy food due to no food stamps. I have to think before I send my kids to camp due to no CHS. And I have to live in a 2 bedroom basement due to no HUD. The middle class do suffer most! With inflation food stamps was increased but the income guidelines to qualify should’ve been increased to match inflation.

  17. My child day care went up as well 50%

    Take a step back ,why are they raising the private pay tution?

    I believe the CHS reimbursement rate is much higher and there trying to either have the parents pay the CHS rate or up it enough that the private pay people leave so they can fill the spot with a CHS child .

  18. This writer is 100% correct. simple math, impossible to live even on $200k salary. the tax on that is $30k, besides state tax around 10k, so you just take home 160K. after full tuition lets say for seven kids( no breaks for such a salary) 85k, health insurance, 12k , two cars, 12k a yr with gas and maintenance/insurance, food around 1000/week to live normally, nothing left for clothing, yom tov, vacation, house repairs, property tax, utilities, etc. I live in Yerushalayim and someone told me his friend from Lakewood wants to know how to move to Eretz Yisrael since he is earning 200k and cant make ends meet.

  19. I don’t have a solution to this problem other than encourage employees to think of ways to boost their income on the side by starting a small business.
    Additionally, Our community needs to think of tzedakah & chessed in ways beyond handouts of food & clothing.
    Just like a new Simcha hall initiative has begun to lower the price of making a chasunah, we need more initiaves to be started.
    How about a mega childcare center building be built that offers a very low rent to any morah willing to charge a set lower than market fee?
    A Moadim Lesimcha program 4 times a year rather than twice a year?
    We need to come up with creative solutions for the unique challenges we face as a community.

  20. I’m in your boat and I highly recommend you listen to Rabbi Brogs shiurim on Bitachon on TorahAnytime. They were a life changer for me.
    Bottom line is Hashem provides. As soon as I stopped making cheshbonos, the “miracles” kept coming and I somehow am pulling through each month.
    You might say that its not practical and judge me, but its ok. I am the one laughing my way to the bank:)

    • Another great option to remind you that you’re in Hashem’s embrace is to subscribe to the daily email from Living Emunah from Rabbi David Ashear (author of the books with the same name). It contains a powerful story with a lesson daily and is a life changer to many.

      That doesn’t preclude going ahead with full force with Hishtadlus, as long as you know that it’s all a mask of the One who’s really pulling the strings.

    • What would you like aguda to do exactly? This is how the market works. Gas prices rise, everything rises. Salaries rise… same thing. And we got both. We have a great president.

  21. I think its for all of us to be reminded of who really runs THE ENTIRE WORLD from every country to it’s economy etc….. HASHEM THE KING OF KINGS has already decided on Rosh Hashana how much parnassah each person and family will make. This is with taking into account taxes and economy inflation etc….

    The question we all need to ask ourselves HONESTLY is are we living by this most important fact when it comes to financial in life? “Fact: GET WHAT YOU NEED NOT WHAT YOU WANT!!!!!”

    Example: a person can’t expect help or to have any money when they have 3 cars and go on 3 vacations yearly etc …. There’s no need to go all the way to Florida when your family can go 2 hours away to Pennsylvania and your children won’t even know the difference.

    Stop buying extra pizza every motzai shabbos is that a need or just a crazy want? Lets all wake ourselves up and FACE REALITY.

    A financial adviser

  22. How I saved myself. I hired a credit consolidation firm and cut my debt in half. My payments are 1/5 and 80% are now paid off. I stopped using credit cards. I got rid of my car leases and bought older vehicles. I only shop sales or buy from gemachs. I cut back on expensive goodies for Shabbos and Yom Tov. I volunteer and provide my professional services for free to one Yeshiva who is maskim.

  23. You’re forgetting that business people pay more for everything now just like everyone else. More for gas, more for product, more for rent and most importantly, much higher payroll. So out of the $38 gross profit, more is going to those expenses.

  24. This letter writer is 100% stating an accurate truth. The question is how did we get to this point, and the answer is – from many ways. I think it all boils down to cost of living increases in Lakewood. The bottom line is that there are enough customers willing to purchase at current rates. Simple economics. How did we get to this point? There are multiple causes and it occurred over many years.

    1. Govt assistance provided an over abundance of money in the hands of the lower class. This allowed child care providers as well as supermarkets to increase their prices ten fold without fear of consequence (the amount of money SNAP has been providing is outrageous).
    2. Society raising the bar in terms of gashmiyus. This has over time created a situation where our wants become our new needs. When this happens consumers have shown the willingness tolerate price increases time and time again, because they don’t have the fortitude to cut back on these so called ‘needs’.

    As for the 2nd point, I strongly believe that our Rabannim should be taking a stronger stand against the gashmiyus addiction that has taken hold in town. Every Rov should incorporate this as running theme in their speeches and shmuezen. If they did so eventually it may hit its mark and influence our community to lower our standards. I know it’s easy to put the onus at the feet of the Rabannim, but I don’t see how things will change for the better without their cooperation and participation in a length and targeted campaign on the subject of histapkus. Our life styles are beyond out of control, and as a result we have caused so much damage to one another. A tzibbur has an achrayis to one another, that’s an indisputable fact. Right now, I’m afraid we are failing this test miserably and because of this, so many of our friends, neighbors, and even family members are paying a hefty price.

  25. As a middle class citizen with the same struggles I couldn’t agree more. I will say that if employers don’t want to raise salaries, which is somewhat understandable because it’s not necessarily their problem that the cost of living skyrocketed, I will say that maybe instead of them giving Tzedaka to organizations (which some employees may be benefitting from embarrassingly) and get their name recognized, maybe they should give the Tzedaka to their employees??? Who knows how much schar you will get after 120??

  26. couldn’t agree more! How about families who earn even way less than you like less than 100k but are still not eligible for any programs? we have to rely on literally tzedakah to pay for our grocery bills while our “poor” neighbors getting over 1000k per month on food stamps. Such is the life of the working American family.

  27. To add insult to injury, WhatsApp will stop working on older iPhones and Androids this weekend. (12/31)

    The only way to keep WhatsApp is to buy a new smartphone! ($$$) I’m going to have to spring for new iPhones for family members to keep in touch via WhatsApp. Ouch.

  28. This post obviously hit a raw nerve and rightfully so.

    Many are struggling, in whatever category they fall, they are struggling.

    As a middle classer myself I am struggling!

    I do not go on family vacations, I don’t buy high end clothing, I bought a house because financially it made sense to do so, but it is a small house without any flair I own a new car because we outgrew the one we owned for 10 years and bought the new car with the money we got from the one we sold. Both my husband and I work full time. I get a very slight tuition break. I watch what groceries I buy, and I review our bank accounts frequently.

    Combined we make 250k and it is still just barely covering the expense of k”h a full family.

    The level of gashmiyus is out of control. I have learned to make peace with it and I am hoping that my children internalize the values of Sameach B’chelko and Mistapek B’muat, but they are children, and they definitely feel the pull towards having what others have.

    I am trying to work on my Emunah and Bitachon and I have seen tremendous yeshous from Hashem. Ultimately it is not the government, it is not the people you know, it is not even my job, but I do my best as only Avinu Shebashamyin can make our ends meet.

    • the gashmius isn’t the problem, our collective and individual sins require a tikkun and a financial one is far kinder than one of health or cv”s violence.

      do you really think that the yeshiva admission crisis has gone unnoticed by the KB”H?

  29. And if I can add my two cents for what its worth; that aside from the suffering middle class -that’s the people struggling with inflation and everything going up but are STILL making the same money as before- but then there’s the REALLY suffering middle class – and that’s the people like myself that are in the real estate type business and are commission based and were making a living in the past- some years more and some years less … but that all changed around March/April of this year when the markets started to get nervous and mortgage started to climb and climb, as such many in these types of industries (myself included) are reeling and so not only are we dealing with the problems that everyone else is dealing with but we are also making very little and in some cases no money ar all.
    I have a suggestion and I don’t mean to be self serving but I feel it should be put out there… there are many out there suffering horribly and quietly because they are embarrassed to ask for help and so I say to those that are BH still doing well and are in a position to help others, perhaps it’s time to focus on these groups more. Why not go to your rov and tell him I want to help someone in our kehila, someone who is hurting and embarrassed to ask for help and the rov should know what’s going on with his kehilah. I think fair to say the yeshivaleit are doing just fine and the ones that are on programs are still receiving and with the SNAP program they’re receiving even more. It’s time to help the many out there like the ‘suffering middle class’ and the ‘REALLY suffering middle class’ that really need help. If you are a person of means this is the tzedaka that all should be focusing on. I spoke to a well known gvir this week (yes that helped me) and he told me he knows of so many people in the real estate industry that are hurting so badly. Some may agree with me and some may jump on me but that’s fine..

  30. We have done this to ourselves. Many of our expenses are what we as a society have created as if they ate a mitzvah abd requirement . They are not. We spend tens of thousands on aufrufs and sheva brochos. This was unheard of in Europe before the war . Our basic bar mitzvah parties for middle class people are triple what a chasunah was in ore war Europe. Our clothing is over the top even for middle class. We are going tocommunities where the homowenorswere expecting to get 450,000 for their homes and we are bidding against each other to bring the prices up to 700,000 or 800 000 for small houses that are worth half of that. Abd the list goes on. I dont blame anybody because if you don’t live like this ,you will belooked at like strange and won’t be able to do a normal shidduch. If we had real leadership ,then they would scream at our society to change. But its not happening. Yes even with change , large families need tuition money which is hard. And with rising teacher salaries, the low tuitions in Lakewood are going to be a thing of the past. But we could change some of our lifestyle if as a society we really wanted to . Clothing ,housing and simchas could he changed.

  31. I have a saying, and I make more ($42K total) than to be eligible for food stamps and health care and too little so that my expenses eat up all of it!

    The bad news is I’m going down in flames but the “good” news is I’m underwater.

    • The bad news is I’m going down in flames but the “good” news is I’m underwater.
      For that situation, it has been recommended by some of the world’s foremost firefighters and water experts that one should wear flame resistant clothing that is also waterproof. That’s what I’ve been doing – and so far, I’m feeling pretty cool and dry.

    • Gonna be a rough ride for awhile but in the end:

      Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself, and I will make Myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

    • really drowning when most of u have new cars vacations day camps new fancy stroller clothing………but what may be true in the story is that daycare owner are putting af money in there pocket just charging more and more….same for food housing builders….

  32. I wrote multiple times including to governor why does he keep throwing money at CHS. He could’ve expanded the program to include all parents etc. Instead he makes daycare “affordable” by giving the daycare owners more money for their existing children! I warned him he is driving up the costs of daycares for those not eligible for CHS… A bigger question is Medicare and many other government programs have an extremely low reimbursement rate – Why exactly is CHS giving out money at this extremely high reimbursement rate?

  33. What is the solution for 3 year old Morahs with 10 years experience making 30k a year? I read about your 100k+ Jobs and how your suffering and you should just know there are many people in this town who are making way less than you – and they are not eligible for CHS because CHS does not allow LLC businesses or business deductions – they have their own method of deductions wich makes many poor people ineligible! As I tell everyone Morahs in this town are at best “PAID VOLUNTEERS” for the hard working 100k+ Earners

    • I hear you. You get helped by organizations. You get food stamps hud wic jersey care. That’s around 100k a year. Who’s getting 30k anymore anyway?

      • Stop assuming, not eligible for snap, & jersey care for parents – other spouse works and we’re just over the limit. 150k in savings (to somehow buy a house) makes you basically ineligible for hud. Wic value is 100.00 a month? Please let me know which daycare is paying their morahs much more?

      • That is what daycares are paying their morahs 30 -35k. You have to have a place to open up on your own and if you live in a basement that can cost you 20k just to rent a facility… You forgot about an assistant..- can you make 50/60k cash without an assistant if you own a home? – Yes, but just know the morah at the daycare – who doesn’t own a home, and will not work in an unsafe no assistant environment, and doesn’t want to go the cash route.. IS MAKING 30K on the books…

      • Maybe your morahs doesn’t have an assistant (which is dangerous) has a home to work out of ( not rent a facility) and is comfortable in the cash..(you also don’t get disability, SS etc amongst other tax headaches) The morah at your daycare is Averaging 30k..

  34. I just want to thank Ahavas tzedaka run by DR and Mrs Shanik because they give tzedaka to those of us who work and don’t have any other financial support or programs. We were drowning in expenses and felt really turned off that all Lakewood programs/discounts are to help those in learning who are b”h very assisted by the government. When we turned to Ahavas tzedaka we finally felt someone cared to help us even though we are a working family. Thanks to them our family is not as stressed when Sukkos and Pesach comes around.
    Another idea: the grocery stores should offer a discount to those not paying with food stamps. It’s an interesting world we live in where the low income are swimming in food stamps and the middle income are struggling to put food on the table. We would really appreciate a discount in the grocery stores if paying by credit card. The grocery stores can consider it charity.

  35. Time for serious Teshuva and Achdus together as one loving nation like we all did in the story of Purim. These tragedies that R”L hit klal yisroel are no coincidence neither is this current terrible economy but is actually a direct wake up call from our loving father Hashem waiting for our loving united serious teshuva together ASAP as one loving nation so we can be redeemed from this terrible Golus we are all living in. When we all wake ourselves up and FACE REALITY and openly accept our loving Father Hashem ruler of the entire world wake up call then Hashem will send the ultimate Mashiach to bring us all to Eretz Yisroel and to wave goodbye to Golus in Lakewood and the corrupt USA of Biden

    Lets wake up now ASAP

  36. I agree with Rabbi O. The problem with daycares is that they only want CHS kids. Many of them don’t accept non CHS kids even at full price because why bother. The solution is to have a quota of CHS vs non CHS kids and this will hopefully drive down the prices for the non CHS kids as they would need to fill the spaces.

    Regarding the Gashmiyus level, there is no question that this town needs a Mashgiach with a strong voice like in the good ol’ days. If we wish to continue being the bearers of yesteryear Ruchniyus, this crucial position has to be revived asap.

    Let’s keep on Davening for Mashiach.

  37. I was buying my fish for shabbos, just the amount I need since everything is so expensive, and the woman behind me was on a shopping spree,all ready made food. Of course, she was paying with food stamps.

  38. We make 250 collectively and barely live above month to month. I do not live with a high standard at all. No savings and no investments. We don’t love right but absolutely not fancy lifestyles. It’s crazy.

  39. This is so true, I’m was a middle class I have been making $120 thousand a year, tuition for 4 kids, I was so poor, I was literally poorer than the lower class that is on food stamps, I had every month a minus, and I’m not a spender at all.

    B”h I made my calculations, I left one job, I went on Medicare, wic, food stamps, heap, every government assistants possible, B”h I live a much happier life, that’s definitely the way to push it through.

  40. The crazy thing with programs is each program is not considered income thereby qualifying you for all the programs. However with the middle class all our income is counted disqualifying us from any program. The money we earn to pay for food is counted but food stamps is not considered income. The money we earn to cover child care is counted but CHS is not counted as income and so on with all the programs. If the govt would deduct our expenses from our income the same way they don’t count govt programs, most middle class would come out with a low income thus qualifying for govt programs.

  41. i think you are looking the wrong way
    maybe the person in front of u get all their chothings second hand from gmach….sheitel included
    why people buy 3000 dollar sheitel???
    why all the boys in the summer need to wear adidas pants ??in children place for one adidas u get 2.5 pants
    why is everybody own doona car seat is way cheaper
    why is everybody get expensive stroller ….
    thats make other people feel obligated to go up in style
    but the real issue is the daycare charging 1350 dollar per baby is stealing….thats almost a salary….

  42. No one is even talking about Medicaid! They pay for dental and vision too. Us middle class have to pay for medical insurance that doesn’t include dental or vision, or any therapies, and we are still stuck with co insurance and medical bills. Medicaid holders are never allowed to get a medical bill. It’s against the law. We pay thousands and pay for everyone else medical expenses. These government programs are absurd. And FYI, NJ is the highest income tax bracket in the country. We need to stop electing these garbage democrats who leech off of us citizens to give to all these ridiculous non earners.

  43. If everyone can not afford anything. . . who are the people who are buying… “cuz everyone else has it”

    moose knuckle coats. . michelle watches… pandora bracelets. . . sunday program. . . clubs. . . natives. ..floafers. . .domani home bracelets. . new clothes for everyone every season. . .makeup and hair done for play . .. doonas
    THESE ARE ALL LUXURIES!!!

  44. My husband is in yeshiva. I have a pretty good job, making about $100k. So we’re not eligible for snap. I’m not quite sure how we have food on the table because every cent goes to mortgage utilities and tuition. Life got so expensive lately! But guess what? Somehow we make it each month! Hashemi provides. Believe it and it doesn’t have ro add up.

  45. Your point about the suffering middle class is clearly accurate. And I understand how the increase from $900-$1,350 for childcare is (likely) the ‘straw the broke your back’ to write the letter.

    However, having been working in this field for some time, it sounds like you are sending your child(ren) to a top-tier Daycare Center (in a modern building) and not one that operates out of a home, etc. If so, the $900 that you were paying was well below the cost to provide services to your child(ren) and is more in line for what you would pay for care out of a home.

    I wonder when was the last time this Childcare center had a raise? It seems likely that you were getting a bargain till now (at $900) and the Childcare center is now adjusting to a more appropriate fee (considering their cost increases, which besides wages includes increases in rent, utilities, insurance, cleaning/maintenance, etc.).

  46. I think the point of the letter is to point out that in Lakewood the perception that the low income people are the only ones who need help is no longer true. The reality is that low income people are b”h very much assisted and now perhaps it’s time to help the middle class who are being overlooked and due to inflation are struggling the most!

  47. Wow lots of posts! Some people say raise salaries – HA! Not gonna happen
    Some people say lower prices – HA!

    Instead it’s easier to sit here and complain about it.

    My advice: MOVE to a zip code that supports your lifestyle.

    Don’t try to change the world when YOU are the issue. You don’t fit in Lakewood with your middle class budget. It doesn’t work.

    L’maysah You either need to be an askan ashirah or a poor man to make it in Lakewood.

  48. I have a hard time accepting these complaints. I live out of town, and when I come into Lakewood for a Simcha and see the extravagant weddings, clothes, peer pressures for new gadgets, electric scooters, car leases, sleep away camps etc. I wonder if you have elevated the cost of living on your own initiative.

  49. It is hard to not complain about not getting paid enough when companies spend millions on making luxurious offices. They should rather invest their money by compensating their employees well so they can feed their families without scraping the barrel and the employee will become more dedicated and perform better! We don’t need marble walls

  50. The greatest expense for the middle class seems to be the tuition with no breaks.
    Vast amounts of tzedaka are given yearly to BMG, Tomchei Shabbos; tzedaka given to schools to lower tuition needs would ne straight in the pockets of the yungerleit and the poor.
    Many chassidim feel obligated and give to their children’s mosdos as a priority. Why don’t the mega donors do the same for Lakewood Chadorim?
    Find the answer to that question, lower tuition bills and yungerleit , poor , middle and even upper classes will all be able to breath easier

  51. And P.S.
    The MIDDLE CLASS or whoever pays taxes.
    IS PAYING FOR THE CHS!!!
    AND THEN THEY THEMSELVES WHO IS SUPPORTING THE CHS CANT EVEN AFFORD
    DAYCARE FOR THEIR OWN KIDS N LET ALONE SOME DAYCARES WONT EVEN LOOK AT YOU IF YOUR NOT CHS APPROOVED! THIS IS SICK N SOMETHING WRONG. BECAUSE MOST OF THOSE PARENTS DONT EVEN NEED FULL DAY. AND PS I THINK DAYCARES ACCORDING TO THE Government IS SUPPOSE TO BE TILL 5 PM.

  52. come to bp for a course on how to survive in america, many commenters sound sincere but also way too temimusdik , as rav gifter said to the americane ” ZEIT NIT KAYN NAAR”

  53. If you’re jealous of the low income people, what is stopping you from becoming low income? Is someone forcing you to work? I don’t get it

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