The poor are always with us, or so the Good Book in some translations tells us - a line that certain smarmy commentators of a conservative bent love to quote whilst grinning at their ingenuity in somehow justifying poverty (for others, of course) on the grounds that it's an essential part of the human condition. I must say, I'm particularly glad I'm not amongst their number - the poor, that is - in the country to our immediate north. The ringgit seems to be in free-fall at the moment, and whilst this is good news for those of us who get paid in Sing dollars and can gain considerably through the conversion to our neighbours' currency, I'm sure the repercussions for those struggling at the bottom of the food chain over there are/will be not pleasant.
When I was a kid I was vaguely aware that ensuring the family got through the week without running out of money before the Friday pay packet came was a concern for my parents. And I was also sort of aware that there were families around us who didn't always quite manage the trick. As an adult I look back with a sense of admiration at those who coped with those kind of pressures and got through it all. There's something heroic about those who count their pennies and somehow make them last. But, like I said above, I'm glad I'm not one of them.