Being Poor Makes You Grow Old Faster
Though "I'm too old for this shit" is a phrase uttered by approximately every hourly minimum wage employee in history, a recent study of Detroit residents revealed that this phenomenon is less figurative than anyone could have imagined. Poverty physically ages your body at the cellular level. Either that, or Detroit exists in some kind of temporal vortex (which, admittedly, would be a more fun explanation for why it looks like an unused set from Jean-Claude Van Damme's Cyborg).
The only difference: Nobody from Detroit would ever say "I LIKE THIS WORLD!"
To get to how this is even possible, we first need to start with a little biology lesson. See, your chromosomes are capped by telomeres, which have been compared to the aglets (plastic tips) on shoelaces. They keep all the strands of your DNA together and prevent the whole shebang from unraveling like ... well, like a shoelace without an aglet. Every time your cells divide, these telomeres lose a bit of their length, until eventually your DNA is a frayed maniac and you die of old age.
Dr. Robert Moyzis
They're like tiny Homer Simpsons, sleeping through meltdown after meltdown until all of Springfield burns.
But time isn't the only thing that can weaken your telomeres. Telomere shrinkage has also been linked to chronic stress -- such as, say, the kind that comes from constantly worrying about how you're going to pay your rent and feed your kid this month. When researchers plopped a bunch of poor and lower-middle-class Detroiters under a microscope, they found them to be universally telomere-challenged, providing direct evidence that the "stress of living in extreme poverty causes early onset of age-related diseases" such as heart disease. Being poor is apparently a lot like drinking from the false grail.
The same face you make getting an ATM overdraft fee.