"The New York Times found that some parents here take their kids out of literacy classes to keep $700 disability benefits coming in," Anonymous says. "One of the people who went to my high school made money by getting food with food stamps, selling it discounted to families in the area needing a cheap meal, then using the resulting money for the basis of a 'buyer/seller' job for tax purposes [and] paying for food he actually ate from the welfare, not food stamps, he got."
Oleksiy Mark/iStock/Getty Images
"Income: Dependent on how diligently you check the math on this form."
Keep in mind this little start-up wasn't making the guy rich -- it was only keeping him slightly more comfortably below the poverty line.
"There are no real jobs or jobs people can easily do [or] don't need a degree for, so they find ways to juke the system," he says. "It's both abusing the hell out of the system but also using the system this way as a means to survive."
Haluk Kohserli/iStock/Getty Images
It's a little harder to get indignant when it's a scam for basic food and shelter.
You know what they say: "Starving in the middle of fucking nowhere is the mother of invention."
Many People Are Slowly Dying
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
If you grew up in a small town, you know what happens when there's nothing to do -- namely, unprotected sex in the Hardee's parking lot and the occasional bout of angry warehouse dancing. But also, just, all the drugs. Eastern Kentucky is a nationwide leader in not only unemployment but also prescription drug abuse and crystal meth addiction. Huh, do you think those things might be related somehow?
There's also that whole "food desert" problem: You either dine out at the 7-Eleven or burn a bunch of cash driving two towns over to the only grocery store with fresh food. If you don't have that money to start with, you end up with a population where the obesity rate is 50 percent.
Where "fresh" means "fryer oil has been changed more recently than the governor."
Unlike the rest of the country, where life expectancy is going up, it's actually going down in Eastern Kentucky. In very real terms, the only way to survive is to get out -- it's practically a post-apocalyptic theme park. Actually, that's a free idea for any aspiring entrepreneurs who may be reading. It seems like it would solve a lot of problems.
For more from Ashe, check out Weird Shit Blog and his book, The Book of Word Records, available now! Manna remains a poor person at heart and often tweets about it. Evan V. Symon is the interview finder guy for the personal experience team at Cracked. Have an awesome job/experience you would like to see as an article? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Have a story to share with Cracked? Email us here.
For more depressing realities of poverty, check out 7 Things No One Tells You About Being Homeless and 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor.
And subscribe to our YouTube channel to see some totally not depressing content in The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Ads in the History of Local TV, as well as watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook because we can't eat lunch until you do.