He’ll never live like common people

by Caleb Reading


He had a gym bag, $25, and little else.
He intentionally left his parents’ home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year.

To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education.

During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps.
Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000.

I bolded the “and little else” part because I find that misleading. He had some incredibly valuable things with him. A good education. Rich parents that taught him how to manage money and could bail him out in an instant if he asked (no real financial despair or hopelessness to be felt). A stable homelife that didn’t leave him with physical or emotional problems and instead left him with the right etiquette, work habits, and subtle class markers (if I may channel Thorstein Veblen for a second here) to practically guarantee his hiring and promotion. Et cetera.