On his website Democratic US Senator Bernie Sanders asked his readers to send him an E-Mail of what life has been like with todays economic climate, he received over 700 responses, you can read many of them here(PDF), heres the first one:
By February we ran out of wood and I burned my mother's dining room furniture.There are lot more, letters from working people and those who have retired who can't make ends meet.
I am a single mother with a 9 year old boy. We lived this past winter without any heat at all. Fortunately someone gave me an old wood stove. I had to hook it up to an old/unused chimney we had in the kitchen. I couldn't even afford a chimney liner (the price of liners went up with the price of fuel). To stay warm at night my son and I would pull off all the pillows from the couch and pile them on the kitchen floor. I'd hang a blanket from the kitchen doorway and we'd sleep right there on the floor. By February we ran out of wood and I burned my mother's dining room furniture. I have no oil for hot water. We boil our water on the stove and pour it in the tub. I'd like to order one of your flags and hang it upside down at the capital building...we are certainly a country in distress.
Huffington Post article (6/6/08)