What I call the precariously perched are like the lice on a pig. They pick out a place where the bristles are long and sparse and call it their spacious mansion, their ample park; or a place in some corner of the hams or hoofs, between the nipples, or down around the haunches, and call it their house of repose, their place of profit. They do not know that one morning the butcher will give a swipe of his arm, spread out the grass, light up the fire, and that they will be roasted to a crisp along with the pig. Their advancement in the world is subject to such limitations as this, and their retirement from it is subject to similar limitations. This is what I call the precariously perched.One of the scary aspects of modern life is that most of us are precariously perched! The vast majority stand one [personal] catastrophe away from poverty and insecurity.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
A lot of people don't know this, but the number one cause of personal bankruptcies in this country is insolvency due to health care costs. An individual or family is rolling along and then disaster strikes: a member becomes gravely ill or injured...and there goes ALL of the money.
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