Imagine going into the grocery store, having only a few dollars to feed your entire family. The sense of hopelessness would be overwhelming. Affluent shoppers in a San Francisco market recently got a taste of this feeling in an experimental campaign conducted by local low-income relief group Tipping Point. In this experiment, the small market put up signs for a fake sales promotion called “Poverty Line Prices.” However, when they got to the register, the items rung up to be five times more expensive than the normal price.
The difference in price is symbolic. Those in San Francisco living below the poverty line earn roughly 5 times less than the median household income of $150,000. The vast distance between the haves and the have-nots is extremely shocking, and Tipping Point wants to show those who are in the upper income brackets what it’s like to see prices that feel outrageous and out of reach.
Watch the video below to see the shoppers’ reactions to being charged “Poverty Line Prices.”
TC currently lives in the soggy Pacific Northwest, bellied up to a sun lamp. In addition to writing, she enjoys photography and estate sales, and is the proud mother to an ever-growing collection of cacti.