Most apartments, even crappy ones, have at least a small shitty air conditioner and many will have a small, shitty microwave. Which incidentally you can buy both from a secondhand store for almost nothing, or get off Craigslist, or garbage-pick for when summer is over.
But this isn’t about the actual stuff or how life really works out here or what we consider poor. You see, if you can police someone else’s choices, then you don’t have to think about the system in which they made those choices. If you can carefully assure yourself that you, virtuous you, in that scenario would forgo a microwave or an air conditioner in order to, I don’t know, see, this is why this is so fucking dumb. If you take that money and you spend it on food or rent or gas, you’re still poor. Poor isn’t about what you buy, it’s about your income level relative to the surroundings.
This is the same lousy excuse-making that runs around investigating people’s countertops to see if they could afford health insurance, the same lousy excuse-making that’s not about the person being attacked at all. It’s about how Charlie, like most people who’ve never worried about making the rent or having the car repossessed, has to come up with a reason not to give a shit about anybody else, and this is it.
That they have microwaves, and air conditioning. If they’d just give those up, they’d either be magically rich like Charlie, or they’d be poor enough, surely, that we could feel sorry for them without reservation. Surely then we wouldn’t be able to come up with any other reasons at all that they don’t deserve our consideration.