People Share Theories On Why It's Gotten So 'Expensive To Be Poor' – 'I Don't Even Buy Paper Towels Anymore'

A major issue is to blame.

man pulling money out of his wallet Pathdoc / Shutterstock

Life is extremely expensive nowadays, and some TikTokers have a theory as to why. According to them, our disposable culture is to blame. 

Disposable products have been a topic of conversation for decades now, especially since the US produces more garbage than any other country. From fast fashion — which produces 92 million tons of waste annually — to paper towels, we live in a distinctly throwaway culture, where products are cheap and easy to buy, but are just as quick to break down and be thrown out. 


Not only does this disposable culture hurt the environment, but it also hurts our wallets. 

One man claims that the reason it's gotten so expensive to be poor is because everything breaks nowadays. 

In a video, Nick Doty (@nldoty on TikTok) attempted to answer the question, “Why are people today, in general, poorer than their parents’ or grandparents’ generation overall?” The answer that he came up with is that things don't last as long and constantly need to be tossed out and repurchased.



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“The fact that we have to keep buying things over and over and over again for basically the same price that our parents bought one that lasted forever is a very big contributing factor as to why people are poor, in general,” he said.

Doty pointed out that many of our older family members have items that have lasted “absurdly long,” but had you bought the item brand new today, it would have broken down much quicker. Specifically, he mentions Tupperware. 

"[My parents] have Tupperware that is older than I am, and it's still kicking," he said. "Meanwhile, I buy Tupperware and I put it in the microwave and it cracks after the second use.”

Doty claimed that the reason why we see more disposable products is because companies want the consumer to spend more money. "If they make a superior product and you only buy it once, that’s a loss in sales in the future," he explained.


This is a prime example of "planned obsolescence," meaning the product is purposefully designed not to last long so you will need to buy another one again in the future.  



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Another TikTok user stitched Doty's video, agreeing with his point. "We literally cannot afford disposable culture," @loc_rants said in their video. "Not only financially, but also for the sake of our planet.”




They agree that disposable products are a waste of money and provide alternatives on what to use instead, such as reusing glass jars rather than purchasing flimsy plastic Tupperware. 

“That’s my vegetable oil and it lives in an old salsa jar,” they added, pointing to a jar in their cabinet. “I don’t even buy paper towels anymore. I just use washcloths.” 

Avoiding disposable products will ultimately benefit both your finances and the environment. 

The problems with disposable items have been a topic of discussion since the 1970s when America realized the cost of disposability. You end up paying more to repeatedly buy cheap products than you would have paid had you bought a higher quality item to begin with. 


“It's worth it to pay more money upfront to get a higher quality product that will last longer," added @loc_rants. 

As an added benefit, you won't be adding to the outrageous waste that we, as a society, already produce. After all, if we do not put an end to the “disposable culture,” what will our planet look like in the next 50 years?

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Lauren Reams is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news.