Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

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Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by In_Correct on Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:53 am

Actually, the same could be said about Binky. Binky's mom is a nurse, and Binky's dad works at a copy center.
These jobs aren't necessarily low wage.

But Francine has the reputation of being "poor". They live in a 2 bedroom apartment (with a storage unit) while Binky lives in a house. Bitzi and Buster's grandmother also live in apartments but they appear to be condos.

Laverne has an unspecified job which I assume to be working at the family business: The Hamburger Castle. (White Castle) I also think that Catherine will spend a few summers working part time at Hamburger Castle as well. (and Francine when she gets older) Otherwise Catherine is Arthur and D.W. and Kate's sitter.

Oliver is clearly working as a gerbage man. He is shown to drive a garbage truck which is not necessarily a low paying job. Also he gives the students a tour during Career Day and also helps clean up the park. In "Arthur Cleans Up" he has his own staff meetings. It's almost as if he is in middle management??

So how could they be that poor?

Medical Bills? Credit Card Debt? Immigration? House burn down In a horrible insurance scheme gone wrong? Perhaps court fees as well? Or did their house get struck by lightning only to find out their policy does not cover lightning?



.

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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by Coyote_Mao on Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:23 pm

Could it be that people behind Arthur the TV series predicted the housing crisis or even... Trump's presidency? Or maybe they battle the stereotypes by making the family of the Jewish protagonist the poorest in the entire series? Surprised
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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by A Lotta Moms on Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:28 am

This topic raises some interesting points.  I've also wondered about the possibility of "Poor Francine" being an anti-stereotype as well, with the still-lingering stereotype of Jewish families being wealthy in a not-so-generous sort of way.  

That aside, the interesting thing is that the lifestyle that the "poor" Frensky family lives is much closer to the typical American family than the upper middle-class lifestyles that most other families enjoy.  Take the Reads, for instance.  Arthur is supposed to be an average everykid sort, yet holding down that sort of real estate today is something that's generally only an option for Top 10-20% income households...especially in a clean, safe suburb.  This is actually quite common in movies and shows, and I can't help but feel the subtle implication that most members of society are somehow inadequate if they don't live up to those standards.  I don't know, maybe I'm overthinking.  

Regarding Oliver's job as an experienced sanitation worker, heck, it's a better deal than most people are getting in this day and age.  He probably makes somewhere around 50K per year with excellent state benefits, insurance for his family, a generous retirement plan, etc.  Most people would kill for that sort of deal nowadays, when even a four-to-six year college degree from a prestigious university often leads to little more than endless unpaid internships, minimum wage slavery and eternal residence in your parents' basement.
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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by In_Correct on Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:57 am

You aren't over-thinking it. The reason why I don't believe The Frenskys to be poor and struggling with their lines of work is because I know from experience that night school type jobs often don't pay low as expected, but others might be unaware because of what The Media wants us to believe. The "Blue Collar" is probably the same social class as fast food. Even if their family owns a White Castle and White Castle is a niche restaurant, some probably regard it as "just another burger place". And that Francine (technically it was Catherine teasing her) became embarrassed by their dad working for a public utility. Even though the episode's moral was "Don't worry what others might or might not think of your parents jobs." They still portray them as struggling.

Also I wouldn't be surprised if the defacto cafeteria manager and senior custodian of Lakewood Mrs. MacGrady and Mr. Morris get paid more than Mr. Ratburn.

And one of my friends is a construction worker. It probably won't be long before he actually builds his own house, with the skills of building "The Read Family House", and yet ...

It isn't just hinted in fiction. There is a real estate website filled with snobs that hate people who work at night school or blue collar jobs. (and anybody that lives in an apartment)

There is one exception that I know of: Wendy Williams was on her talk show encouraging others to go to night school and praising blue collar workers. This is nice to hear because I think it is the first time I have heard somebody else say that.

Anyways The Hamburger Castle reminds me of another restaurant: An exaggerated Baskin-Robbins that Mrs. Powers owns. This seems to be the only possible line of work for that household (with Brain already working there). They live in an what is now an upper middle class home, and unless Mr. Powers is secretly in I.T. or real estate or an attorney or something, I do not know how The Powers Family can afford that house, and yet The Fransky Family cannot.

Perhaps he is a loan officer. Otherwise I can't even figure out how Mrs. Powers could even start a business. Maybe she sold ice cream out of an ice cream van and saved her money until she could afford her place at the strip mall.






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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by Roabe on Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:51 pm

I get the implication that Oliver is not just a trash collector (which is a very decently paying job in its own), but he seems to be directly involved in planning and management as well based on the episode "Arthur Cleans Up."

It makes me wonder if Oliver and Laverne got themselves in some sort of huge debt that was incurred some time before the show takes place, and were steadily paying it off and had to make do in an apartment in spite of Oliver's salary. That being said, a two-bedroom apartment in a nice town like Elwood City would cost quite a bit of coin to rent. The tiny little one-bedroom that I rented for three years cost $650 a month, and that was in an area with an average cost of living.
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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by Coyote_Mao on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:11 am

Roabe wrote:It makes me wonder if Oliver and Laverne got themselves in some sort of huge debt that was incurred some time before the show takes place, and were steadily paying it off and had to make do in an apartment in spite of Oliver's salary.
Sounds like a great idea for an episode. Kids nowadays need to know about this kind of stuff: dos and don'ts of taking loans and such.
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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by MatthewHecht on Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:20 pm

I think they are just called poor at times due to regularly being compared to the Crosswires, and I always got the impression the Frensky parents put time with their family over buying luxuries, as they certainly have everything they truly need like enough food and a place to live.
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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by In_Correct on Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:11 am

I just got done watching "Arthur's Number Nightmare". Arthur lives in a neighborhood where houses are valued at $237,000.00 USD?! I could buy a dozen houses in my neighborhood.

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Re: Why Are The Frensky's So Poor?

Post by Coyote_Mao on Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:30 am

As someone who's no idea about the price ranges in the US... Is it a lot or not at all? Here, even after the ruble plummeted down like 2 years ago, 250 000 would still only buy you a small apartment nowhere near the city center. Rolling Eyes
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