What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves)

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What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves)

Postby laffingblonde » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:29 pm

Made 13k last year after being laid off twice. A trip to the burn will eat up between $2,000 - $3,000 (3,000 miles of travel eats up the budget) and a credit card will be purchasing a ticket if it happens. What exactly constitutes low income? Not looking to game the system or get thrown into the pit of scammers. This is already a hot button topic a day after many hopes were burst. Would like some thoughts, not just people crying poor.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby lemur » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:34 pm

no
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby laffingblonde » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:35 pm

lemur wrote:no


radicand
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:38 pm

You can do it cheaper than $3k.. geezus christ. For someone that only made $13k last year, you sure are makin' it rain.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby laffingblonde » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:40 pm

junglesmacks wrote:You can do it cheaper than $3k.. geezus christ. For someone that only made $13k last year, you sure are makin' it rain.


sorry, that's for the two of us. two tickets @ $390 plus travel back and forth from the east coast and we're already at $1400 or so. Planning on building another art piece for our camp if we make the trip blah blah blah.

Just trying to decide what the heck we should do.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:42 pm

Ok.. I could see that. There are cheaper ways, though.. but that's a whole different conversation. Carry on. :D
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby trilobyte » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:23 pm

If a $390 ticket is even remotely a possibility, then you're not an ideal candidate for the program. And yes, the people who review the applications read these boards. ;)
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby Token » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:19 am

trilobyte wrote:If a $390 ticket is even remotely a possibility, then you're not an ideal candidate for the program. And yes, the people who review the applications read these boards. ;)


Is this your opinion Trilo, or some more reliable knowledge of what constitutes hardship, maybe a dash of custodial services insight?

Financial Hardship and Poverty have been defined by institutions, authorities, governments and people much in the know on the subject.

It would be nice if you can clarify when you post opinions and when you post in official capacity of your volunteerism.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby BBadger » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:40 pm

For a vacation like Burning Man, fundamentally I feel that if you can go at all you don't qualify as "low-income."

It's like those people complaining that they can only afford T1 tickets--rather than only willing to accept T1 tickets. That's bullshit.

If there must be "low-income" tickets, the qualification I would make would that the price difference between a Tier 1 and low-Income would have to be substantial. That would mean that the cost of a ticket would practically be the only thing preventing you from going, a situation such as the ticket price being about half your total costs. You'd also have to demonstrate that you have the means to use the ticket in a frugal manner, like you're tagging along in someone's car, having the camping gear, etc.

No foreigners would be eligible unless they're already in the country because of some other need (asylum, exchange student, etc.), with the possible exception of neighboring countries Canada and Mexico. I've seen some requests by people from places like Australia wondering about the low-income program. Let's face it, if you can afford to fly from Australia to the US for BM, you don't qualify for "low-income."

Still, I think the low-income program is a wash, and the "true" qualifiers should really be more financially responsible in the first place and opt not to go at all.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby CornMan » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:01 pm

I've "should" have never done anything ever but work every single day of my life. I've never had both the time and money to go to Mexico, Caribbean, Guatemala, Canada, Belize, India, London, Amsterdam, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, but I did it anyway. I remember my grandmother telling me that by the time she figured she should do such things, she was already too crippled from old age to do them. If you are a normal person, there is NEVER a proper year to go to Burning Man. It is irresponsible. You should be saving for your kid's futures. But what the heck, you only live once.

Anyway, many here are making too big of a deal about what's basically a one week camp-out in the desert. All you really need is a ticket, a ride, 15 gallons of water, a sleeping bag/pup tent, and a few bags of granola/beef jerky. Anything more than that is more luxury than how many of Earth's citizens live on any given day. Only about 19 percent of the world's population lives in countries with per capita incomes of $7,000 or more.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby junglesmacks » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:12 pm

I would say that if you can pull $3000 for a one week vacation, then you are definitely not "low income".
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby lemur » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:42 pm

i just looked.. this is about what it would cost if someone in my area had a 'low income ticket' and wanted to do it cheap..

$250 amtrak to reno round trip from chicago
$160 burning man low income ticket
$100 food/water
$0.00-300 camping gear (depending on if youve been before, or already have camping gear/borrow)
$100 other expenses (pitching in for gas..transport around reno, unknowns, etc)
--------
$610-910


lets round it out to say: $600 to $1000 could be a 'cheap' trip from chicago area, low end to high.. getting a ride from someone, no hotel rooms.. and not doing any large projects or paying camp dues or renting anything (or maybe getting some hotel for $30-50 a night if you already have some camping gear and afford it)


ive never spent more than $800-900 on going to burning man..
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby Stephendragonfly » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:19 am

I have wanted to go to Burning Man ever since my best friend sold her soul to Helco. I am hoping this will finally be my year. I have been on unemployment for over a year now. Believe me, unemployment sucks. Nobody wants to have to make choices like "do I pay the rent or fix the car?" I hope that being on unemployment will be enough for me to be considered low income, but I also recognize that in a lot of ways I am very lucky. I am lucky to live in a country that provides unemployment at all. I am lucky I had a really good job for a few years, a job I liked and kept despite some significant drawbacks (my manager always had first dibs on vacation time and always took the two weeks around Labor Day off). I am lucky that I had a place to go when my ex threw me out out after eleven years of marriage, ironically because I didn't have a job and our savings were running out. I am lucky that I still have good health.
So if I don't get to go to Burning Man this year, for any reason, I will still know that I am a pretty lucky person and next year was better anyway.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby BBadger » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:40 am

Zeke Chaparral wrote:I've "should" have never done anything ever but work every single day of my life. I've never had both the time and money to go to Mexico, Caribbean, Guatemala, Canada, Belize, India, London, Amsterdam, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, but I did it anyway. I remember my grandmother telling me that by the time she figured she should do such things, she was already too crippled from old age to do them. If you are a normal person, there is NEVER a proper year to go to Burning Man. It is irresponsible. You should be saving for your kid's futures. But what the heck, you only live once.


The question was never that you can't go if you're poor. You can always save up for your vacation to Burning Man or wherever. However, if you're so poor that you can "only" afford T1 or low-income tickets, then fundamentally you should not go any more than you should be stressing your finances to buy that new iPhone.

But hey, if you want to stress your finances like that, go right on ahead. I do, however, question the usefulness of creating a program that caters to it.

lemur wrote:i just looked.. this is about what it would cost if someone in my area had a 'low income ticket' and wanted to do it cheap..

lets round it out to say: $600 to $1000 could be a 'cheap' trip from chicago area, low end to high.. getting a ride from someone, no hotel rooms.. and not doing any large projects or paying camp dues or renting anything (or maybe getting some hotel for $30-50 a night if you already have some camping gear and afford it)


So the low-incomeness saves, what, 10%? That doesn't sound like it's very useful. The money amounts have such a small range that I just don't feel it does much good, or has much point.

BM really is a cheap vacation though. It costs me about $300-400 beyond the ticket cost. Airfare just going two states away often ends up more than my non-ticket costs of going to BM. Still, I wouldn't qualify myself as low-income even if my income level could probably qualify. So, from my own situation, I end up questioning why the program exists in the first place when the vacation is usually already cheap, or on the other side, quite expensive.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby tattoogoddess » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:45 am

lemur wrote:i just looked.. this is about what it would cost if someone in my area had a 'low income ticket' and wanted to do it cheap..

$250 amtrak to reno round trip from chicago
$160 burning man low income ticket
$100 food/water
$0.00-300 camping gear (depending on if youve been before, or already have camping gear/borrow)
$100 other expenses (pitching in for gas..transport around reno, unknowns, etc)
--------
$610-910


lets round it out to say: $600 to $1000 could be a 'cheap' trip from chicago area, low end to high.. getting a ride from someone, no hotel rooms.. and not doing any large projects or paying camp dues or renting anything (or maybe getting some hotel for $30-50 a night if you already have some camping gear and afford it)

ive never spent more than $800-900 on going to burning man..


ou are about spot on there. That is close to what I am spending. But Amtrak from Omaha to Reno Cost me $268 when I purchased my ticket last weekend.
Food budget $50 ( Winco for the win!)
Water $20
No $$ on camping gear but $30 on a camelbak
$60 or so on gas for ride and ice on the playa
very small camp due- I like showers and was invited. Really don't want to do the first year 100% alone.

This trip if I am awarded low income yes will cost me right around the $7-800 range if that it would be less if I was not a Virgin and had alot of this stuff already. I had to buy a few things like goggles, spork, first aid, bathroom stuff ect and lights for night. I am most likely not going to be able to afford and fun costumes or what not cause my tax returns are like $460 bucks and most of that has to go to keep the lights and hear on and the net going.YAY for like a whopping $4000 income in 2011. :(

But any ways no, 13k is not even close to low income and 3k on this is ALOT!!! You can do it for far less for sure.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby lemur » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:12 am

BBadger wrote:
lemur wrote:i just looked.. this is about what it would cost if someone in my area had a 'low income ticket' and wanted to do it cheap..

lets round it out to say: $600 to $1000 could be a 'cheap' trip from chicago area, low end to high.. getting a ride from someone, no hotel rooms.. and not doing any large projects or paying camp dues or renting anything (or maybe getting some hotel for $30-50 a night if you already have some camping gear and afford it)


So the low-incomeness saves, what, 10%? That doesn't sound like it's very useful. The money amounts have such a small range that I just don't feel it does much good, or has much point.

BM really is a cheap vacation though. It costs me about $300-400 beyond the ticket cost. Airfare just going two states away often ends up more than my non-ticket costs of going to BM. Still, I wouldn't qualify myself as low-income even if my income level could probably qualify. So, from my own situation, I end up questioning why the program exists in the first place when the vacation is usually already cheap, or on the other side, quite expensive.


(edited to add relevant quote)

in my opinion the main thing about 'low income' tickets isnt so much the actual cost.. but the ability to save up until you leave for burning man.. you can pay for it at the gate.

that way.. about the only thing you really need to pay for much in advance is travel, if you even need to do that (some people might drive, or live close..get a ride.. etc)

the lower price certainly helps! but being able to pay at the gate is a big benefit.. in my mind, at least.. more-so than the cheaper price because you have that much longer to save.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby lemur » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:30 am

well you USED to be able to pay for scholarship tickets at the gate..

who knows about now, im not sure if its been said yet/havnt studied it much
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby International Incident » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:50 am

The ticket page has the answers about how to pay for low income tix. I'd cut and paste it for you - but a) my phone sucks and b) radical self reliance and all that...
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby MyPlayaUserName » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:51 am

I've earned $50 in the last year. Some of us lead an existence that doesn't involve paper money. Burning Man is the only cultural event I take part in, and I'm grateful for any breaks I can get.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby 5280MeV » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:01 pm

I have been trying to make sense out of the requirements low income program, and I am not sure how I feel about the criterion that if spending $390 is in the realm of possibility for someone, then they don't qualify. The fact is that spending on the order of $400 at any given time is a simple matter for most Americans. All one has to do is go to a payday loan lender, title loan place, or any number of other predatory lenders sucking the blood out of impoverished neighborhoods and ~$500 will instantly appear in your hand in exchange for some undisclosed amount of unconscionable suffering to be delivered at a later date.

Why not just use some percentage of the OECD or United States HHS poverty guidelines as a starting point, and allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis?

I would hope that someone qualifying for food stamps would be allowed access for a low income ticket, even if they have been responsible enough about their finances to sock $1500 away under their mattress for a year or two in preparation for Burning Man.

Just random thoughts, but I can see how people reading the low income pages could get in a quandary about qualification. Maybe listing some example scenarios would help people get a sense of where they fit in.

I know I went through a bunch of mental gymnastics looking at US Median Incomes, my family situation, assets, long term loans, etc trying to come to a conclusion about if I should try for a $320 or a $390 ticket. (I am glad that I decided that I was rich, even if the US Census Bureau might disagree with me)
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby Marscrumbs » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:02 am

My friend last year applied and received a scholarship ticket. She road her bike from Bishop California to the playa. I brought her water and a box of other playa necessities.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby KrisMuffin » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:38 pm

How does 13k not qualify for low income?! Im also an East Coaster and that type of income in Boston is well below poverty level. I doubt/hope that there's not a hard number, and each case is reviewed by a person (I know, I alread emailed and asked about the program.)

At what point Is it just irresponsible for you to go? If you're spending 1/4 or more of your income to go and/or not paying your light bill , should you? I read a comment about a guy saying he didn't pay his cell phone bill so he could go in the lottery, but didn't get a ticket so hes applying for a LI tix. Why should that behavior be rewarded?

I'm applying becausse in my situation the ticket price does make or break my ability to be there, and I have other life shit i wont get onto going on thats affecting my income which isn't a lot. Not to mention the 1000's of dollars i owe the gov beacuse i went grad school and the fact that I live in one of the most exspensive cities in the world. I work 3+ jobs just to stay afloat.

But at the same time I do see what others said about the programs real need to exist. I'm so happy it does as I know personally know people it has helped, but It is a vacation. This is why i think maybe a volunteering requirement should be implemented.
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby KrisMuffin » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:40 pm

KrisMuffin wrote:How does 13k not qualify for low income?! Im also an East Coaster and that type of income in Boston is well below poverty level. I doubt/hope that there's not a hard number


Ah, I meant I hope there's not a hard number!
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby phoenix808 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:36 pm

i made just over 5000 dollars last year, is that low income? i still managed to find my way there! i was also quite well prepared! it just depends on how bad you want to go!
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby RedHeaven » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:52 pm

Could you apply for low income ticket if you also were in the original lottery? Just curious. I could totally prove I was low income, the only reason I can even attempt burning man is because I live 4 hours from Black Rock....
Im just curious, Im actually not going to apply. Lost the lotto but a buddy got me a $390. I'm just gonna go for it and do it as cheap as possible. Save that low income ticket for a traveler. I'll bite the bullet and eat ramen all summer. Fucking junkie I tell ya. Stupid burning man. Ways to participate cheaply in BRC~~~ Hoping to get a shift on BMIR this year or help with the Pier or go bug the lamplighters if my theme camp loses out..... Just thinking out loud, eplaya....... Good luck folks! Stupid Gas is going to be expensive this summer...AGAIN....
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby ZaphodBurner » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:23 pm

Zeke Chaparral wrote:Anyway, many here are making too big of a deal about what's basically a one week camp-out in the desert. All you really need is a ticket, a ride, 15 gallons of water, a sleeping bag/pup tent, and a few bags of granola/beef jerky. Anything more than that is more luxury than how many of Earth's citizens live on any given day..


100% of the low income people on earth, however, don't live in the Black Rock Desert.

I agree with you but I'm afraid some hopefully-small number of virgins will take your comment at face value.

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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby Savannah » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:49 pm

KrisMuffin wrote:How does 13k not qualify for low income?! Im also an East Coaster and that type of income in Boston is well below poverty level. I doubt/hope that there's not a hard number, and each case is reviewed by a person (I know, I alread emailed and asked about the program.)

At what point Is it just irresponsible for you to go? If you're spending 1/4 or more of your income to go and/or not paying your light bill , should you? I read a comment about a guy saying he didn't pay his cell phone bill so he could go in the lottery, but didn't get a ticket so hes applying for a LI tix. Why should that behavior be rewarded?


That's a good question, and I think the answer is as individual as the applicant. Say an applicant lives in Reno and therefore has a short, cheap "commute" and will borrow all their gear from family. That's not terribly irresponsible, is it? They're poor, but it's not insane for them to go. Or say someone in Seattle happens to have all their own camping gear, and a free ride. (I was once offered a ride at no cost because a friend was going anyway. I chipped in, because I could--but I'm saying there are generous friends out there!) We've heard of someone on these boards being gifted a ton of frequent flier miles by their parents. That's another way. Others might find themselves in a situation where they can cut corners & afford to gamble a few resources. For example, in 2001, I'd alternated job-searching and traveling for 9 months, and had maybe $1100 to my name ($450 of which was for my next month's rent, so really--I had $650). But I had a new job scheduled to start when I got back from the Burn. So, even I was on the broke side, I was able to buy a (full price) ticket, split gasoline with a girlfriend, and go. (And frankly, if I'd asked for an extra month on the gasoline, my friend would have let me.) We camped with people I'd met the year before. I didn't apply for low-income that time, because I didn't know about it (if it existed then). Was it responsible of me to go Burn? Absolutely. :D I neglected nothing.

Still others get a cheap flight to Reno (packed with precision) buy some food and water, and do a rideshare from there, formally or informally, chipping in $50 for gas and meeting up on the inside with an online friend who has a shade structure. Etc.

Maybe somebody's just a little short. And they apply to the Low Income program. Or maybe they don't apply and borrow from a relative, because they are lucky enough to have one.

If one is creative, network-y and lucky, is possible to Burn rather cheaply and without neglecting your responsibilities (I didn't have any dependents, debt or any bill-skipping to get to the Burn in 2001, for example). It really depends on the person & how their life is structured, how many expenses they have, what mercies they encounter from friends and family, if they live with someone, if they can borrow a little, if they have camping gear already. Money in, money out, responsibilities, dependents, jobs, health, distance . . . it all comes into play. This is why these applications are reviewed by humans. It's just complicated.

I'm applying becausse in my situation the ticket price does make or break my ability to be there, and I have other life shit i wont get onto going on thats affecting my income which isn't a lot. Not to mention the 1000's of dollars i owe the gov beacuse i went grad school and the fact that I live in one of the most exspensive cities in the world. I work 3+ jobs just to stay afloat.


I would say . . . concern yourself with expressing yourself not with apology or defensiveness, but with truth, and pride in your abilities for getting by on comparatively little in a a big, expensive city with the responsibilities you have. If you believe it's fair for you to apply, believe it full on, and focus on communicating that. Worrying about how you compare to someone else monetarily, dollar for dollar, is tempting but not ultimately useful. Who's the poorest of them all? It doesn't matter, you can only make your own case.

But at the same time I do see what others said about the programs real need to exist. I'm so happy it does as I know personally know people it has helped, but It is a vacation. This is why i think maybe a volunteering requirement should be implemented.


Yep, at the end of the day, it's a vacation . . . albeit kind of a special one, whose staff sells a number of specially priced tickets. So we are starting from a standpoint of "it's a vacation". It's not like applicants are borrowing the money from the bank for "home repairs" and spending it on vacation. People are applying for vacation assistance, and getting vacation assistance. :)
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby KrisMuffin » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:16 pm

Honestly, thank you for that. That was a really well thought out response, and you've made me feel a bit better about applying. ( Also, excellent tip on the gifted frequent flyer miles.)

If my response seemed defensive, it because it was. If "they" really are reading these boards and people are trying to say that 13,000 a year is absolutely NOT low income frankly upsets me. It's a low income ticket not just a no income one, and I really hope the person who asked that question above still applies. (My explanation to the oragnization will be different, promise)

I think 1,400 is a lot, but I can sort if see where they are getting that number. I have many burner friends here in Boston, and all have told me its about $1000 with travel and supplies and they arent starting totally green.The only people I know who do it cheaper are ones who rely on gifts from others on playa and fly into San Fran ( im going Reno for my ride if im awarded a tix). I'm lucky I can borrow a lot of my exspnsive gear, but with all the "Newbies are going to ruin burning man" comments, I won't dare gamble a thing. I wouldn't anyway, but I'm determined to prove that new people can make it and I almost feel every one of us should have this attitude.

I've been consistently looking for flights and trains and both are about $425 to $450 right now. The Greyhound is 215, but the extra time it would take to get there would end up costing the same as a flight in possible work lost. If anyone knows of a way to get a cheaper flight or train PLEASE PM me. I'd say prices will go down in the summer, but we all know gas is not going down and it's a holiday weekend. So the extra break in ticket price is somewhat of a ticket breaker when you are traveling from almost 3000miles away.
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." - W. Wonka
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KrisMuffin
 
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:28 pm

KrisMuffin wrote:If my response seemed defensive, it because it was. If "they" really are reading these boards and people are trying to say that 13,000 a year is absolutely NOT low income frankly upsets me. It's a low income ticket not just a no income one, and I really hope the person who asked that question above still applies. (My explanation to the oragnization will be different, promise)

One of the things that breaks my heart--or at least bends it hard--about the low-income discussions is seeing how much people hate the poor. If you're poor you should never have any fun, or vacation, or any break in the utter misery of your daily routine of eating your cold can of spam and applying for 83 minimum wage jobs.
It gets pretty mean spirited...
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


Get a Taint, you pathetic cur!
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Re: What constitutes "low income"? (talk amongst yourselves

Postby trevkong » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:18 pm

One of the things that breaks my heart--or at least bends it hard--about the low-income discussions is seeing how much people hate the poor. If you're poor you should never have any fun, or vacation, or any break in the utter misery of your daily routine of eating your cold can of spam and applying for 83 minimum wage jobs.
It gets pretty mean spirited...[/quote]


^^This. I have to read the self righteous posts of people who think they know how to live everyone elses lives enough on political blogs. If you cant escape that here, where can you?
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