David Marotta explains in his classic essay: "Why Is Bob Cratchit So Poor?"
- His salary, we are told, is 15 shillings a week.
- The British pound was divided into 20 shillings, and
- each shilling was divided into 12 pennies or pence.
- So, Bob Cratchit makes 15 shillings or 180 pence each week
--- about the wage of a metropolitan police officer and
--- well above the truly needy.
Economics Essays of the Victorian era included titles such as
- “How to live on 8 shillings a week”
- The Cratchit’s daughter, Martha, is apprenticed to a milliner and earns additional income.
- And Peter, their eldest son, is about to obtain a job earning 5 shillings and 6 pence weekly. He, too, is to be a man of business.
So why is the Cratchit family so poor?
- Bob Cratchit is a spendthrift, or shopaholic.
- The shopaholic is one of 8 different personality types in Bert Whitehead’s book, “Facing Financial Dysfunction”
- Cratchit is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Ebenezer Scrooge.
- Whereas Scrooge combines greed with a propensity to save,
- Bob Cratchit combines fear with a propensity to spend.
Bonus: George C. Scott as Scrooge - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI5UWo7NCdY