From the New York Times' interactive graphic on household income, I learned that my annual income from TA-ing, plus summer research funding (optimistically assuming I receive some), plus money from Mom's life insurance actually puts me in the top half of incomes...in Flint, MI.
By way of comparison, that total puts me just barely above the bottom third in Los Angeles, CA (where I live), and New York, NY (where I lived until July).
In Washington, DC, where the boyfriend lives, and on Long Island, where I grew up and where my dad still lives, my income places me squarely in the bottom fifth.
If I did not have money from Mom's life insurance and relied entirely on my income as a graduate student, I would be in the bottom 38% in Flint, bottom 24% in NY, bottom 21% in LA, and bottom 10% in DC and on LI.
Forgive me if I don't have much compassion for some of the folks in this article who are uncomfortable discussing their magnificent wealth with a reporter.