Eng209 Qiuxiang Wu (leah)
In chapter three “importing the third world” of “the working poor”, David K. Shipler writes about the difficult life of immigrants in America. He states that undocumented immigrants are underpaid, exploited, and abused in sweatshops. His purpose in writing this chapter is to inform us of the essential contribution that immigrants make, the unfair treatment they receive, and the confined life they live in America. In supporting his argument, Shipler also discusses that prosperity doesn’t necessarily bring a higher wage. In contrast, it lowers the wage rate and increases the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Furthermore, he goes on to talk about the barriers the immigrants encounter and modern American mobility. At the beginning of this chapter, the author describes the wages the immigrants make in the garment industry. These factories pay their employees by piecework instead of by hour. This means a worker must finish a large amount of pieces to even reach minimum wage. Normally they get paid low, some with nimble fingers can make the most money, around $6 per hour. Some without experience or dexterity can only make $3 per hour. What’s worse, sometimes they are cheated by contractors and get no pay. The immigrants are absolutely underpaid and mistreated, but they can do nothing because of their illegal status and the fear of deportation. Simultaneously, David K. Shipler addresses that business owners have to cut overhead because of their restricted profits. He gives an example of a conscientious employer named Nicole who pays her employees at least $8 an hour, which is very desirable. Even though her business sometimes is doing very well, she is really cautious about raising wages. For some business owners like Maria, high wages are risky because some trades take a long period of time to get paid. These businesses must have a surplus of money at hand in case something happens. So they’d rather give their...
...The Struggle of the WorkingPoor
October 19, 2012
The Struggle of the WorkingPoor
Society often describes the impoverished with one word, lazy. Society has taught us that if a person wants to be financially successful, it is a simple process of education and hard work that will equate to a successful income. This is the American dream. If the impoverished simply would get a job instead of being lazy, they would not need to rely on programs like welfare. The impoverished would succeed if they only would apply themselves. However, in an attempt to present another point of view, The WorkingPoor Invisible in America by David K. Shipler (2004) explored multiple variables this group struggles with daily.
Chapter 1, “Money and Its Opposite,” explains the workings and effects of tax payments and refunds, the abuse of the poor by public and private institutions, the spending habits of the workingpoor, the consumerist culture of the United States, and the omnipresence of money as a guiding factor in the lives of the workingpoor. Chapter 2, “Work Doesn’t Work,” chronicles the struggles of three working women as they attempt to climb out of poverty through employment. They hold jobs that pay between $6 and $7 per hour and attempt to eke out a...
...people out there that are workingpoor and on the poverty that is happening around our country.
In our society many people do not understand how people are in poverty. They do not understand what is meant by workingpoor, people believe as long as their working so how can they be poor. Statistics show that in 2001, there were 653, 300 workingpoor individuals in Canada, and 1.5 million that are living in a workingpoor family. The people who are workingpoor have many jobs but their wages aren't high enough to provide enough income to support their families adequately. Also people who worked in the labour force not only didn't earn enough, but they could only find seasonal jobs.
Distinguishing between low income and workingpoor
Low paid workers are individuals whose annual earnings are low while the workingpoor are individuals whose economic family income falls under a poverty threshold. To determine if an individual is low paid it depends not only on their income alone but also determines that the workingpoor is looks at all of everyone's income in that family. However if an individuals earnings are combined with that of another worker then the probability of being poor is greatly...
...The workingpoor are those people that work the hardest for their dollar, work the hardest to get their paychecks, work the hardest to survive. Most of the workingpoor live paycheck to paycheck and like the saying goes, “robbing from Peter to pay Paul.” There is a way out of poverty, and there is a way for these struggling individuals to escape the perils of their life in poverty. It is not an easy road out, but it is possible. It is important for those that are born into this lifestyle to know that this is not a destination; there is hope that they will live a so called “better” life.
Who are the WorkingPoor?
Before we describe who the workingpoor are, let’s describe what poverty is. “There are two general methods of defining poverty. One is to use a relative definition- measuring the wealth and income of a certain population and finding out who has the least relative to the others…Another method of defining and measuring poverty is to use an absolute definition. This method sets a minimum standard of income and/or wealth, regardless of how many people are above or below the standard,” (Burger, 2008, p. 290). There are positives and negatives to both of these measures of poverty, for example, taking in the cost of living in areas may be another determining factor. The amount of money that a family makes in a rural, farm community may be just fine, but...
...The WorkingPoor travels into the forgotten America. It is a book about people and places that most us have never thought about. We have our debates about these people, their lifestyles, how they raise their children and where they work but we don't really know them and for the most part don't care. How many of us notice "the man who washes cars but does not own one, the clerk who files cancelled checks at the bank but has $2.02 in her own account or the woman who copyedits medical textbooks but hasn't been to a dentist in a decade?"(Shipler,3) With this book, Shipler takes you into their lives, it allows you to understand some of their choices and their lack of options. The WorkingPoor makes you understand what it is like to work hard, but still not be able to rise out of poverty
The people in this book are in a life of poverty for many reasons, they are "climbing out of welfare, drug addiction or homelessness" (Shipler, 4) and now are trapped in low-wage work. For these people any small inconvenience can strip their small savings, take their home and put them on the streets. When they work for minimum wage, or close to, and have no benefits, any small upset is a crisis. If a child gets sick, they can not afford to take them to the doctor or get a prescription, the child's condition worsens and they must get emergency care and be away from work, they most likely will lose their job and then be stuck with...
...David Shipler “The WorkingPoor, Invisible in America”
In David Shipler’s article on “the workingpoor, invisible in America,” he discusses how being poor has an effect on people, especially in the United States of America. It seems that at the bottom of the working world, millions of people seem to live in the shadows of prosperity that they are in the limbo stage between poverty and well-being. People seem to be in difficult situations where they are rising of being in poverty, they wish badly to get out that it seems hard to get out. Many people in America have to work heinous jobs in order to earn a good living, however not all the time they are able to get out. Getting out of poverty is hard work, people need to work especially hard that at times a person is most likely to succeed. Then there are times, when it becomes hard to earn a good living.
How come it becomes hard to get out poverty? A person is probably likely to get a job where they are working the minimum wage that one has to stay for a while in order to earn a good decent amount of money to be able to live on their own. And then yet, at times a person is most likely to go behind on their bills that they keep reaching the poverty line. A person can have their own place and be able to succeed but there are hardships in life that it becomes difficult to get out. And yet, how can a person get out of living a...
... The WorkingPoor: Invisible in America
David K. Shipler
David K. Shipler is the author of The WorkingPoor: Invisible in America, also winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his book Arabs and Jews: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, and a Journalist/ Foreign correspondent for the New York Times. Shipler is a well known author who shows have had plenty of life experiences and education, while studying society and trying to understand the situation of the poor in our country. He writes this remarkable book portraying the lives of fifteen people who are less fortunate than others with low- wage jobs or no job, bad life conditions, issues within family, immigrants, all faceing uncountable struggles with poverty. He began his research in 1997 while interviewing individuals in the lower class of society from all over the country, men and women, all ages, race, and living situation, for about five years. Shipler tries to understand and challenge these situation on all levels with politics and human behavior. No one story can explain all the point of views and encounters Shipler comes across, that is why all of these stories and examples were necessary. While reading their stories is very sad and frustrating at times this is reality told by the people themselves, with no simple way out. These life stories showed us every situation...
Eng 161 - Jennifer Lewis
Poverty is Inescapable
“They spend everything and save nothing” (Shipler 4) David Shipler states in The WorkingPoor when he refers to the workingpoor in America. Unfortunately, for some work just does not work due to conditions such as having to raise children and the inability to fully participate in school. Shipler specifically analyzes three mothers who exemplify those who will be poor for the rest of their lives due to the necessary expenses of their children and household bills. These women will never be able to live a middle-class lifestyle because they will never get the opportunity to make a sufficient amount over minimum wage to save money. Shipler points out that another reason for one to live in poverty forever is due to parents not fulfilling their children’s education requirements. Some parents are so wound up in themselves trying to get out of poverty that they forget to think about their children’s future and do not push them to attend school every day. In The WorkingPoor, Shipler effectively argues that for some Americans, poverty is inescapable due to the circumstances and standards that are presented to them such as being a single mother without opportunities and lack of education starting at a young age.
Education is one of the key factors in life that will help anyone succeed. Shipler introduces...
March 24, 2014
Obstacles Faced by the WorkingPoor
There are millions of Americans who have jobs but still remain poor despite the strong labor markets; these people are referred to as "the workingpoor." The workingpoor are working people whose incomes fall below a given poverty line. Even though these people are working, the wages are insufficient causing them to face numerous obstacles that make it difficult for them to provide the basic necessities to maintain a stable life. Some of these barriers include not having a full-time job, the struggle of finding affordable housing, and lacking higher education.
According to the United States Department of Labor, "the workingpoor lack full-time employment." The author Marlene Kim states, "The workingpoor work on average two thirds of a year, rather than all year round." One factor that could be affecting the full-year employment could be that the job is seasonal. That would be the explanation as to why the people are only working two thirds of a year. Kim also declares, "The workingpoor suffer from involuntary layoffs." There are multiple reasons why people get laid off. It could be that the company is losing business and is forced to cut back on staff. It could also be...