Miranda's Reviews > The Working Poor: Invisible in America

The Working Poor by David K. Shipler
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Mar 12, 12

Read from March 04 to 11, 2012

ok so i liked this book. it is mass-market muckraking. the solutions at the end assume a market economy (which is totally safe for mass-market i guess!) so it ends up being a set of harrowing tales of life in or near poverty with the end result being, "well, it's all connected, so we need more funding for ... everything." which like yes! but also, hey, a living wage? he almost-kinda-doesn't really mention the possibility that walmart etc. paying wages as low as they can possibly get away with because the social safety can and will and does step in with food stamps and other subsidies that make this possible! so work can be an answer, it is not THE answer, you know?

our economy is utterly fucked and by couching his solutions within the system after so much (deserved!) hand-wringing about the Life of the Poor, it left me cold.

it didn't mean to be more than this, this, this, told a dozen different ways: "Workers at the edge of poverty are essential to America’s prosperity, but their well-being is not treated as an integral part of the whole. Instead, the forgotten wage a daily struggle to keep themselves from falling over the cliff. It is time to be ashamed."

i SO understand the impulse to set context and propose solutions but they were so tepid! agh! anyway, read this. anecdotal evidence is powerful.
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Reading Progress

03/04/2012 page 5
1.0%
03/05/2012 page 56
16.0% "vital muckraking"
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