The Working Poor: Invisible in America
It's a great book. ...more
It's not easy at all ...more
The most heinous problems to me were sexual abuse/domestic violence.
p. 162 At the extremes of the debate, liberals don’t want to see the dysfunctional family, and conservatives want to see nothing else. Depending on the ideology, destructive parenting is either not a cause or th ...more
Overall, my impressions were very favorable. Shipler approached this topic with a great deal of empathy, but ...more
however, if you are looking for a systemic analysis of which policies and procedures create this poverty trap and perpetuate these conditions, this is not the book ...more
It was a reminder that if you are able to spend time reading books for fun (much less spending more time commenting on them online!), you are very ble ...more
If we only define the working class as people who do not have a college degree, however, then a sizable amount of all American ...more
Through interviews with the working poor and the peopl ...more
He poi ...more
In 1997, while many Americans appeared to be enjoying the benefits of a soaring economy, author David K. Shipler was on a quest to unveil a faction of society that was hidden in plain sight, America’s working poor. Shipler set out to bring to light the forgotten America, those living at or under the federal government’s official poverty line, employed yet still struggling to survive, day by day. In hopes of vanquishing the invisibility cloak that obscured a lar ...more
I would be interested to hear more of his opinions on the current state of the working poor, since the book was originally published in 2004 and edited in 2016.
The United States is simultaneously one of the richest and poorest countries in the world, a land marked by both obscene waste and desperate poverty. Explanations vary as to the cause of the widening income gap; some blame a deteriorating culture, others globalized free trade, and still others maintain it's a classic case of exploitation. Poverty ma ...more
If a single cause were identified, a remedy might be readily designed. It would fit neatly into a liberal or conservative prescription. If either the system's exploitation or the victims' irresponsibility were to blame, one or the other side of the debate would be satisfied. If the reasons were merely corporate greed or government indifference or impoverished schools, then liberal solutions would suffice. If the causes were only the personal failures of parents and children, then conservative...more
If you don't know anything about the lives of poor people living in the United States, you might find that this book shines light on issues you've rarely considered. The book is written as a collection of stories, grouped by theme, about the lives of people whom the author interviews repeatedly over the span of a few years. These stories may help you see the working poor and their various situations from another perspe ...more
I wanted to like it, and I stuck with it a lot longer than I should've (40% of the way), but then I couldn't take it anymore and started skimming.
This book is hard to read. He'll spend a chapter on a specific type of people, like migrant workers, and pop from story to story with no segue. You'll read six pages about Mark and Lisa, then one paragraph later you'll be reading about Hernando, but they have nothing in common other than low wage poverty in the garment district of LA. It's ju ...more
"Nobody who works hard should be poor in America," writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Shipler. Few would disagree with that statement, yet even fewer would agree on how to reduce the factors that cause poverty in America. Presenting individual case studies, Shipler exposes the vicious social and economic injustices that define the working poor. (How can you buy false teeth if you don't have a job? But how can you get a job without teeth?) At times, he lets his frustration get the better of him...more
I thought the perspective Shipler had was fairly balanced between blaming/pointing at circumstances that are not necessarily the working poor's fault (i.e. attending a poorly funded public school with few resources to ad ...more