Shipler explains the effects of tax payments and refunds, the abuse of the poor by private and public institutions, the spending habits of the working poor, the culture of the U.S., and the presence of money as a factor in the lives of the working poor. In dealing with government bureaucracy or private business, the working poor are vulnerable to the abuse of con-artists, employers, financial service providers, and public service providers. Financial service providers can misguide or misinform their clients about their services or rights. For example, check-cashing services and tax preparers may charge high interest rates and fees for their services. Employers are able to escape paying overtime and fulfilling other services of labor laws due to the ignorance or helplessness of poor workers.
Shipler believes that the poor ignore the abuse they receive or find that they have no resources for help. He also describes wasteful spending habits of the working poor he interviewed. Many U.S. families spent income on a lot of non-essentials, such as cell phones or cable television, or also failed to spend money wisely on healthy food. People often developed bad credit card debt and were eventually forced to file for bankruptcy. Several people became victims to high fees and high interest rates, and suddenly found that they si...
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... sense of competition, job-finding skills, money management skills, and persistence, fall into place. Drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, poor schooling, illness, or injury can seriously destroy the chance for upward social mobility. Kathy A. Zawicki believes that “those who Shipler identifies as desperately poor, lacking necessary medical care, and struggling to meet basic daily living expenses are those who are not only working, but, in many cases, working the equivalent of full-time jobs.” (1)
Shipler emphasizes that American society must understand what it can do and what it would do to combat poverty. The approach to fixing poverty, Shipler argues, must be universal, tackling all problems associated with it at once. Poverty is complicated, and so any solution must be universal. Shipler discusses that “Working poverty is a constellation of difficulties that
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