The Uses Of Poverty: The Poor Pay All Analysis

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Next, Herbert J. Gans’ essay, “The Uses of Poverty: The Poor Pay All”, is extremely important in the analysis of the frontline documentary. Gans has a bit of a different approach on poverty and the poor. For example, he says, “Today, poverty is more maligned than the political machine ever was; yet it, too, is a persistent social phenomenon.” Basically, he argues that the poor are a very important part in society. He goes on to explain different functions of poverty. First, he states that the existence of poverty ensures that society’s dirty work will be done. Society in some ways forces the poor to do these jobs because they almost always don’t have the choice, and they make them do these at low wages. This was one of the hard things…show more content…
No matter how hard they tried to find better jobs, they just couldn’t push through. Another benefit that the poor have to offer the world is that poverty creates jobs for a number of occupations that protect the rest of society from them. Without the poor, the police force would be minuscule. Also, the poor buy goods others do not want. This helps the economy immensely because these products would eventually just be thrown out if the poor didn’t purchase them. The poor are also culturally recognized in history. For example, most Americans listen to the blues, which originated from the southern poor. And on top of that, they serve as cultural heroes, such as the cowboy or hobo. One thing in particular that the poor have to offer is that poverty helps guarantee the status of those who are not poor. Nobody wants to live in poverty. However, not everyone can live in luxury. Therefore, people in poverty should not feel like complete failures. It isn’t easy to succeed in today’s world. They things that the poor do to help the middle and upper class helps out country in so many different ways. If they learn to realize this, they wouldn’t feel as much like failures. In every world there…show more content…
It is almost hard to believe that they couldn’t find any well-paying stable jobs. However, it must not be as easy as it looks. One thing that amazes me is how able these people are to stay positive in the hardest of times. Many families in society that aren’t struggling take things for granted and do not stay positive when little things do not go their way. That could be identified as a stereotype, but that is something that I think many people would recognize if they paid close attention. One of the families in particular in the documentary had an extremely impressive attitude. The father was a pastor at a small church. The faith that they have shown in their struggles is absolutely incredible. To be able to go through life with almost nothing to offer their children, and with a positive attitude and strong faith at the same time is something that everyone in society should strive for. One thing that the mother of this family said was, “fake it ‘til you make it”. In some ways this is true, but I don’t believe they were necessarily “faking”. They just had strong, positive attitudes and a large amount of optimism that helped pull them through their
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