The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler Essay

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler Essay

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In The Working Poor: Invisible in America, David K. Shipler tells the story of a handful of people he has interviewed and followed through their struggles with poverty over the course of six years. David Shipler is an accomplished writer and consultant on social issues. His knowledge, experience, and extensive field work is authoritative and trustworthy. Shipler describes a vicious cycle of low paying jobs, health issues, abuse, addiction, and other factors that all combine to create a mountain of adversity that is virtually impossible to overcome. The American dream and promise of prosperity through hard work fails to deliver to the 35 million people in America who make up the working poor. Since there is neither one problem nor one solution to poverty, Shipler connects all of the issues together to show how they escalate each other. Poor children are abused, drugs and gangs run rampant in the poor neighborhoods, low wage dead end jobs, immigrants are exploited, high interest loans and credit cards entice people in times of crisis and unhealthy diets and lack of health care cause a multitude of problems. The only way that we can begin to see positive change is through a community approach joining the poverty stricken individuals, community, businesses, and government to band together to make a commitment to improve all areas that need help.
The people that David Shipler interviewed are the type of people seen every day working at restaurants, Wal-Mart, and gas stations. They do not fit into the prejudice description of mooching welfare recipients. They are people on the edge of the poverty line that are affected by a multitude of issues that snowball into a lifetime of a constant debt and crisis. Shipler studies these working po...


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...elp the working middle class from falling into poverty or to help the working poor rise out of poverty. Furthermore the working poor themselves lack the knowledge and power to demand reform. David Shipler says it best when he writes, “Relief will come, if at all, in an amalgam that recognizes both the society’s obligation through government and business, and the individual’s obligation through labor and family —and the commitment of both society and individual.” (Shipler 5786-5788) It is time for America to open its eyes and see the invisible working poor.



Works Cited
Shipler, David K. The Working Poor: Invisible in America (Vintage). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition, 2008.
“The American Dream: Out of Reach?” America Press 10/3/2011: Pages. Vol. 205 Issue 9, p6-6. 8/9
Zalan, Kira. “Pushing for Hope and Change.” U.S. News Digital Weekly (4/20/2012)

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