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!DOWNLOAD PDF ♬ The Working Poor: Invisible in America ♙ As David K Shipler Makes Clear In This Powerful, Humane Study, The Invisible Poor Are Engaged In The Activity Most Respected In American Ideology Hard, Honest Work But Their Version Of The American Dream Is A Nightmare Low Paying, Dead End Jobs The Profound Failure Of Government To Improve Upon Decaying Housing, Health Care, And Education The Failure Of Families To Break The Patterns Of Child Abuse And Substance Abuse Shipler Exposes The Interlocking Problems By Taking Us Into The Sorrowful, Infuriating, Courageous Lives Of The Poor White And Black, Asian And Latino, Citizens And Immigrants We Encounter Them Every Day, For They Do Jobs Essential To The American EconomyWe Meet Drifting Farmworkers In North Carolina, Exploited Garment Workers In New Hampshire, Illegal Immigrants Trapped In The Steaming Kitchens Of Los Angeles Restaurants, Addicts Who Struggle Into Productive Work From The Cruel Streets Of The Nation S Capital Each Life Another Aspect Of A Confounding, Far Reaching Urgent National Crisis And Unlike Mostworks On Poverty, This One Delves Into The Calculations Of Some Employers As Well Their Razor Thin Profits, Their Anxieties About Competition From Abroad, Their Frustrations In Finding Qualified WorkersThis Impassioned Book Not Only Dissects The Problems, But Makes Pointed, Informed Recommendations For Change It Is A Book That Stands To Make A Difference Summary Poverty is caused by complex interactions between personal and societal business governmental failures The poor are affectedstrongly by small mistakes misfortunes that snowball due to lack of safety net The most heinous problems to me were sexual abuse domestic violencechokengtitiktitikchokeng 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 the only cause of poverty Neither stereotype is correct In my research along the edges of poverty, I didn t find many adults without troubled childhoods, and I came to see those histories as both cause and effect, intertwined with the myriad other difficulties of money, housing, schooling, health, job, and neighborhood that reinforce one another The interactions were described by Dr Robert Needleman, a behavioral pediatrician who sees children from all socio economic levels in Cleveland Horrendous parenting can cause severe behavior problems that have, as part of them, difficulty in paying attention, he said It takes a lot of psychological health to be able to go to school and pay attention to a teacher, and care and do the work The kids who do that are healthy Really bad parenting can prevent that p.162 3 A Balti malnutrition clinic video tapes parents feeding their children to show them their mistakes In one, a little boy sits in a highchair playing with his food but not eating His mother watches for a moment, then pulls out a magazine and reads Nothing ever goes into his mouth, and she pays no attention In the second session, the same boy sits on the floor, putting blocks in a plastic bucket His mother watches, yawns, puts her head down, and closes her eyes She has no interaction with her son The third session finds both mother and child sitting at a low table, each playing separately with plastic blocks The staff has told her, Play with your child, but she evidently thinks that means to play as if he weren t there, or to play as if she were a child herself Having built a stack of blocks, the boy says proudly, Look, Mommy She mocks him, repeating in a sarcastic tone, Look what I did, Mommy Then, without including her son, she tries to assemble the blocks into a formation pictured on the bucket s label The boy reaches for a block on the table in front of her She snatches it away and snaps, No Then she even dismantles the stack of blocks he s made to use a couple of them in her construction, all the while saying to him mockingly, Look, Mommy Look, Mommy Again in the forth session, they sit at the low table, each doing a separate puzzle The mother holds hers on her lap, tilted up so her son can t see it The boy picks up his puzzle, which is all together, then turns it over and dumps the pieces on the table with a clatter You re gonna pick them all up she says harshly You re making a mess The boy plays nicely and quietly, putting all the pieces carefully together again while the mother continues with her own puzzle, ignoring her son except to scold himchokengtitiktitikchokeng167 recent studies have shown that sensitive, responsive care in the first few years of life leads to greater school achievement and less need for special ed, fewer bx probs, less use of drugs and alcohol during adolescence, and a higher ability to form relationships among peers from preschool onchokengtitiktitikchokeng 225 Dr Zuckerman of Boston Medical Center hired attorneys to work on his staff to solve some medical issueschokengtitiktitikchokeng285 working poverty is a constellation of difficulties that magnify one another not just low wages but also low education, not just dead end jobs but also limited abilities, not just insufficient savings but also unwise spending, not just poor housing but also poor parenting, not just the lack of health insurance but also the lack of healthy households The villains are not just exploitative employers but also incapable employees, not just overworked teachers but also defeated and unruly pupils, not just bureaucrats who cheat the poor but also the poor who cheat themselves The troubles run strongly along both macro and micro levels, as systemic problems in the structure of political and economic power, and as individual problems in personal and family life All of the problems have to be attacked at oncechokengtitiktitikchokeng286 The first question is whether we know exactly what to do The second is whether we have the will to exercise our skill We lack the skill to solve some problems and the will to solve others, but one piece of knowledge we now possess We understand that holistic remedies are vital So, gateways to addressing a family s range of handicaps are needed, and they are best established at intersections through which working poor families are likely to travel i.e doctors and lawyers schools and parenting classes, banks, health insurance info public housing and English classes, job training chokengtitiktitikchokeng 288 voting not an answer b c most Americans don t vote their class interests In 2000 19% of Americans thought they were in the top 1% of wage earners, and another 20% expected to be Unfortunate b c no key sector of this free enterprise system, whether business or charity, escapes the pervasive influence wielded by government through tax policy, regulation, wage requirements, subsidies, grants, and the likechokengtitiktitikchokeng 289 Thomas Paine in Common Sense 1776 Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil in its worst state, an intolerable one p 299 Opportunity and poverty in this country cannot be explained by either the American Myth that hard work is a panacea or by the Anti Myth that the system imprisons the poor 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 through education. I often get into discussions with my father in law about the state of the nation, problems facing workers and companies, and especially the role of the government My father in law will often say the phrase, People just need to work harder in response to my queries about how to get people out of poverty or dead end jobs Well, I heard that phrase one too many times, so I decided to read David Shipler s book to find out if this American Dream is as easy to do as it sounds.It s not easy at all Sure, people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but that task requiresthan just elbow grease and a little savings these days When you are at this level, the smallest problem has gigantic ripples throughout your life Shipler notes throughout the book how each person or family he talks to has had a significant financial downfall due to a series of events These events are always inextricably connected For example, a mother of two has a very low paying job She needs to drive to her job because the bus won t get her there in time She also needs to drive her children to the day care center One day after work, the car does not start The kids are now at the day care center after hours, thus ringing up an extra bill which she cannot afford Plus, the car is broken and must be fixed Plus, she now has no way to get to work on time the next day or to get the kids to the day care.There are numerous other instances of these types of ripple effects in the book People living paycheck to paycheck cannot keep a bank account open due to minimum amount requirements They often get billed extra fees because they go below the amount Then they go into debt because they can t pay the extra fee back And they don t qualify for certain help from organizations or the government because they don t have a bank account because it s been closed due to the lack of a minimum amount in the account.These are the stories of the people who are trying and can t get out of the spiral Shipler also writes about people who are just flat out lazy These people play the system, lie, cheat, and steal to get their way, all without working These people give the working poor a bad name To me, Shipler s message is that we need to meet these people halfway If they put forth the effort to get on their feet, we need to help them get the other half Right now, they have to walk about 98% of that on their own before anyone else steps in.Although being incredibly sad, this was a very good book It did stray from the topic at hand from time to time, but each new topic was directly related to the troubles the working poor face lack of healthy diet, no health insurance, lack of good parenting skills, etc So now I have to recommend this book to my father in law so he can see that it takesthan just working hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps It s a Sisyphean task. If you don t know much about poverty, this book may prove useful to you, but go in with eyes open Shipler is at his best when he s letting the poor folks he speaks to speak for themselves However, he is very much a liberal, and while he s talking with poor people we also get sympathetic interviews with bosses, managers, job trainers, tough love social workers, and the like He praises people who shape themselves and allow themselves to be shaped into well behaved, obedient workers set on climbing into higher levels of workplace hierarchy His solution for the plight of the working poor is very much reformist and government centered the poor should overwhelm the rich at the voting booth, and his critique of how successful that has been could be is nonexistent The answer comes not from below from poor people organizing themselves and building power but from government programs, corporations, politicians, and benevolent gentry such as himself and his target audience Capitalism needs to be changed, but is essentially good It depends on poverty Shipler says so quite uncritically the issue for him is that the poor are treated better and given the opportunity to get ahead so others may replace them If any of this made you cringe, you might be better off finding something with a littleteeth. Although there weren t any astonishing revelations and I m not sure that s even possible with this subject matter the author did an excellent job of conveying the fragile interrelationships between education, housing, health, upbringing, transportation, health insurance etc and how one problem can trigger a devastating financial setback He writes, For practically every family, then, the ingredients of poverty are part financial and part psychological, part personal and part social, part past and part present Every problem magnifies the impact of the others, and with results far distant from the original cause A run down apartment can exacerbate a child s asthma, which leads to a call for an ambulance, which generates a medical bill which cannot be paid, which ruins a credit record, which hikes the interest rate on an auto loan, which forces the purchase of an unreliable used car, which jeopardizes a mother s punctuality at work, which limits her promotions and earning capacity, which confines her to poor housing He then proceeds to write about real people in such circumstances And the people he writes about, for the most part, are hard working people struggling to stay off welfare The writing is fair and balanced and the author doesn t assign blame One of the reviews said it was a book every American should read and read now I wouldn t go that far but I do think it s an important book and to the extent someone is in any way interested in the subject matter I recommend it highly It is a book I will want my children to read when they approach adulthood. I liked this book pretty well The author spent a lot of time talking with people of different races and backgrounds about their poverty and also with social workers who help them and with their employers Poverty was self imposed in all cases These people dropped out of school, had a stack of illegitimate kids they couldn t support, got involved in crime, used alcohol and drugs and even when they got jobs, they d just fail to go in to work or orientations and not call in They made bad life choices and never learned from them I felt horrible for the women who had been abused as kids and teens but hey, I too suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse but did not drop out of school I have a high school diploma, a bachelor s degree, and a master s degree all earned with honors from fully accredited schools I did not have any children out of wedlock I refused to get involved with or marry an abusive man I have never smoked, drunk alcohol, or used illegal drugs nor abused legal ones These women just did differently and locked themselves into misery I am sorry for them but I have no respect for anyone who hates what went on before then continues through life to keep making the same stupid mistakes I felt no pity for the illegal aliens They had no right to come here so as far as I am concerned, they deserve whatever horrible things that happen to them I do feel for legal immigrants however This is easy to read without jargon It is full of personal stories and I liked the book. This book is not what you would call a pick me upper I had to set it down sometimes, and come back to the stories of so many families fighting on so many fronts It was exhausting to read about the way so many have to fight just to stay above water and hold their families together or wishing sometimes they would let some parts of the family go It was a reminder that if you are able to spend time reading books for fun much less spendingtime commenting on them online , you are very blessed.I highly recommend this book to all areas of the political spectrum, and especially for those who feel inclined to pass judgement on the poor and their work ethic I appreciated the author s honesty in showing the mistakes and flaws of the people involved, and his insight into the ways that our government charities businesses fail the people they try to help I am also awed by those who stand in the trenches and extend their hands to help.I wish there weretake away actions do these three things and we can really solve this , but the fact is that doing so would undermine the point of the book It is a complex situation with complex answers I hope to learnabout what I can do to affect the changes needed so that families can step away from the brink and start functioning again. Sad, tragic and honest Goes well with the best seller Nickeled and Dimed. A manager at Barnes Nobles told me that this was a great book because it shifted blame for the problems of the poor onto the poor, thus holding them accountable and providing room for personal responsibility Hardly a compelling case for me So for a long time, I didn t read it But now I have, and what the BN guy said was a gross oversimplification and misreading More thoughts here s a great book. this is a very good book to read if you know a little about the policy problems facing the working poor and want to get a better idea of the human stories of people affected by them, or if you don t know anything about the daily lives of the working poor and need a good illustration of the thicket of problems trapping them in poverty.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 for you while it gave me an extremely vivid and personal view into the lives of many individuals and families struggling with poverty in the US because of different reasons disability, poor education, substandard housing, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc but does little to discuss how we can best address, ameliorate, or eliminate these problems.i have really mixed feelings about these kinds of books certainly when i hear poverty discussed in political terms, especially by conservatives, there is little acknowledgement of the extremely limiting effect of the interlocking systems and policies of oppression and deprivation so it s nice to have such a clear illustration of why lack of health insurance can prevent someone from getting a job on the other hand, the focus on the individual reinforces a sense that poverty should be addressed on the individual level the book details how church networks managed to keep several individuals from becoming homeless or hungry, thus implying expansion of that level of charitable programming as a solution.i wanted to readbig picture ideas, that prevent people from getting to this state, that address the systemic problems, and there was not a lot of that in this book.