Different opinions from Barbara Ehrenreich and David Brooks
Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed did an investigation about living conditions of workers who were regarded as unskilled and low-wage employees. Ehrenreich also wanted to figure out how millions of women are able to survive on $6 or $7 an hour after welfare reform (Ehrenreich 1). The article The Limits of Policy by David Brooks discusses the importance of government policy and how government policy will affect people's lives. Basically, Ehrenreich and Brooks are concerned with the same issue; however, they yield different conclusions about the issue. For example, Ehrenreich states that low income people need more help from the American government and government policy is really important for changing living conditions of working poor. On the contrary, David Brooks clarifies that government policy is not as significant as people thought because most of proposals will have only limited effects on people's lives. In my opinion, government policy cannot decide everything but it will have huge impact on those people who urgently need help, such as low-wage employees, the disabled and single-parent families. Firstly, Ehrenreich concludes with a statistic. The Economic Policy Institute, after many studies, declared that a “living wage” was approximately $30,000 a year for a family of one adult and two children. This is not the minimum as it includes health insurance, telephone, and licensed childcare but not such luxuries as restaurant meals, Internet access, cigarettes, or alcohol. The “living wage” works out to be about $14 an hour. Unfortunately, over 60 percent of American workers earn less than that per hour (Ehrenreich 213). In addition, Ehrenreich emphasizes low income people are encountering many problems, such as, hard to find affordable housing, most of them don't have health insurance and shortage of living necessaries because of extremely low salaries. Therefore,...
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