The Working Poor

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Caroline Obacz
Eng 161 - Jennifer Lewis
MWF 11-11:50
Poverty is Inescapable
“They spend everything and save nothing” (Shipler 4) David Shipler states in The Working Poor when he refers to the working poor in America. Unfortunately, for some work just does not work due to conditions such as having to raise children and the inability to fully participate in school. Shipler specifically analyzes three mothers who exemplify those who will be poor for the rest of their lives due to the necessary expenses of their children and household bills. These women will never be able to live a middle-class lifestyle because they will never get the opportunity to make a sufficient amount over minimum wage to save money. Shipler points out that another reason for one to live in poverty forever is due to parents not fulfilling their children’s education requirements. Some parents are so wound up in themselves trying to get out of poverty that they forget to think about their children’s future and do not push them to attend school every day. In The Working Poor, Shipler effectively argues that for some Americans, poverty is inescapable due to the circumstances and standards that are presented to them such as being a single mother without opportunities and lack of education starting at a young age.

Education is one of the key factors in life that will help anyone succeed. Shipler introduces young children who dream about one day being a lawyer or doctor, but unless they have parents that motivate them, there will never be a chance for them. The children that Shipler tells about are ones who come from low income families, and whose parents never finished school and do not know what it is like to have dreams. Shipler reveals that “[s]ome parents with little education or busy work schedules cannot help with homework, cannot take time for meetings with teacher, and do not know how to be constructive advocates for their children” (Shipler 233). Shipler’s point shows that poverty...
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