The Working Poor: Invisibe in America

1519 words 7 pages
Regardless if we are aware of it or not, not many Americans live the supposed American Dream of having a nice car, big house, well paying job, and have a secure family. In the renowned novel The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler he captures those Americans who live invisible in America that work so hard to suffer from the psychological effects of poverty. Not only does Shipler do that but he also indirectly talks about the “American Myth” and the “American Anti Myth through the lives on these individuals.” In The Working Poor Shipler goes on to explain both of the myths. Shipler states that the American Myth “still supposes that any individual from the humblest origins can climb to well-being” (Shipler, pg.5), but …show more content…
When we look at Ann’s story and her struggle in life we see that Ann is an example of the Americans who are invisible in America. Ann tried to make her credit better by paying them off, but she eventually had to stop just so she could save up to file bankruptcy. Another individual in the novel that portrays the “American Myth” is Christie. She “did the job that this labor-hungry economy could not do without” (Shipler, pg. 39). Every morning she would drive her battered Volkswagen from public housing the child care center where she watched little children so their parents could go to work, but the ironic part about that was Christie “could not afford to put her own two children in the daycare center where she worked” (Shipler, pg. 39). Christie low income entitled here to food stamps and rental subsidy, “but whenever she get a little pay raise, government agencies reduced the benefits,” (Shipler, pg.40) and Christie felt punished for working because she already did not earn that much and the food stamps she received was not enough to feed her and her children. So when the food stamps is reduced that is more money she has to take out of her little to nothing $330 check. Unless employers can and will pay a good deal to society’s essential labor, “those working hard at the edge of poverty [like Christie] will stay there” (Shipler, pg 46). Work didn’t work for Debra Hall either. Debra was one of the single mothers on welfare and


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