The Working Poor Deserve Higher Pay And More Recognition

1595 Words Dec 11th, 2014 7 Pages
The Working Poor Deserve Higher Pay and More Recognition
28 percent of American workers in 2011 earned poverty-level wages. That is, three years ago more than one in four workers in our country were not able to stave off poverty despite their active employment, according to the Economic Policy Institute, and that number has only increased since then. In absolute terms, this translates to millions of employed Americans still falling below the US Census’s poverty level, according to Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Bill Quigley. These workers toil long hours at jobs that are challenging both physically and mentally. And to add insult to injury, they are faced with social stigma on account of their status as low-paid individuals. Yet, this class of Americans deserves more, not less, respect than society allocates to them. They make a valiant effort to support themselves while being paid poverty-level wages for their efforts. Our lowest-paid workers deserve to earn wages that will keep them out of poverty.
Most poor workers are employed in the service industry, as well as in farming, construction and sales [Quigley]. These careers are often believed by the wealthier members of American society to be simple and cognitively undemanding, and likewise, those who work low-wage jobs are thought to be slovenly. As a result, sympathy for the plight of low wage workers is minimal among the more affluent class.
The poor have come to be seen as pariahs by our…

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