The Working Poor: Invisibe in America Essay

1513 WordsOct 2, 20087 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…
It is just that the individuals in this novel are scattered along this spectrum of polar opposites, that each person’s life “is the mixed product of bad choices and bad fortune, of roads taken and roads cut off” (Shipler, pg.6). The debate on welfare and other social policies has been shaped by the question on “how to define the individual’s role in his/her own poverty” (Shipler, pg.7). The poor have less control over their private decisions; their personal mistakes have larger penalties, and their personal achievement only bring back a small reward. What many people do not realize such as employers is that the poor lack “hard skills” like the use of a computer and “soft skills” like interacting with people and peers. In the novel there are many Americans that depict the “American Myth,” for example Ann she was typical of the low wage working people ( Shipler, pg. 24-25), but the thing is Ann did not point fingers of blame at anyone, she excepted that she got herself into the situation that she is now. Even though she knew that the credit card companies rates were high she made the option of using them, but that is not because she had a choice or not but only because she had to. The lease on Ann truck was about to expire and her ex husbands child support of $100 was about to stop because her daughter was about to turn 18. Ann only had one option left which was bankruptcy but then she found

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