The Working Poor in America Essay

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The Working Poor in America

The United States, a place where anyone can “pick themselves up by the bootstraps” and realize the American dream of a comfortable lifestyle. Well, for over 30 million Americans this is no longer possible. Though we live in the richest and most powerful country in the world there are many who are living under or at the precipice of the poverty level, “While the United States has enjoyed unprecedented affluence, low-wage employees have been testing the American doctrine that hard work cures poverty” (The Working Poor, 4). This translates to families of four making around 18,850$ a year. And as soon as they find work or move just slightly above that 18,850$ a year (which is still a meager and deprived way to
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And this is why the cycle of poverty is so hard to break; since every penny they make is spent on everyday needs, nothing is left to act as a support system for them when they fall (getting fired, major crisis, etc.).

This lack of “support systems” is why the poor ultimately fail to advance. Throughout the last decade the federal government has issued billions of dollars into work supports, but due to unorganized tactics they have failed at eliminating poverty, “law makers have poured billions of dollars into ‘work supports’ such as child-care subsidies and employment tax credits. Yet no one in Washington seemed to think about assembling these services in a coherent package that would be accessible and convenient to struggling workers” (The American Prospect). The answer, according to Sharon Parrott, director of welfare reform and income support division at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “says it [policy] would have three components: convenient one stop service centers; streamlined application forms; and generous income ceilings so that a working parent doesn’t lose eligibility for, say, health insurance the minute he or she climbs above the poverty
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