$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America (CD-Audio)

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"Two academics chronicle the new face of the poor in America, post welfare reform. Edin, a sociologist at Hopkins, and Shaefer, at the School of Social Work at Michigan, look at eight families in four regions of the United States, Chicago, Cleveland, the Mississippi Delta and the Appalachian Foothills of Tennessee, with stories that will remind readers of Nickel and Dimed. The good news is that in a world where there are work incentives and term limits to certain benefits, there’s actually more government money than before reform. The bad news is that virtually no cash component allows poor people almost no flexibility. The lack of subsidized housing has deleterious effects—it’s not a question of doubling up, but of 20 people living in a three bedroom apartment. And heaven help a person with no job who can’t get on disability of some sort. Edin and Shaefer highlight the continuing plight of the poorest of the poor, noting what policies have worked and others that have backfired, offering a few prescriptive solutions for action."

— Daniel Goldin

"This punches you in the gut, as you read about people living in America making $1-$2 per day to live on. It shows what a broken society we are that we have seven siblings sharing a bed and they all have one outfit to wear day after day. If you growing up in this kind of poverty, what wouldn't you do to get out? Who would attempt to exploit you to get what they want? Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer have done a tremendous job shedding light on a very dark part of our country, one that we ignore in the media , except to bash the all the programs designed to help the poor, and one where generations of poor families are almost doomed to repeat. Edin and Shaefer also offer some possible solutions that could be a good starting point to bring hope."

— Jason Kennedy

Description


The story of a kind of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don't even think exists from a leading national poverty expert who defies convention (New York Times). Edin and Shaefer tell the stories of eight families who live on what is almost unimaginable – an income that falls below the World Bank definition of poverty in the developing world. Their stories need to be heard, especially as we head into our election year that will highlight the questions on income and inequality, and our commitment to making prosperity available to all. We have made great steps toward eliminating poverty around the world – extreme poverty has declined significantly and seems on track to continue to do so in the next decades. Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank estimates that extreme poverty can be eliminated in 17 Years. This is clearly cause for celebration. However, this good news can make us oblivious to the fact that there are, in the United States, a significant and growing number of families who live on less than $2.00 per person, per day. That figure, the World Bank measure of poverty, is hard to imagine in this country most of us spend more than that before we get to work or school in the morning. In $2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, Kathryn Edin and Luke Schaefer introduce us to people like Jessica Compton, who survives by donating plasma as often as ten times a month and spends hours with her young children in the public library so she can get access to an internet connection for job-hunting; and like Modonna Harris who lost the cashiers job she held for years, for the sake of $7.00 misplaced at the end of the day. They are the would-be working class, with hundreds of job applications submitted in recent months and thousands of work hours logged in past years. Twenty years after William Julius Wilson's When Work Disappears, it's still all about the work. But as Edin and Shaefer illuminate through incisive analysis and indelible human stories, the combination of a government safety net built on the ability to work and a low-wage labor market increasingly designed not to deliver a living wage has delivered a vicious one-two punch to the would-be working poor. More than a powerful expose of a troubling trend, $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our central national debate on work, income inequality, and what to do about it.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781622319145
ISBN-10: 1622319141
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Language: English