Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Working Poor

If you'll remember (see this post if not), I agreed to do a bit of reading as a part of my Lenten discipline. Although keeping up with the beans and rice has not been quite as easy as we'd thought, I did complete both of the books I wanted to read.

This week Birmingham-Southern is hosting the author, David Shipler, of one of the books I read, The Working Poor.

If you are looking for a good text on poverty as it exists in America, this is a good one. Basically Shipler tells the stories of many Americans living at or below the poverty lines. They are Americans that are working just as hard (if not harder) than the rest of us and struggle to get by each and every day. He takes a wholistic approach to the problems of the working poor. For instance, if a single parent has a sick child he or she might have to take a day off of work to care for that child. That day off means a day less of pay...and what if they child doesn't get well? And not only that, he points out that often the child is sick because of poor living conditions like mold or bugs. This is just one example of the many stories Shipler shares in the text.

After hearing Shipler share his stories on campus this week, I am even more moved to share this text with others. It is powerful and will give you a good perspective on what it means to be a part of the working poor in our country.

So...go get this book!

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