Customer Reviews for

The Working Poor: Invisible in America

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A job very well done!

Mr. Shipler is as interesting to listen to as to read! It is quite apparent that the federal poverty level is not accurate to conceal the continued downward spiral of the what was once the middle class. The average pay for an employee of walmart Lowe's Target or Home ...
Mr. Shipler is as interesting to listen to as to read! It is quite apparent that the federal poverty level is not accurate to conceal the continued downward spiral of the what was once the middle class. The average pay for an employee of walmart Lowe's Target or Home Depot is probably what the minimum wage should be.Many companies overstate the value of benefits to employees to exaggerate their 'overall value', a combination of wages plus benefits(many of which the employee cannot afford to partake of) which makes even your average retail worker look like they are 'doing good' but in reality are not. I know of many who barely have enough to eat and some who have been homeless while working(working very hard i might add) let alone save for retirement or a home. Until America wakes up to the suffering within it, the ranks will continue to grow with functionally poor workers.

posted by Anonymous on January 11, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Not bad

I honestly do not remember much about this book just a couple of months after reading it. I guess that says enough about it.

posted by 1407765 on May 30, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    A Sad State of the Times

    A great read involving the truth and reality of the working poor in the US and the world. A very powerful book and a great investment. I would recommend for corporate leaders and mid manager executives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2004

    Much more of this needed!

    I hope many more books like this come out to describe what is really going on to the average person. The American dream is just that to most American citizens,contrary to what the powerful say. The American system does not reward hard work,employee loyalty nor offer security. In addition, many companies,such as retail, offer 'savings' to customers by low-ball paying their workers(most of which technically fall under Federal Poverty guidelines based on pay). The typical American worker also has to deal with employers spying on them continuously in (and out of, the workplace, at times)the workplace always using theft as the reason when most of the time it is a control issue and background checks that enrich private investigative firms which have no compassion towards individuals nor respect for individual privacy.The average American,such as myself, is a modern day slave doomed never to prosper and whose best prospects are to die early and avoid a lifetime of struggle and despair. America is about survival of the fittest, not survival of the nicest,kindest or most compassionate. There are many,many books out there which suggest that if you fail to prosper in America it is because of some defect in you. One thing which might help to reduce the number of poor and working poor is a spiritual mindset change in people such that a person can acquire a certain degree of wealth THEN WALK AWAY and leave some for others to acquire as well.After all, how much wealth does one really need to lead a full life? Can't Bill Gates live a luxurious life on 1/2000 of his present holdings? The tax structure itself is designed to keep people from rising economically.To offset this criticism, some will say it only happens this way because individuals don't understand the workarounds. Is it realistic to expect that every American is to become an expert in taxation? Is it moral?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2004

    The true workers of America

    Mr. Shipler's book truly brought out the real truth regarding the myth of 'working hard to achieve your dream'. We know that is not only untrue, but unrealistic. Social justice should be the number one topic for this nation. It can be done, however, but we have to come together as a nation and address the issues that will affect us all. We can start by reading Mr. Shipler's book and I thank him for it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2004

    For All Who Are Concerned About The Working Poor

    This is an excellent book that highlights the plight of the working poor in the USA and their struggles to move beyond living paycheck to paycheck. Good reading and provides a greater understanding of those who are society's working poor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2004

    IF ONLY THE WORKING POOR WOULD VOTE!!

    A FINE BOOK, WELL RESEARCHED AND BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN. FINALLY, WE ARE BEGINNING TO REALIZE AGAIN THAT POVERTY IS RARELY UNDER INDIVIDUAL CONTROL AND UNLIKELY TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL CHOICE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2004

    Long overdue!!!

    Mr. Shipler has it right on in his book! What the policymakers in ALL branches of the U.S. government fail to admit to the American people is that the vast majority will never achieve any true prosperity. There is no such thing as 'free care' for medical care and few safety nets. Prosperous personalities flourish in abundance in the national limelight, eager to pass judgement on the unfortunate who struggle and sometimes fail to acquire the basic necessities in life. The average worker say at a Home Depot, Walmart, or any number of retail establishments work at pay scales that enrich high level executives while oftentimes impoverishing the workers. Such employers frequently seek out and obtain desperate workers, exploit them under the guise of neutral 'processes', and browbeat such workers into feeling some tremendous debt because they can eat (not well) and may/may not even have a place called home. The public might shudder to know how many workers out there live in their cars, sleazy motels, or go for years without medical coverage. In America, if you do not have health insurance and suffer a serious medical condition, you can walk into a hospital and ask for care, explaining up front you want minimal care to stabilize the condition.Doctors and a slew of staff bombard you with tests and treatment,often with mandatory follow up visits. After completing the necessary paperwork for the indigent, you are assured all is 'taken care of'. Four to six weeks later, one or more bills will appear, in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, unitemized, payable immediately or a collection agency or lien on your home will be assigned. Only then do you realize that you were misled and that the 'free care' consists of a deductible estimated on FUTURE earnings for the next year, you are not entitled to an itemized list of charges, and that the professionals had put you in fear of your long term health or even life to justify the charges assessed the uninsured and which would NOT fly with a medical insurer. This system preys on the people who need help the most! In America, unionized labor cries out for equity in the job market. However, a plethora of union shops thrive off of services provided by people under conditions these union employees picket about. For example, in Massachusetts, hotel workers frequently make within 15-20% of minimum wage, yet are ineligible for overtime. That means a worker can be forced by a hotelier to work overnights,etc. for near minimum wage, few if any benefits, long hours and get the same pay. Truckers, many of whom are union, might go on strike over such things but readily do business with these hotel chains,happy to save a few bucks because Jane Doe does with less so John Doe trucker or his employer can have more. Homeowners happily buy goods or employ contractors who buy goods at Lowe's,Home Depot, etc. The homeowner invests in their home with the eager expectation of a fat payoff on the sale of the home while contractors, many of whom are union workers, enjoy the fruits of low cost goods and services they themselves would not accept as employees of these places. In addition, many of the goods purchased are made by other countries which are progressively prospering while the average worker is declining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2004

    well done

    I could not put this one down. I had a quiz to study for and everything and found it hard to tear myself away. The lives of these people are so well captured. It is clear that poverty is a problem but how our leaders, our middle class and even the poor themselves view it is a major handicap. This book devles into how just because you have a job dose not mean you can assend to the ranks of the middle class. It also dose not takes sides as most books on the matter do. In some case the poor are poor because it is there own fault. Other times, it is not. This a well reserched book that opens your eyes.

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    Posted October 11, 2009

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