Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Barely Living - The Struggle of the Workign Poor.

By: Ashakia Macklin

      According to  there was no match for the term "working poor". According to Bureau of Labor  Statitics the "working poor" are people who are not in the labor force or those who work less than 27 hours a week and income falls below poverty level ( U.S. Department of Labor, Report 957). According to the ordinary American citzen the term "working poor" simply means  someone who works hard just to  get by.
      Way before the recsesion the workign poor existed. I was always told if you go to school you get a better job ? Well  is that really the case ? What happens if  get my degree , get a good job , then im laid off ? Or what happens if I go to school , get a degree and my paycheck just simply is not enough to cover my everyday livings? These are questions millions of Americans ask everyday, not to metion those that couldnt afford to get a higher education but still what to live a "good" life.  The cost of living today  is about $20,000 or more ( and thats just basic living(food , shelter)) . Not everyone is feed the silver spoon at birth, the only way to make legal money is to go out and work for it . Average minum wage today is $7.25 , granted you work full time ( 40 hours)  , before taxes the average Amercain takes home about  $30,160 a year. After taking out taxes and adding in factors like children , bills , healthcare your left with little to nothing. Many people struggle to make the dollar "stretch". Its common to hear a worker say " I dont know how I am going to do it". 63 % of the working poor are women and 1 out of 7 of those women are single parent mothers. As a mother you always want the best for you kids , things you never had, struggle is something you hide from your kids. Being a single parent mother you have to provide off of one income, child suppourt may help thats even if you get it. So many mothers are obtaining second jobs , trying to go back to school  which both are heavy work loads, but theyll do anything just to keep their kids safe.
       It is very easy for society to play the blame game. Never thinking that anyone of any ecomnic status can  to become of the "working poor". They ( society) blames the poor saying their lazy , dont want to get a job  etc. When in reality they (working poor) didnt ask to be lik this. Differnt factors play a role like divorce, loss of jobs ,  foreclosed homes , cars were taken , everything that had was taken from them.  Thats why I say never judge a book by its cover. Take a look at the video posted below, it gives you a one on one interaction with the "working poor" and how they view their situation.
  In conclusion the "working poor" can be anybody ,  no matter your age , gender or sex it affects all ecomnic statues. The workign poor are people who simply are trying to "get by" or "make ends meet" based on thir econmic condtions. Amercica needs to take a deepr look and stop blaming and start helping ! Struggles of the Working Poor


  1. I agree that the working poor shouldn't be judged based on where we are now. Anything could have happened for them to get in that situation, whether they were raised into a poor family or they had a lot of their life sanings in stock. that person could have been a upper middle class citizen before there unfortunate downfall. I'm glad that there are still people who don't "blame the victim" the victum being the working poor.

  2. I agree with the fact that people do judge the working poor as lazy without knowing their situation. There are people that I do know that work a lot and do the right things but still live from pay check to pay check to support their family. It's just like the saying goes "bad things happen to nice people". In the other hand, their are some "working people" that are lazy and just don't want to get a job which gives the rest of the working class people really bad names.

  3. I agree with Ashakia that anyone can experience the “working poor” lifestyle, and that we should not say that the poor are poor because they are lazy because some of the poor try their best not to be poor. I have sympathy to everyone who lost his or her job because of the recession and they have to experience working poor lifestyle. A friend of mine got laid off because of the recession, he lived from unemployment benefits for several months. Nonetheless, he can get back up again on his feet and keep searching for jobs. As a result, he is now working in a company that pay him more than the previous job that he had. However, I somehow disagree with Ashakia and agree with what societies have said. I have seen many times that a lot of young adults being homeless and they do not try to do anything about it. Once, on my way home from Best Buy at Colombus Boulevard, I saw a young woman sitting down in between two way lanes road and held up a card box that said she is a homeless. I believe she can have a job if she wants, but she preferred to sat there and asked for money. The following week, I still saw her holding that card box. I do not mean to be judgmental. Perhaps she has some obstacles in her life that make her do what she does. Consequently, societies stereotyping the poor base on what they have seen.