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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Barely Living - The Struggle of the Workign Poor.
By: Ashakia Macklin
According to Dictonary.com 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