The Working Poor: Invisibe in America

Topics: Poverty, United States, Wage Pages: 4 (1506 words) Published: September 16, 2008
Regardless if we are aware of it or not, not many Americans live the supposed American Dream of having a nice car, big house, well paying job, and have a secure family. In the renowned novel The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler he captures those Americans who live invisible in America that work so hard to suffer from the psychological effects of poverty. Not only does Shipler do that but he also indirectly talks about the “American Myth” and the “American Anti Myth through the lives on these individuals.”

In The Working Poor Shipler goes on to explain both of the myths. Shipler states that the American Myth “still supposes that any individual from the humblest origins can climb to well-being” (Shipler, pg.5), but the thing is that is not true because, there are many people who are humble that work hard and don’t go from rag to riches. The American myth has a demanding standard for both the nation and every resident that the nation” has to strive to make itself the fabled land of opportunity; the resident must strive to use that opportunity” (Shipler, pg.5). Not only that but the American myth also provides a means for laying blame; “if a person’s diligent work leads to prosperity(…) and anyone in society can attain prosperity through work, then the failure to do so is a fall from righteousness” (Shipler, pg.6). George W. Bush also gave a voice to the myth weather he meant it or not that “people who work hard and make the right decision in life can achieve anything they want in America” (Shipler, pg.5), but when we examine examples in this book there are many of those who work hard in America but are hit with the circumstances of life and they fail or they are unable to achieve what they want in America; the land of prosperity for all.

To the American Myth there is an opposite extreme the American Anti Myth “which holds the society largely responsible for the individual’s poverty” (Shipler, pg.6). The ladder that is created in our society...
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