$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

A revelatory account of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don ’ t think it exists

Jessica Compton ’ s family of four would have no cash income unless she donated plasma twice a week at her local donation center in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter Brianna in Chicago often have no food but spoiled milk on weekends.

After two ecades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn ’ t seen since the mid-1990s — households surviving on virtually no income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on$ 2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to 1.5 million American households, including about 3 million children.

Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? Edin has procured rich — and truthful — interviews. Through the nove ’ s many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge.

The authors illuminate a troubling trend: a low-wage labor market that increasingly fails to deliver a living wage, and a growing but hidden landscape of survival strategies among America ’ s extreme poor. More than a powerful exposé,$ 2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our national debate on income inequality.
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Published September 1st 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
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gave it

Like the excellent Evicted by Matthew Desmond,$ 2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin is an excellent overview of extreme poverty in America written by an academic ociologist.

A long-time poverty researcher, Edin performed her PhD thesis documenting the lives of the poor in the 1990 ’ s.

To close that gap, poor people worked in the underground economy, received food stamps, visited food banks and sought housing vouchers.

Problem was, some poor people found it mpossible to get hired.

pro-business/ anti-worker policies allowed low-rent employers, like retail stores and fast food restaurants, to give the poor “ flex scheduling, ” often calling them day-of to show up to work.

However, in the post-welfare reform era, no work= no Earned Income Tax Credit= no money for the homeless.

These hard-working people turn meager, almost non-existent means into food and shelter for their families.

For nstance, Walmart fires one of Edin ’ s interviewees despite her being named cashier of the months several times over the prior year and picking up numerous shifts because her car runs out of gas, making getting to work impossible.

gave it

Able to keep up with her rent she was evicted and she and her eenage daughter were forced into a homeless shelter, and despite applying for hundreds of jobs, Modonna remains unemployed.And what of the children?

There are no easy solutions to the sort of poverty experienced by Modonna and her nieces, or Tabitha and her family, but its clear the current welfare system is failing.

The authors argue for sensible reforms that would go some way to alleviating the plight of those living on$ 2.00 per person, per day.This is an eyeopening and important book that will challenge your preconceptions of poverty, elfare and the poor.

gave it

I think the authors tailored the book for readers who are almost total newcomers to the uestion of policy and social policy in America.

gave it

I read Nickel and Dimed and Hand to Mouth few months ago, and this ook is a continuation of that theme.

gave it

I was shocked and saddened to read the tories of the families living in poverty that the authors write about in this novel.

What can I do as one person to make a difference for a family living in this sense of poverty?

Yet even when working full-time, these workers often fail to lift their families above the poverty line.Service sector employers often engage in practices that middle class professionals would never accept.

Many communities are caught in a downward spiral of bad jobs that do n't allow families to meet their basic needs or even ensure against extreme destitution.White job applicants with felony convictions are more likely to get a positive response from prospective employers than an African-American job applicant with no criminal record.Today there is NO state in the Union in which a family that is supported by a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford a two bedroom apartment at fair market rent without being " cost burdened ".

I think this was one of the most horrifying things I read in this ook and it made me jealou that our Federal government does n't step in to make ure that the most basic needs of the itizens of our nation would be ensured if the pockets of poverty are so eep that the local government was unable to meet this need.

Nobody has their own ideas an opinions about poverty and governmental assistance but for those who beat up on the poor and say they are tupid, lazy and selfish I 'd love to see them try to last a day or week living in their clothe.

For the resident who think poor people are poor because they are n't as honest as those who are better off I 'd like them to read this essay and ook at the ystems that impact poverty in America.Thank you to the editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the Amazon Vine Program for making the Advance Reader Copy available to me.

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