Summary In The Working Poor By David K. Shipler

1147 Words 5 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Starting off the chapter with a 10 year old girl asking a caseworker, “How many times have you been raped?” is definitely a shocking introduction (Shipler 142). His introduction makes readers uncomfortable, which appears to be his intent. Even Kathleen Courrier, vice president for communication at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., states that Shipler’s book is “harder than even the most startling statistics for politicians and taxpayers to forget” (Courrier 91). Shipler provides the reader with little hope that children who suffer from these traumas will ever overcome these ordeals and be able to become a functioning part of society. After his alarming opening, Shipler then provided statistical evidence to back up his shocking entrance. One statistic he provides is “one in four or five girls is sexually abused” (Shipler 145). By making statements of these in such a professional way, Shipler is attempting to push the reader to feel bad for these people. Shipler appears to be making the argument that when an individual is traumatized by his or her past, these psychological factors influence what a person will amount to in life. Any type of abuse, particularly sexual, can be a traumatizing event that some people never overcome. Shipler wants the government to take more action involving helping people who fall into poverty because of the situations they were born into. Leslie Lenkowsky, CEO of …show more content…
Shipler exposes readers to the multiple key components that cause poverty in America. Chapter 6 does an excellent job of informing readers of the different types of backgrounds that attribute to poverty. However, at times Shipler takes the idea of someone being “crippled by their past” to the extremes. While a bad childhood does attribute to an individual’s future, not all people affected by childhood traumas will succumb to the struggles of poverty. Shipler only focuses on the lifelong effect of those who did not escape the hands of poverty. He only appears to concentrate on the negatives of childhood traumas and provides readers with little hope that the children who fall victim to these situations will be able to overcome and amount to anything in life. Shipler points out some major players of poverty in this chapter, but ultimately fails to look at all views of childhood traumas or point the reader in which direction to go in order to attain a

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