The American Myth In The Working Poor By David Shipler

1162 Words 5 Pages
Working Poor Response “The American Myth has its value. It sets a demanding standard, both for the nation and for every resident. The nation has to strive to make itself the fabled land of opportunity; the resident must strive to use that opportunity” (Shipler p.5). The American myth represents being able to be successful in America regardless of your background as long as you work hard. If you work hard in America you should have the chance to gain upward mobility among social classes. The American myth is also based on competition which creates “winners” and “losers” inside this system of capitalism. In his model the “winners” are people who work extremely hard and are successful and the “losers” are people who do not work hard and make …show more content…
These people, who overcame adversity, made good choices, tried their hardest, and helped to show that the American myth truly does exist. One example from “The Working Poor” was a lady named Peaches, who was extremely poor, joined a job training program in hopes of improving her life. The job training program was not easy, but she attended the classes and put forth the effort to complete the courses and learned a lot in process. The job training helped her to land a job that gave her a good living wage and also opportunity to rise within the company. Her hard work allowed her to break the poverty cycle and have a comfortable life and living situation. She had helped to prove that hard work can pay off. Another example that Shipler gave was a lady who was extremely hard working. Caroline Payne was a great worker and employee for every company that she worked for. She often experienced times of upward mobility, but was brought down by bad decisions. At one point in her life, Caroline had owned a house that she had bought at a fair price. To get more disposable income she had rented the house out to renters. This was a very good idea for her to make enough money to support herself and her child well. The house would have been a great investment, but she ended up not living in that house for very long and ended up making the decision to move from the house. This decision forced her to not only no longer have extra money from renters, but she was also forced to sell her house very cheap resulting in her losing money. The book had mentioned that if she had waited a few more years and had put the house out on the market for a longer time that she could have made a lot of money on the house. Poor decisions like this one can be a huge obstacle for families trying to get out of poverty. This very decision, although she did feel like she had to

Related Documents