Feb. 7 - Poverty and the Poor Thursday February 7, 2008...

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Unformatted text preview: Poverty and the Poor Thursday February 7, 2008 (Shipler Marger Ch 6) The Working Poor Shipler (2004) Introduction At the Edge of Poverty (Shipler) Forgotten America Man who washes your car Does not own a car Clerk filing cancelled checks at the bank Has $2.02 in her account Women copyedits textbooks Has not seen a dentist in 10 years Others? Millions in America The poor have few of society’s resources Health care, decent neighborhoods, good schools, etc. They can’t save and accumulate wealth. Inconvenience vs. Crisis & Threat to Employment – Car trouble – Brief illness – Disrupted child care US Cultural Beliefs about Poverty Anyone can go from “rags to riches” Purposes of this myth – Puritan legacy: hard work leads to prosperity – What does “the marketplace is the fair and final judge” regarding work mean? American Anti-myth – Racial discrimination and economic power creates a “syndrome of impoverished communities with bad schools and closed options” (p. 6) Mix of structural factors and individual agency Poverty 2006 Poverty Threshold – Family of two = $13,200 yr or $1,100 month – $6.88/hr at 40 hrs – Fed min wage $5.15 ($7.25 over 2 yrs) – IL min wage $6.50 ($1.35 over fed) Threshold underestimates those who are considered poor Looking at new formulas The personal mistakes made by the poor have larger consequences – Less insulated from government Personal achievements lead to smaller results – Harder time navigating technology & competition Some comforts – Paying rent with one check – Able to pay all of the monthly bills, even if no money is left over to save Food Insecurity Hungry people outnumber the populations of Tokyo, Moscow, New Delhi, Buenos Aires, New York City, and Shanghai combined Multiplied by TEN “Starving Student” Measuring Poverty Shipler suggests looking at assets and debt in addition to income and expenses, why? Student loans, high credit card debt, car loans can make it have the basics like food and decent housing Interlocked Problems & Chain Reactions Run-down apartment, exacerbates asthma Ambulance call creates unpaid medical bill Credit scores decrease, so higher interest rates on car loan Buy used car in poor condition, makes late for work and affects earnings and promotions Not enough money for better housing that won’t exacerbate asthma What can do done at any point? Interlocking Problems...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 373 taught by Professor Mendinhall during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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Feb. 7 - Poverty and the Poor Thursday February 7, 2008...

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