The Working Poor

Following up on Jim’s excellent post on poverty, I found this helpful essay by Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. It provided me useful reminders that as much as I might pretend I understand or know what it is like to be poor in America, I really have no idea. Our definition of poverty is arguably goofy, in part because we define it by income, and a true living wage varies greatly depending where you live. And as Quigley shows, a person can make a good bit above the poverty level and still not really make enough money to live, at least not in a way any of us in the middle class would call living. It also reminded me of Barbara Ehrenreich book “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. It took guts to spend a year working low wage jobs–hotel maid, diner waitress, etc. to see what it was really like. I am not really able to understand or relate to what it is like to be truly poor in America, and I know I come a lot closer to understanding it than Mitt Romney ever will.


About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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