Books: Take This Job and Starve

Millions of Americans survive in low-wage jobs. Working Poor shows just how barely they get by

Early in his tour around the bleak world of low-paying jobs, David Shipler describes a kind of domino model of a downward economic spiral. "A rundown apartment can exacerbate a child's asthma, which leads to a call for an ambulance, which generates a medical bill that cannot be paid, which ruins a credit record, which hikes the interest rate on an auto loan, which forces the purchase of an unreliable used car, which jeopardizes a mother's punctuality at work, which limits her promotions and earning capacity, which confines her to poor housing." Which exacerbates the asthma, and so on.

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