Why is it that millions of Americans who have jobs can’t make ends meet? Custom Essay
This EPE features three articles on current topics. You must choose one and write a persuasive or argumentative essay on it.
You may do further research on the topic, but make sure you cite any material you get from outside sources.
• Print out and read the attached articles. Select one for your paper.
• You may make notes on the text or the back side of the article• Create a thesis statement that presents your position on the issue discussed in the article
• Prepare three supporting points for your position• Your essay should meet the following specifications:
o Five paragraph persuasive essay
o 500 – 650 words
o 12 point/ double spacing
o Use quotes from article or internet to support your thesis
o Cite any quotes from outside article
o Demonstrate knowledge of essay structure
o Demonstrate appropriate knowledge of grammar and usage
• Outline forms and dictionary will be available at testing location
Who are the working poor?
They’re the millions of people who have jobs that leave them mired at the edge of poverty. Their ranks include legions of retail clerks at chains like Walmart, fast-food workers, dishwashers, customer assistance representatives, home health-care aides, factory workers, and farm laborers. Some 46.2 million Americans now live in families where someone is working but earning less than the poverty line: $11,702 a year for an individual or $23,021 for a family of four. Many economists have a broader definition, saying that the working poor are those whose incomes do not cover basic needs: food, clothing, housing, transportation, child care, and health care. By that standard, there are more than 146 million Americans in the poor-but-working class. People in this category generally have no savings and survive from check to check, often filling in the gaps by going into debt. “Any little thing — a child getting sick, a car breaking down — those are quite significant events for these working families,” said Brandon Roberts of the Working Poor Families Project.
Where do they live and work?
About half the working poor are white, mostly living in the South or Southwest. But African-Americans and Latinos are vastly overrepresented in their ranks: Over a quarter of blacks and Latinos live in poverty, while only a tenth of whites do. Most commonly they work for major national chains whose business models depend on very low labor costs — Walmart, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Target. In these hugely successful companies, most of the profits go to top management and stockholders. The top 50 employers of low-wage workers, a recent study found, paid their top executives an average of $9.4 million a year and have returned $175 billion in dividends to their shareholders since 2006. In contrast, the typical worker eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax break for low-income workers, has an adjusted gross income of $13,900. Since the Great Recession of 2008, about 60 percent of the jobs created in the U.S. have been low-wage ones. One out of four Americans now earns less than $10 an hour.
Is the minimum wage too low?
There is a strong case that it is. The federal minimum wage has been frozen at $7.25 since 2009, and the cost of living has risen more than 7 percent since then. Some economists argue that paying workers more would mean fewer jobs as labor costs rose, but others say that basic economic principle doesn’t hold at the low end of the job spectrum. Many of these service jobs can’t be outsourced or automated. But thanks to globalization and the waning power of labor unions, workers have little leverage to press for higher salaries.
Why are unions shrinking?
One major factor is that the manufacturing companies that were once a union stronghold have closed or sent their jobs overseas. But that’s not the whole story. Canada’s economy has seen similar changes over the past four decades, yet union membership there is still 30 percent, whereas in the U.S. it is 11.3 percent overall and less than 7 percent in the private sector. In the U.S., unions have dwindled partly because poor leadership has damaged their image, and partly because of “right-to-work” laws, now in place in 24 states, which effectively bar unions from organizing workers.
Do the working poor pay taxes?
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