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Changing Labor Markets and Demographics - Essay Example

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Changing Labor Markets and Demographics Name: Institution: Changing Labor Markets and Demographics Summary Schiller examines the truth behind employment as an appropriate mode of eliminating poverty in chapter five of The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination…
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Changing Labor Markets and Demographics

Download file to see previous pages... Based on this, economic security is not only achievable by one being in employment but also the amount of work and the remuneration he or she gets from employment (Schiller, 2008). Two approaches are instrumental when measuring the length of time that one works. These include the number of weeks one spends at work in a year and the number of hours one spends in a week. Cumulatively, this leads to the computation of the sum of hours a worker spends in employment for a whole year. According to available statistics, the higher the number of weeks spent at work by households, the lower the rates of poverty. This statement directly affects workers who work part time. There are more full time workers than part time in the economy. This insinuates that the work experience of the poor is not properly highlighted by such a rate of incidence. According to the U.S Department of Labor, “persons who have devoted 27 weeks or more to working or looking for work and who lived in families with incomes below the official poverty threshold” are denoted as the working poor (U.S Department of Labor, 2012). In chapter 8 of the same book, Schiller traces back the poverty situation in America during the 1960s. During this period, many Americans believed that targeted assistance and economic growth could eliminate poverty. This was the War on Poverty initiated by Lyndon Johnson. The results of the war include an improved economy, 70 per cent rise in house incomes and an expanded employed labor hitting the 70 million mark. The U.S government dedicated a significant proportion of its expenditure than ran into billions of dollars into programs that aid the poor. However, poverty is yet to disappear in totality (Lofquist, Lugaila, Lofquist, & Feliz, 2012). This is because even the 1980s and 90s, economic expansions have only reduced the population of the poor in the U.S dismally. The fact that increased economic growth is unable to tame poverty levels is an issue that has elicited numerous debates. One such debate focused on the existence of an underclass. These poor people have been alienated along social lines. These persons fail to match with the conventional values, prosperity and incentives (Jenkins, 2012). Schiller decided to explore the culture of poverty to understand the reason behind the existence of this group within the American population. This culture spans back to the colonial times when poverty was regarded as the symptom of sin or a vice. This was attributable to the availability of opportunities of economic security that could be acquired by self except the black man. In this context, the poor people were considered as morally bankrupt and received harsh treatment. For instance, the shoulders of the paupers in Pennsylvania were marked with letter P to serve as warning to unsuspecting members of the population. These kinds of culture portray how some behaviors and norms contributed to the difficulties when addressing poverty (Lofquist, Lugaila, Lofquist, & Feliz, 2012). Mishel, Bivens, Gould and Shierholz in The State of Working America, examine how the policy driven inequality blocks affect the living standards for the low and middle income Americans. The authors share the view that the United States’ economy has done nothing to improve the living standards for majority of American households. This is because wealth inequality accruing from unfair rise in income and wages characterizes the economy. The rise in this trend is attributable to policy responses that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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