Monday, June 15, 2009

Too Poor to Make the News

Barbara Ehrenreich

Nick Jeon

Second op-ed

As the economy falls, people becoming “poorer” and the media portrays us as becoming closer to the Nouveau Poor. That is essentially when all of the classes become poor enough for the class distinction to slowly ebb away. However, the opposite is true. The people who are already poor in this country comprise of twenty to thirty percent who are in bad shape even when the economy, as a whole, is not. The poor and unemployed people in LA get hit hard by the recession because of job losses. In fact, more unskilled blue-collar workers get hit by unemployment than the white-collar workers. The poor begin to become desperate and some even take up urban hunting in order to survive. They live off of stewed squirrels and rabbits, and sell dead raccoons for a living. Others try to share the burden of poverty with others by sharing, leading to cramped quarters and an increase in domestic violence. Yet the media focuses on the middle class falling into poverty and chooses to ignore the ones that are already poor. The media and officials make claims of the Nouveau Poor, yet history shows us that harsh economic times actually increase the class distinction.

The author, Ms. Ehrenreich, supplements her writing with her own personal experiences. For instance, she gives us a story about her family’s rooming problems. Also, she backs up her arguments with statistics and facts, using real numbers to prove her point. She likes to quote people as well, and uses their credentials as support for her argument. She likes to tie in the details of stories of the impoverished. These include her friends from Walmart and the catering business. She likes to get us thinking by asking us questions and later answers them. She also does a wonderful job in making us actually feel the gravity of the situation.

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