Monday, August 27, 2007

Books and eBay.

I finished reading The Working Poor by David K. Shipler on Saturday. I must say that it did end up being a somewhat depressing book. It was basically a collection of stories about the histories, circumstances and lives of people who were attempting to work their way off of welfare or who were forced to get off welfare. I was hoping that it would have a lot of insight into how to work your way out of the "working poor" trap but I didn't really find too much that was helpful (especially to me). The people in the book did run into some good people who helped but it sounded like the basic tenets of the book were:
* don't drop out of high school and go to college if you can (a degree is almost a necessity these days to get a "decent" job)
* vocational training should have less of a stigma attached (we're always going to need people who work in trades like plumbing and carpentry)
* don't do drugs
* health care shouldn't be so much of a burden for people with low incomes (but maybe making it a government responsibility isn't a good idea either)
* if you're poor don't get sick because you'll get poor care and if you're really sick chances are pretty good it will ruin you financially
* doctors who work with lawyers and case workers tend to get more accomplished in the overall situation of poor children. (They can sic the lawyers on the parties responsible for poor housing conditions and for denying aid to people who are qualified, etc.
* be a good parent to your children because if you're not you'll fuck them up for life and they'll end up stuck in the same trap
* it's extremely helpful to have a strong support system of friends and family to help out

Other than those obvious things I picked out of the book there really wasn't too much meat there... just a bunch of sad stories about people who were in horrible situations.

The next book I started to read last night was Affluenza by John de Graaf, David Wann and Thomas H. Naylor. I think that I'm going to like this book a lot better than "The Working Poor". For one thing it's written in a sarcastic, funny style. I laughed out loud dozens of times in the first few chapters and I had to read half a dozen things to my girlfriend as I was reading them... but at the same time it has very serious information in it that makes you think...

Yesterday I put some CDs, a book and some random stuff up on eBay. I'm hoping to get some of my computer guts and other stuff on there tonight...

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