The auther is arguing of the existence of hardworking people who get nothing for it. He develops this with the integration of testimonies of people in this situation.
I mentioned that the book, at least in my opinion, doesn't appear to force an opinion on the reader, and I stand by that. However, the actual argument of the book, that being poor in America doesn't result from laziness but circumstances, is very well developed. For example, the diction and syntax combine in a nature that's fluidly read, but also structurally sound. Likewise, while ethos and logos are the most and least used appeals, respectively, both combine with pathos to competently develop Shipler's argument. This is very consistently shown throughout the book, and serves as the greatest strength in The Working Poor.
The author's audience is the middle to upper class of Americans. His argument is that the poor, primarily the working poor, are being scammed and taken advantage of by big companies putting them further and further into debt. He uses anecdotes to explain and show examples of this behavior, which specifically targets illegal immigrants.
These anecdotes are used to develop his argument because he has an order of facts/statistics and the anecdote to back his claim. These are basically ways of saying " This is happening, and this story proves that I am right". However, it is not only limited to major companies extortionist. In most of the cases, the poor are being exploited because they cannot speak up. If you do, you are instantly fired with 10 others willing to take your place.
I have observed that the author develops his argument (that many Americans have been forgotten and manipulated in the wake of economic surges and the comfortable middle and upper class) by relying heavily on interviews and life stories of individuals and families who have witnessed or experienced being a part of 'the working poor'.
Overall, I believe that the author’s argument was well developed through the use of ethos and logos throughout the book. In the beginning of the story the author’s initial argument or claim is that society is the root of many being impoverished. Shipler’s claim later changes by arguing that many who are ‘invisible in America’ bring their poverty upon themselves. He appeals to pathos by sharing anecdotes of people who choose materialistic items over saving money which results in poor living conditions. The author’s audience is the working class and those who do have money in America. His purpose was to share just how ‘the working poor’ live and survive with the rising standard of living within America. Shipler also targets a more mature audience through his use of formal diction and mature subject matter.
The author had started his argument off quite strong in the beginning and continued to elaborate on that point as the chapters when on. The author had relied heavily on his appeal to ethos and logic to further support his argument. For someone who has a more logic based minded, the author had implemented a lot of statistics illustrating the how our economy makes it very difficult for low income families to have a decent life. He further backs up these statistics by using real-life families living on or below the poverty line as cases justifying these statistics. The author was trying to target audiences who were either oblivious to, or just didn't know what extent and difficult low income families were going through. His purpose was to shed light on such a huge problem in our country, yet a problem that many people who aren't in poverty overlook,
The Working Poor is basically a big book of true stories, and because of this it's hard to pinpoint a single argument. It makes it even harder that the book contains very little bias. However, the main idea I've gotten from the book is that poverty isn't an easy trend to avoid. The stories Shipler shares are of people of different backgrounds, races, and genders, and I think he was trying to make the point that poverty doesn't target the drop outs, the druggies, or the teen moms, it can effect anyone. His intended audience is people who aren't effected by poverty, who aren't considered the working poor, and who characterize and prejudge those they see living in less than ideal conditions.
Shipler develops this argument throughout the entire book sharing story after story of all kinds of people considered to be the 'working poor'. He also continuously relates the stories to harsh facts in the real world. Each chapter targets a different truth, with many facts to support it and personal stories to support those. Being a continuous pattern, it seems as though the book would get boring, but I think by doing this Shipler creates the opposite effect, as the stories are so intriguing it's hard to get bored while reading them.
Shipler begins developing his argument by telling stories of real-world people. Shipler argues that these people are the cause of their own poverty, but also that the society creates the poverty as well. Shipler tells a story where people have cable, but not groceries or health insurance. He also tells a story where the government is providing little help to people of the working poor. Shipler continues to use ethos and logos to develop his argument.
David Shipler develops his argument by at first stating what he is arguing then puts what side of the argument he is on. To backup his side of the argument he puts in people's stories, to appeal to pathos, and their life experience followed by statistic and facts, which appeals to ethos and logos. What Shipler is actually arguing is that not one thing exempts a person from being in poverty, it can happen to anybody from any background, it is their decisions that they make puts them in the kind of situation they are now. Those people are then forgotten in the American eye, including their employers who treat them poorly. They still do what they can and live off of what they got to keep moving on.
Throughout the book, the author gradually developes the argument that the working poor do not get paid enough or they do not spend their earnings wisely. Either way, the working poor have a tough life, in numerous ways. Starting in the beginning of the book, Shipler States facts and statistics about minimum wage employees. How they spend, what they earn, how they live. Gradually, he gives different anecdotes about different people in different situations with different backgrounds, but all struggling in the same way; financially, wether it be their fault or not.
The author begins the book introducing his argument. As the book progresses, he uses lots of statistics and data (appeals to logic) to support his data throughout the rest of the book. Shipler also is ues a lot of testimony (appeal to ethos) to support his argument that the working poor suffer and are explored and under praised. They work long hours and do back breaking labor and get paid very little. These people feel as if no one acknowledges their work nor their hardships and the author wants middle class and upper class Americans to see these people’s struggles and to acwknoledge them and their work.
Shipler relies heavily on statistics and interviews of people that are living in this “invisible” area of the work force. He appeals to ethos and logos using these two forms of evidence to develop his argument
The author started off his argument right a the beginning, telling the reader the irony of people doing work that they themselves cannot afford. A he progresses the use of statistics and interviews with people appealed to logos and ethos. Pathos were also appealed to as he told the heart breaking stories of people getting scammed and taken advantage of, because those who were taking advantage of the, knew they couldn't do anything about it.
Gradually throughout the story, Shipler develops his argument through the use of many examples of how those in poverty in America will continue to stay there, no matter how hard they work, because of the way the system is set up. He continues to express the irony of how this unbreakable stage of poverty and continued troughout the time period where many Americans experienced much wealth. In addition, the title of the book comes into play with his argument in that it shows how no matter how hard those in poverty work, their situation will not improve, hence the name “The Working Poor”. For example in chapter 2, Shipler explains the many obstacles that families face such as utility fees and health problems, and how these families were still unable to solve or lessen these problems no matter how hard the mother and a father worked. Overall, the author develops his argument through the explanation of particular instances of how the poor are unable to bring themselves out of poverty.
The author explains how much credit is owed to the hardworking people unknown to us. He argues this with multiple examples and testimonials from the people themselves
Mrs. Theaker's students will be conducting discussions about The Working Poor by David K. Shipler here.