We’ve completed another reading. I’d love to read/hear what you think, and what your thoughts are about DiFazio’s work, overall. I’m not asking much here because I’d like to leave an open space for you to present as much detail as you can. I’m looking for thoughtful critiques & overviews of the book & his work…
DiFazio’s work was interesting and informative. It help me understand how much people are struggling. It made me look deeper in our society and the people around us. It created awareness of what is happening to our economy and the people, and how the government is dealing with these issues. There are several programs created by government to diminish poverty but its not working because most of the money from the government are being pocketed by big businesses. The poor are being robbed by the rich and money hungry people who could care less about the poor hungry people. I would recommend this book to people in society so that they know what is really going on. By creating awareness, we can unite people to take action and change what is needed to be change. As a powerful nation we should not have a issue with poverty and hunger.
This book was definitely more interesting than the first one we read because DiFazio proves his points through stories and different characters. He shed a light on every aspect and he spoke in a very neutral and positive light towards everything, never leaning on one particular mindset but rather focused on teaching the reader that life is an unexpected whirlwind and we have to learn from the occurances that happen in every day life. I completely agreed with him on almost ever point he made.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one. I liked the little stories of the individuals and their experiences. It gave me a perspective into their lives and how bad it could really be. That being said, they also got a bit annoying after a while since they felt so repetitive; they all live such miserable lives. I also came to realize that receiving government benefits doesn't always mean that you'll get out of poverty, and be able to find a job and better your life. Sometimes you just get stuck there.
Hello, Difazio's work goes more in depth than Wilson's work, although he doesn't appear to analyze certain problems in the way the public does, we still feel close to his ideas and comments about typical situations and the underclass. I completely disagree with Defazio in that when people are born, no matter what race or class they are a part of, they mustn't be misjudged by society or writers thinking that whatever they write or say will cause a greater impact and that suffices their argument. I completely agree with Difazio in that he needed to shed light on today's recurring issues but writers must not write things that are deranged and out of proportion. For example, people who are born to the underclass can be hard working people, there are possibilities, if the word can doesn't signify that then there is the word people that does a much better job to defend the idea that the underclass are human beings, just like us, they cannot be marginalized by the middle class, thinking that this is the ultimate way to provide a solution for this issue. Sorry for being critical about Defazio's text, but his words have deeply struck me as a reader and I just needed to confess my disposition on the topic.
I preferred DiFazio's "Ordinary Poverty" to our other readings. I really appreciated his use of various perspectives along with his conflicting bias. For example, he shed light on people both in poverty and doing what they thought they could to end it yet he expressed it was a sort of "miracle" for one to rise out of poverty. DiFazio also delved into the fact that poverty has become a business to both government and operations like soup kitchens who rely on people using these services to get funding. Thus, with less people in poverty they get less funding. So the question would remain, why would they support people trying to rise out of poverty where they would not need to utilize a soup kitchen or government benefits? Through its presentations, DiFazio makes it hard to argue with his conclusions.
This was a fantastic read! It really opened my eyes to a lot that I was not even aware of, namely the reconstruction of welfare in this country and how the poor only got poorer over time. DiFazio brings this together very nicely towards the end when he explains how we are so quick to blame poor people for being poor when we forget that American capitalism is what's really at fault. I can really put into perspective how people who are more fortunate than others tend to forget their history and believe that "the poor have some moral or genetic problem"; but refuse to acknowledge that if the government really wanted to end poverty instead of capitalizing on it, then it would be done away with already. People tend to have no problem making comments about poor folks being lazy and that they are dumb or stuck in their ways because they "choose" to remain poor. However, I think that DiFazio does a good job of letting those with those close-minded ignorant attitudes understand that "the conservatives who currently run the country continue to cut into the antipoverty programs", and that "Bureaucracy deflects truth with practicality and the logic of accountancy, and willful ignorance takes the form of asserting that class power is no longer important..."! DiFazio's work was definitely something that I would pass along because ignorance is not bliss and it shouldn't be treated as such!
It would be difficult for me to say I enjoyed the book when the programs, the soup kitchens and the bureaucracy of advocate groups documented in "Ordinary Poverty" are revealed to be another layer of exploitation of the poor. The landscape of modern poverty DiFazio lays out shows the lack of vision and trust in a self-sustaining system that again marginalizes the poor as bit players in their own life story and liberation. I appreciated DiFazio calling out the dueling narratives of liberal programs and conservative programs as being bunk by using the issue of poverty as a political football. Institutions are guilty for their purposeful forgetting that allows for the same co-dependent relation to the poor to continue without sustainable change. Some folks thrive seeing others in constant crisis because that's how they define themselves. While I agree with his view that there is a hollow promise in finding economic freedom today within globalization and the information age, there's no way to put the genie back in the bottle. For example, while Eastman-Kodak filled for bankruptcy protection this year Instagram was purchased for a billion (with a b) dollars by Facebook. Instagram employs 13 people. That is the harsh job reality we all face when the wealth and productivity is concentrated in very few individuals displacing many hard working people trying to get by. Like DiFazio, I believe in demanding jobs with comparable worth not only to have economic security but to also to have a sense of dignity. The vision of a world without poverty has to come first hand-in-hand with those who live it everyday.
DiFazio did very detailed research on a problem of urban poverty. Despite the fact that the book contain a massive analytical data, I enjoy reading it, because it also have a personal touch in a form of real people lives stories. With the reading progression you get involved with the “invisible” society, you get familiar to their daily routine and all over sudden they not invisible for you any more, you can see them anywhere and everywhere: on your way to school, on the corner of the street of the street when you get out of a restaurant. You start to wonder if this person has eaten today, yesterday. I agree with Difazio, that in the country with so much wealth there are so many illiterate, hungry and homeless people. I guess it’ the side effect of the economic system that we are living in. And still majority believes that: Capitalism is not perfect. But it is by far the most efficient and just way of structuring an economy.” I appreciate DiFazio references to Marx’s theory. My personal believe is that communism is the perfect system, unfortunately it’s to idealistic and as result impossible. However, I think the main point of DiFazio book is to bring the idea to the masses, that because:” the poor have not created a social movement to end the poverty, nor have advocates helped to create one. As long as this true, their poverty is permanent.” I hope that one day we came to understanding of the idea of the social integrity, and impossibility(and danger) to leave the less adaptive individuals behind.
What I loved about this book is that it started giving you both perspectives, the conservatives and the liberals. Reading the first chapter I was on Murray's side. "Social welfare programs create a context in which the rational choices of the disadvantaged are "not to enter the labor force," "not to get an education," and "not to get married." In short, the social welfare programs of the 1960s and 1970s failed because "we made it profitable to be poor." I find myself thinking about these issues everyday. What can really make a difference. "Wilson's solution-jobs at all costs" I will always believe that people have the tools to turn their situation around. However, reading more into the book I loved how Difazio almost makes you feel like your sitting next to Bea, John or Larry. I started to remember that it is so much easier to say what people should do because your in a better position or haven't felt what they feel. Reading more I was getting angry because all these programs that are in place to help don't help. I can feel the frustration of waiting "an hour just to talk to the guard to ask permission to talk to the caseworker" and it is ridiculous. It is the organization of these places, they waste time on unnecessary things rather than getting to the core of the help. Help is out there but the energy is placed all over that it doesn't really make a difference. I think about this all the time, what would it be like if all the programs all the help and all the non-profit organizations really joined forces and made a real connection to help people. Reading this book really made me think of what I believe in. I stopped questioning people under the poverty line and putting all the blame on them. Life does hit you and people do make mistakes. I have made my share and people do need help. I am now putting 50% of the blame on the programs and how the system is organized. The help needs to be stronger and effective not 'just enough.' Overall, I have loved both books and has forced me to step out of my own thoughts and evaluate the different point of views.
Reading Ordinary Poverty by DiFazio was a very detailed and interested work. It was such an easy read through than the other book and materials that we read earlier in class. Now I know more about how soup kitchens operate and how people are struggling living in poverty here in the United States. In Ordinary Poverty DiFazio paints a picture of poor people trying to make ends meet on an inadequate budget. Which he later proposed two solutions that he thinks will end poverty, he says that only above-poverty-wage jobs can end poverty and stresses the importance of creating a new poor people’s movement. The people depicted in this book struggle to survive. People would do anything to make all ends meet if they can, though some cannot. Some may jump subway turnstiles , sell some of their food stamps so they can buy clothes ,pay rent or anything else they want that food stamps won't allow them to purchase or occasionally splurge on a breakfast.
I think DiFazio’s book is really good. He gave a lot of details, such as data and examples in the soup kitchen. He shows the readers different point of view that we might miss by just looking at the situation. He gave details about their lives and so on which can bring us more into the situation itself inside of looking at the surface. He gave data about the soup kitchen and the people that eat in the soup kitchen. It is really surprising that how many people eat there. I think the soup kitchen is not helping the people. The soup kitchen only provides foods to the people instead of providing some useful skills or help that can actually help them to get out of their situation. They probably should use the money to help them in other long-term ways instead of short-term help. The only way for them to get out of the situation is employment and the government should focus on that.
i enjoyed DIfazio's work a lot. He puts it out there that the government isn't doing enough to get these poor people out of poverty. That poverty to the government is like ordinary. That in this economy only the rich get richer. That these soup kitchens aren't enough for these people going through their struggles. Soup kitchens only worry bout the short term needs of these people, instead on helping them become employable. That the people talking for the poor are all opportunistic, they are making money of the poor. that money should be given directly to the poor. Difazios solution to poverty is to give these individuals over the poverty wage jobs. THis is a good book, i think the higher up officials in the government should read this book they might learn a thing or two on how to end poverty.
DiFazio showed that "help" can be detrimental in the sense of welfare. The WEP system is just a band aid and does not keep people leveled with today's cost of living. It reveals a poor inadequate budget that causes the poor to feel somewhat comfortable in their situation which is doomed to fail. Also, I no longer see soup kitchens as a great program for the homeless. Yes, it gives people a free meal, but what else? There is no push to help these people get out of poverty. There is a need for advocacy, or training of such. These people need a voice, and not a representative who has no experience of the homeless condition. Soup kitchens should have been temporary and not have lasted this long.
The End of Ordinary Poverty is a smart analysis of poverty from the perspective of a Brooklyn soup kitchen worker. DiFazio refuses to believe that the people are poor because they are biologically or culturally inferior. According to Difazio, they commit crimes in a struggle to survive. Interestingly, DiFazio writes of how the poor are so focused on meeting basic needs, they do not have the extra resources to fight for the conditions of the poor. They do not have time to fight their own ideological cause. DiFazio also writes of how the poor have become increasingly dependent on soup kitchens. Soup kitchens can only feed so many people, and they will unfortunately have to limit the amount of people they serve. DiFazio stresses raising the minimum wage so it includes everyone. He feels everyone should earn middle class wages. This is curious as he envisions a society in which there is no lower class. He also advocates a poor people's movement, in which the poor would demand rights and an improved welfare system. While I applaud what DiFazio attempts to do, I think his dismissal of cultural and genetic causes to be inaccurate. The poor are social pariahs. But refusing to accept that they are not inherently different is naive.
I have really enjoyed his reading. I liked it much better than the first. His book provided perspective that questions what our natural responses. We started out the class talking about how everyone needs to "get a job." DiFazio sheds a light on this that I have not seen before. I have crossed to the side of the fence that there are not enough jobs for all of the people that live in New York City. Before we address that issue, I think the real problem is that the government thought that the WEP program was a solution to those not working. $48.50 every two weeks with subsidized food and shelter is not realistic in New York. It might be possible other places in the country, but not even close here. This was a benefit for me to see. It adds a perspective to some that they are trying to do whatever to make it, and the odds are against them. I resort to my thought that this is a shame in such a developed country. I liked that while reading DiFazio, it felt like he really got to know the people he was sharing their story. He had a sense of warmth to his research, that almost made it seem that we were talking to the person also. I enjoyed this part also. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I did not understand all that he talked about when he was talking about policy, but I think that's ok.