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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-29-06 04:32 PM
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Waging a Living: Tonight on PBS

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Waging a Living: Tonight on PBS

Working poor ought to be an oxymoron.

So says filmmaker Roger Weisberg, whose documentary Waging a Living airs tonight on PBS P.O.V. series (check your local listings).

Waging a Living documents the hard work and struggles of four of the estimated 30 million U.S. workers whose incomes fall below the federal poverty level for a family of four. Says Weisberg in an interview on the PBS website:

The idea that you can work full time and still be poor in this society is a real crime. And the numbers of working poor have risen so dramatically. Since 1977, there has been a 50 percent increase in the number of people working full time who are still poor.

I want to show that its different for folks on the bottom of that income ladder, and in many ways the situation now is different than it was years ago. My film is not really about all of the reasons the situation has changed over time: its not about globalization; its not about the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy; its not about the diminished power of labor unions today. What Waging a Living is really about is the impact that those forces are having on low-wage workers today.

The camera follows Jean Reynolds, a 51-year-old certified nursing assistant in Keansburg, N.J. She earns $11 an hour with no health insurance. She also supports three children, including her eldest daughter, who suffers from cancer, and her four children. Says Reynolds:

Ive worked hard all my life and Im still stuck. There is no American dream anymore.

Barbara Brooks is a single mother of five in Freeport, N.Y., who earns $8.25 an hour as a counselor at a juvenile detention home. She works hard to win promotions on the job only to find she loses more in government assistance than she earns with the extra pay. She says that she feels like her life is hustling backwards.

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Vox_Reason Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-29-06 04:45 PM
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1. Work full time, you deserve a livable wage and benefits
It is flatly criminal for people who work full time to not receive a livable wage and decent benefits in the richest country in the world.

Do we value hard work, or don't we? Do we value the working people who are the backbone of this country, or don't we? Do we value heads of family households, or don't we?

"Family values"? Let's walk the talk. We can do better, and we should.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-29-06 05:07 PM
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2. Has the entire nation lost its collective memory?
Not to mention its collective mind...

C'mon people it wasn't that long ago when any full-time job earned you enough to live, as in pay rent, eat, have heat in the winter, all in the same month.
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