$2.00 a Day

  • by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer
  • Narrated by Allyson Johnson
  • 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

We have made great steps toward eliminating poverty around the world - extreme poverty has declined significantly and seems on track to continue to do so in the next decades. Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank estimates that extreme poverty can be eliminated in 17 years. This is clearly cause for celebration.
However, this good news can make us oblivious to the fact that there are, in the United States, a significant and growing number of families who live on less than $2.00 per person, per day. That figure, the World Bank measure of poverty, is hard to imagine in this country - most of us spend more than that before we get to work or school in the morning.
In $2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, Kathryn Edin and Luke Schaefer introduce us to people like Jessica Compton, who survives by donating plasma as often as 10 times a month and spends hours with her young children in the public library so she can get access to an Internet connection for job-hunting; and like Modonna Harris who lost the cashier's job she had held for years, for the sake of $7.00 misplaced at the end of the day.
They are the would-be working class, with hundreds of job applications submitted in recent months and thousands of work hours logged in past years. Twenty years after William Julius Wilson's When Work Disappears, it's still all about the work. But as Edin and Shaefer illuminate through incisive analysis and indelible human story, the combination of a government safety net built on the ability to work and a low-wage labor market increasingly designed not to deliver a living wage has delivered a vicious one-two punch to the would-be working poor.
More than a powerful expose of a troubling trend, $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our central national debate on work, income inequality, and what to do about it.


What the Critics Say

"The story of a kind of poverty in America so deep that we, as a country, don't even think exists - from a leading national poverty expert who "defies convention". (New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It Stays with You

$2.00 a Day is an eye-opening book but heartbreaking. It describes the daily grind and many unseen hardships of people with practically no income.

Allyson Johnson did a wonderful job narrating the book.
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- Jason Comely

Being Poor

Due to my severe disability I also receive government assistance such as HUD and Social Security and other disability benefits to get me through my life. I also work part time and earn a living and I am also a college graduate with a bachelors degree. Base on the economic status, I am consider as being as having low income, but I don't feel poor at all. I budget my money really well and live within my means and my life is pretty good. Surely, I'm not pan handling on the corner or selling my body for cash. I could also get more government assistance such as food stamps, but I choose not to because I don't want to take advantage of the system.

"$2.00 a Day" is an eye opening book on what the news doesn't want to show. We try to cover up poverty as much as possible and put them in the background as if they were scenery. Being poor is something that we all avoid, as if we made a wrong turn and find ourselves in a shady part of town, but instead of being mug, we are being stripped away from our dignity, base how we rank on the social class.

This book is very well written for someone that hasn't experienced poverty. I'm sure that the book is being read and discussed in many book clubs while having lunch that is more than $2. Unfortunately, I never experienced what it is like having my electricity cut off or going hungry and nor I never want to, but if you present this book to someone that is living under the freeway, they will probably tell you that they wish that they could make that much to survive.
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- Tim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-01-2015
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books