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Abstract

In American society, labor services were once considered to be honorable and respectable positions (Shulman, 2003). In the last few decades, these jobs have undergone a transformation. Low-wage jobs such as home health care aids, security guards, bank tellers, cashiers, and workers in industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, and food processing make up 30 million Americans (Shulman, 2003). In Beth Shulman’s “The Betrayal of Work,” they have been betrayed by American society. The main concept she illustrates in her book is how low-wage jobs are unable to provide workers in these positions with enough support for them to pay their bills and take care of their families. She also states that society keeps them at a disadvantage compared to high-wage earners, using examples from people who are working in low-wage jobs such as call centers, poultry plants, janitors and grocery store clerks. These 30 million Americans receive limited benefits, if any. The wages they receive, as well as the discrimination they face by working low-wage jobs, illustrates the difficulties these individuals face. In this paper, I will be discussing the impact these jobs have not just on Whatcom County, but the entire country, using the main concepts demonstrated in Shulman’s book.

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