Oct. 2017 - $2.00 A Day

$2.00 A Day Reading Guide

We recently wrapped up our October book, $2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. Catch the Twitter chat Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4 recaps at the preceding links. Gracie and Laura’s thoughts on the book were published in the AgBookClub feature on AGDAILY.

AgBookClub was established to start a conversation about ag- and food-themed literature available in a bookstore near you. The ideas on those pages were strong enough to get past a number of reviewers and editors, so we figure they must have some merit. Because of that, we didn’t want to just give you an article with our opinions (we’ve already done that), but we did want to give you a few thought-starters to mull over as you read the book.

Wondering if this book is for you? Here’s a quick summary:

$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, by Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, takes readers on a deep dive into a kind of poverty most of us can only imagine. It introduces families with combined incomes of less than two dollars per day, examining what they do to survive — and how they try to pull themselves out of their situations. The authors discuss government shifts in welfare payments, and assert that trading cash payments for in-kind aid is not a fair trade.

Thought starters:

  1. Do you think poverty a major issue in America? Do we talk about it too much? Just enough? Too little?
  2. What’s the role of public aid vs. private aid? Is one better than the other?
  3. This book focuses on urban poverty, but are rural areas getting the help they need?
  4. How does rural $2-a-day poverty compare to urban $2-a-day poverty? Who has it better?
  5. How many $/hour would a “living wage” be for you to support your current lifestyle?
  6. In your opinion, how many $/hour should the minimum “living wage” be? What did you factor into that?
  7. Should public spaces have to cater to impoverished people who use the space for reasons beyond its intended use?
  8. “A life dependent on private charity is a life of insecurity.” – p105. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  9. Which of the authors’ (or your own) solutions do you think would make the most progress toward eliminating extreme poverty?
  10. What’s your version of the American Dream?

What did you think about the book? Were these thought starters helpful? Drop a comment below!

The #AgBookClub Twitter chat takes place on Wednesdays at 8pm CT. View our book list to see what we’re reading now and feel free to jump right in next Wednesday!

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