Could you live on $2 a day?

Date posted: Monday 11 January 2016

by Vernita Kennen


I know that I certainly could not do so. But after reading the book $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, I now know the stories of people who really do manage to “live” on such a small amount of money. The authors, Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaeffer, have followed several people over a period of time to learn how and why they are living on such a small amount of money. It was difficult for me to relate to their generational poverty but I could understand their desiring generational family connections. I cannot imagine their strength, their persistence, and even optimism in their circumstances.


The authors explain clearly why some federal programs, begun with good intentions, do not work as they were intended. They feel strongly that higher wages and services to help people overcome some issues are the answers. They suggest that a redeveloped EITC would make both work and personal dignity possible.


This book has been highly recommended in many sources during 2015. I now highly recommend it to you for the top of your 2016 reading list. The information is current which makes it especially important today. The fact that 1.5 million households, including 3 million children, in the United States are living on $2/person/day is more than alarming; I suspect that you, too, will find it frightening.