Barbara Ehrenreich Barbara Ehrenreich is that rarest of breeds, a 21st century American who still clings to the tenets of Socialism. Her jobs consisted of waitressing and working as a hotel maid in Florida, working at a nursing home and a house cleaning service in Maine, and at Wal-Mart in Minnesota.
Technology innovators and venture capitalists were acquiring sudden fortunes, buying up McMansions like the ones I had cleaned in Maine and much larger. Even secretaries in some hi-tech firms were striking it rich with their stock options.
There was loose talk about a permanent conquest of the business cycle, and a sassy new spirit infecting American capitalism.
In San Francisco, a billboard for an e-trading firm proclaimed, "Make love not war," and then — down at the bottom — "Screw it, just make money. Again and again, in that first year or two after publication, people came up to me and opened with the words, "I never thought …" or "I hadn't realised …" To my own amazement, Nickel and Dimed quickly ascended to the bestseller list and began winning awards.
Criticisms, too, have accumulated over the years. But for the most part, the book has been far better received than I could have imagined it would be, with an impact extending well into the more comfortable classes.
A Florida woman wrote to tell me that, before reading it, she'd always been annoyed at the poor for what she saw as their self-inflicted obesity. Now she understood that a healthy diet wasn't always an option.
And if I had a quarter for every person who's told me he or she now tipped more generously, I would be able to start my own foundation. Even more gratifying to me, the book has been widely read among low-wage workers.
In the last few years, hundreds of people have written to tell me their stories: Twenty-nine percent is a minority, but not a reassuringly small one, and other studies in the early s came up with similar figures.
The big question, 10 years later, is whether Barbara ehrenreichs nickel essay have improved or worsened for those in the bottom third of the income distribution, the people who clean hotel rooms, work in warehouses, wash dishes in restaurants, care for the very young and very old, and keep the shelves stocked in our stores.
The short answer is that things have gotten much worse, especially since the economic downturn that began in Post-meltdown poverty When you read about the hardships I found people enduring while I was researching my book — the skipped meals, the lack of medical care, the occasional need to sleep in cars or vans — you should bear in mind that those occurred in the best of times.
The economy was growing, and jobs, if poorly paid, were at least plentiful. InI had been able to walk into a number of jobs pretty much off the street. Less than a decade later, many of these jobs had disappeared and there was stiff competition for those that remained.
It would have been impossible to repeat my Nickel and Dimed "experiment", had I had been so inclined, because I would probably never have found a job. For the last couple of years, I have attempted to find out what was happening to the working poor in a declining economy — this time using conventional reporting techniques like interviewing.
I started with my own extended family, which includes plenty of people without jobs or health insurance, and moved on to trying to track down a couple of the people I had met while working on Nickel and Dimed. This wasn't easy, because most of the addresses and phone numbers I had taken away with me had proved to be inoperative within a few months, probably due to moves and suspensions of telephone service.
Neither seemed unduly afflicted by the recession, but only because they had already been living in what amounts to a permanent economic depression. In andfor example, blue-collar unemployment was increasing three times as fast as white-collar unemployment, and African American and Latino workers were three times as likely to be unemployed as white workers.
Low-wage blue-collar workers, like the people I worked with in this book, were especially hard hit for the simple reason that they had so few assets and savings to fall back on as jobs disappeared.
How have the already-poor attempted to cope with their worsening economic situation? One obvious way is to cut back on health care. The New York Times reported in that one-third of Americans could no longer afford to comply with their prescriptions and that there had been a sizable drop in the use of medical care.
Others, including members of my extended family, have given up their health insurance.
Food is another expenditure that has proved vulnerable to hard times, with the rural poor turning increasingly to "food auctions", which offer items that may be past their sell-by dates. And for those who like their meat fresh, there's the option of urban hunting.
In Racine, Wisconsin, a year-old laid-off mechanic told me he was supplementing his diet by "shooting squirrels and rabbits and eating them stewed, baked and grilled".
In Detroit, where the wildlife population has mounted as the human population ebbs, a retired truck driver was doing a brisk business in raccoon carcasses, which he recommends marinating with vinegar and spices. The most common coping strategy, though, is simply to increase the number of paying people per square foot of dwelling space — by doubling up or renting to couch-surfers.
It's hard to get firm numbers on overcrowding, because no one likes to acknowledge it to census-takers, journalists, or anyone else who might be remotely connected to the authorities.Barbara Ehrenreich is a journalist, who underwent the "experiment" described by the first answer.
While the book certainly was insightful, entertaining, even shocking in its portrayal of . • This essay is a shortened version of a new afterword to Barbara Ehrenreich's bestselling book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, 10th Anniversary Edition, recently released by.
Nov 23, · In Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and leslutinsduphoenix.com is a resource used daily by Marginalized Communities Essay Prompt by the English Professor: Using Barbara Lazear Ascher's essay "On Compassion" and also Barbara Ehrenreich's essay "Serving in Florida", write a well written Serving Florida vs Dumpster Diving Essay Example for .
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Essay - The chapter, Selling in Minnesota, had some disturbing information about the low wage life. As I read, I learned that every place the author went to apply, such as a Wal-Mart and a Home Depot type place called Menards, required the applicant to .
Barbara Ehrenreich (/ ˈ ɛər ən r aɪ k /; born August 26, ) is an American author and political activist who describes herself as "a myth buster by trade" and has been called "a veteran muckraker" by The New Yorker.
During the s and early s she was a prominent figure in the Democratic Socialists of leslutinsduphoenix.com is a widely read and . Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America Essay - Barbara Ehrenreich's, "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America", is a book that strives to change the way America perceives its working poor.