Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
When one is charged a little bit at a time until the expense grows beyond expectations, that is called being "nickel and dimed." In 2001's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, essayist and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich applies this notion to minimum-wage workers. She argues that... show more
When one is charged a little bit at a time until the expense grows beyond expectations, that is called being "nickel and dimed." In 2001's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, essayist and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich applies this notion to minimum-wage workers. She argues that their spirit and dignity are chipped away by a culture that allows unjust and unlivable working conditions, which results in their becoming a de facto, or actual without being official, servant class. Spurred on by recent welfare reforms and the growing phenomenon of the working poor in the United States, Ehrenreich poses a hypothetical question of daily concern to many Americans: how difficult is it to live on a minimum-wage job? For the lower class, what does it take to match the income one earns to the expenses one must pay?
Rather than simply listen to other people's accounts, Ehrenreich herself assumes the role of a minimum-wage worker. In different states and in several different jobs, she attempts three times to live for one month at minimum wage, giving up her middle-class comforts to experience the overlooked hardships of a large sector of America. While she freely admits that hers is an unusual situation, she stresses it is also a best-case scenario; others face many more difficulties in their daily lives, such as the lack of available transportation. Due to an accessible style and subject matter, Nickel and Dimed became a bestseller that helped restart dialogue on the current state of American work, American values, and the consequences of letting a national emergency remain unacknowledged for too long.
Publish date: May 1st 2002
Publisher: Owl Books (Henry Holt)
Pages no: 240
Edition language: English
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How to live on so little? As a reporter, she did her research by working as a minimum wage worker. As expected, she couldn't afford a lot of things that she used to, because based on her undercover income, she really can't have nice things. But people still smoke. The constant luxury that both r...
This is the story of Barbara's adventures in working low paid jobs in three different places in the US. She presented herself as an ex-homemaker who was looking for a job and she found herself struggling with the balance of work, rent and food. She found herself struggling with the balance and wit...
#1 You can't possible know how it feels to "not get by" when you know at all times that you can always - always - produce your credit card (full of credit of course) from your wallet and just call it a night and go back to your real life doing whatever it is that you want to do because you can.#2 "N...
This book was enjoyable and the topic was interesting. I just think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it when it first came out. Today things would be even harder for people who have to find a way to survive making minimum wage.