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As a waitress in Florida, where her name is suddenly transposed to "girl," trailer trash becomes a demographic category to aspire to with rent at $675 per month. In Maine, where she ends up working as both a cleaning woman and a nursing home assistant, she must first fill out endless pre-employment tests with trick questions such as "Some people work better when they're a little bit high." In Minnesota, she works at Wal-Mart under the repressive surveillance of men and women whose job it is to monitor her behavior for signs of sloth, theft, drug abuse, or worse. She even gets to experience the humiliation of the urine test.
So, do the poor have survival strategies unknown to the middle class? And did Ehrenreich feel the "bracing psychological effects of getting out of the house, as promised by the wonks who brought us welfare reform?" Nah. Even in her best-case scenario, with all the advantages of education, health, a car, and money for first month's rent, she has to work two jobs, seven days a week, and still almost winds up in a shelter. As Ehrenreich points out with her potent combination of humor and outrage, the laws of supply and demand have been reversed. Rental prices skyrocket, but wages never rise. Rather, jobs are so cheap as measured by the pay that workers are encouraged to take as many as they can. Behind those trademark Wal-Mart vests, it turns out, are the borderline homeless. With her characteristic wry wit and her unabashedly liberal bent, Ehrenreich brings the invisible poor out of hiding and, in the process, the world they inhabit--where civil liberties are often ignored and hard work fails to live up to its reputation as the ticket out of poverty. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this book however, Ehrenreich is very biased.
I think that this book will make a lot of people realize that they shouldn't be petty or concentrate on the materialistic things in life.
Her premise is that no one can have a decent standard of living while working for minimum wage, and I agree it's very difficult.
Since this book was written quite a few years ago, it stands to reason that it would not be as relevant in 2015. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Caitlin
This book was definitely very interesting and thought provoking book. The struggle of people working low tier service jobs are no joke. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jason Jacob
There were a few things she was doing like eating out often that I thought someone truly struggling wouldn't do, but the major insight in her book was how difficult transportation... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Pamela Jane
Slow at first but it is awesome to make the point on financial and class inequalities in America. Helps people see how others are used when working entry-level positions. Read morePublished 11 days ago by jay
This book shows how our hard working people are working 80 hours a week and still losing ground and in poverty. In a country as blessed as ours, that is immoral and unacceptable. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Yussuf A Kalib