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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.
Everybody should read this book. What a quick and effective way to remind us we're better off counting our blessings than complaining as much as we do. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Denise Russell
The only complaint I have is the huge green sticker on the front cover of the book.Published 7 days ago by Gloria Nguyen
This should be required reading for high school students. You will think twice if you've actually worked these jobs about their value. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Escher
It is a great nonfiction to read. Many people think the poor are "poor" because they are lazy and just sitting around waiting for government's aid, and this book may give... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Qianyu Huang
I know that there were people out there making only minimum wage. But I had not idea how difficult their lives are. Imagine working 40 hours a week and having to live in a car.Published 9 days ago by Kindle Customer
This practical book puts into understandable terms the economic realities of the working poor. A must read!Published 12 days ago by Jennifer A. Paris