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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.
This book is extremely relevant as we discuss raising the minimum wage. The author's experience on trying to live on minimum wage puts meat on the bones of this discussion.Published 15 hours ago by Ed S
A great book except for the author's unenlightened anti-fat bigotry and her repeating ignorant stereotypes thereof as though they're facts. Read morePublished 21 hours ago by Marie
Although written in 2002, this book has a lot to say at this time. As questions are being currently raised about a living wage and upping the minimum wage, not much has changed... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Reader in the Caribbean
This was a book that gave a great peek into the lives so many live everyday. The working poor in America rarely get any attention and no one but the ones living it seems to care.Published 2 days ago by Elnora Ingram
Very informative book includes good info that should be shared. The author did a great job in her experience explaining the truth behind America's economy.Published 3 days ago by Holiday
The book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, shadows author Barbara Ehrenreich to do an experiment concerning the issue of economic development. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Lissette Jaramillo
Barbara is the main character if the novel. The global issue Barbara is addressing is getting by in America on minimum wage jobs. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Troy Mitchell II
Book is pretty good. It was required for a college class but this was not the right version of the book. There was a second publishing that had additional content at the end. Read morePublished 9 days ago by A. Tubbs