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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.
I really liked this book even though there are a lot of people that had a lot of negative commentsPublished 23 hours ago by Mary Harp
I had to read chapter 1 for an economics class. I found it super bearable. I actually WANTED to read it. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jennay
I got this book almost a month after I purchased it. I actually had to go to a different bookstore to purchase the book before school started. The book was pretty good!Published 4 days ago by Kristin Scherb
I found this book a moving and important sociological document that goes beyond the level of anecdotal evidence to approximate a series of case studies on work and poverty in... Read morePublished 5 days ago by djDust
Refocuses on the importance of tipping and the need for a "Living wage".Published 13 days ago by Old guy
I was disappointed in this book.It describes the trials and tribulations of a minimum wage earner and the fight for these low paying jobs and the difficulty they encounter finding... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Veronica K. Tidd
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 27 days ago by Denise Russell