There, I become another, occupationally much diminished "Barbara Ehrenreich" - depicted on job-application forms as a divorced homemaker whose sole work experience consists of housekeeping in a few private homes. I am terrified, at the beginning, of being unmasked for what I am: Happily, though, my fears turn out to be entirely unwarranted:
New York Times bestselling author Nickel and Dimed Version The most shocking thing I learned from my research on the fate of the working poor in the recession was the extent to which poverty has been criminalized in America.
Technology innovators and venture capitalists were acquiring sudden fortunes, buying up McMansions like the ones I had cleaned in Maine and much larger.
Even secretaries in some hi-tech firms were striking it rich with their stock options. There was loose talk about a permanent conquest of the business cycle, and a sassy new spirit infecting American capitalism.
Aug 09, · Nickel and Dimed ( Version) The most shocking thing I learned from my research on the fate of the working poor in the recession was the extent to . Barbara Ehrenreich - Ehrenreich is the author of this work. She attempts to find out if single mothers could She attempts to find out if single mothers could make ends meet with low-wage jobs and no Welfare assistance. Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Nickel and Dimed, Blood Rites, The Worst Years of Our Lives (a New York Times bestseller), Fear of Falling, which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and eight other books. A frequent contributor to.
Criticisms, too, have accumulated over the years. But for the most part, the book has been far better received than I could have imagined it would be, with an impact extending well into the more comfortable classes. Even more gratifying to me, the book has been widely read among low-wage workers.
In the last few years, hundreds of people have written to tell me their stories: Twenty-nine percent is a minority, but not a reassuringly small one, and other studies in the early s came up with similar figures.
The big question, 10 years later, is whether things have improved or worsened for those in the bottom third of the income distribution, the people who clean hotel rooms, work in warehouses, wash dishes in restaurants, care for the very young and very old, and keep the shelves stocked in our stores.
The short answer is that things have gotten much worse, especially since the economic downturn that began in Post-Meltdown Poverty When you read about the hardships I found people enduring while I was researching my book -- the skipped meals, the lack of medical care, the occasional need to sleep in cars or vans -- you should bear in mind that those occurred in the best of times.
The economy was growing, and jobs, if poorly paid, were at least plentiful.
InI had been able to walk into a number of jobs pretty much off the street. Less than a decade later, many of these jobs had disappeared and there was stiff competition for those that remained.
For the last couple of years, I have attempted to find out what was happening to the working poor in a declining economy -- this time using conventional reporting techniques like interviewing. I started with my own extended family, which includes plenty of people without jobs or health insurance, and moved on to trying to track down a couple of the people I had met while working on Nickel and Dimed.
Neither seemed unduly afflicted by the recession, but only because they had already been living in what amounts to a permanent economic depression.
In andfor example, blue-collar unemployment was increasing three times as fast as white-collar unemployment, and African American and Latino workers were three times as likely to be unemployed as white workers.
Low-wage blue-collar workers, like the people I worked with in this book, were especially hard hit for the simple reason that they had so few assets and savings to fall back on as jobs disappeared.
How have the already-poor attempted to cope with their worsening economic situation? One obvious way is to cut back on health care. The New York Times reported in that one-third of Americans could no longer afford to comply with their prescriptions and that there had been a sizable drop in the use of medical care.
Others, including members of my extended family, have given up their health insurance.
The most common coping strategy, though, is simply to increase the number of paying people per square foot of dwelling space -- by doubling up or renting to couch-surfers. There are no national statistics linking suicide to economic hard times, but the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline reported more than a four-fold increase in call volume between andand regions with particularly high unemployment, like Elkhart, Indiana, have seen troubling spikes in their suicide rates.
Foreclosure is often the trigger for suicide -- or, worse, murder-suicides that destroy entire families. But its response to the economic emergency of the last few years has been spotty at best.The bestselling author of Nickel and Dimed goes back undercover to do for America's ailing middle class what she did for the working poor Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed .
Nickel and Dimed is a book by Barbara Ehrenreich. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America study guide contains a biography of author Barbara Ehrenreich, literature essays, quiz questions.
Oct 10, · To Ms. Ehrenreich, the reliance on one’s personal disposition shifts attention from the larger social, political and economic forces behind poverty, unemployment and poor health care. Essay Nickel And Dimed By Barbara Ehrenreich. you can survive it.” To be in poverty is the condition of having little to no money, goods, or any means of support; basically the state of being poor.
In Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich expertly peels away the layers of self-denial, self-interest, and self-protection that separate the rich from the poor, the served from the servers, the housed from the homeless.
This brave and frank book is ultimately a challenge to create a less divided society.”. Aug 09, · Nickel and Dimed ( Version) The most shocking thing I learned from my research on the fate of the working poor in the recession was the extent to .