Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel And Dimed

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“Something is wrong, very wrong, when a single person in good health, a person who in addition possesses a working car, can barely support herself by the sweat of her brow” (Ehrenreich, 2001, pg. 199). Barbara Ehrenreich wrote this in her captivating book Nickel and Dimed, where she embarked on a journey that revalued the truth behind life in low-wage America. Growing up I was led to believe that nothing worth having comes easy. As long as I worked hard and gave everything 100% I was guaranteed success, in essence hard work was the key to success. Ehrenreich revels the sad reality for many Americans where hard work, the type you never thought possible that leads to exhaustion, does not guarantee success. Ehrenreich had very unique objectives for writing this novel and she was able to reveal the impacts of social policy then and now. Ehrenreich developed the objectives of this book in a very interesting way. Ironically she developed the idea for this project over a very elegant expensive lunch at a French country-style restaurant. Ehrenreich and her editor Lewis Laphan from Harpers had gone out to lunch to discuss future articles. Throughout lunch the topic of poverty came up. Questions like, “How does anyone live on the wages available to the unskilled?” (Ehrenreich, 2001 pg. 1) and how do unskilled workers survive on such low incomes, started to surface. She then thought “Someone ought to do the old-fashioned kind of journalism – you know, go out there and try
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