Date of publication: 2017-07-09 01:13
Bait and Switch highlights the people who ve done everything right—gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés—yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster, and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle. Today s ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their surplus employees—plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for these newly disposable workers—and little security even for those who have jobs.
NICKEL AND DIMED BOOK REPORT Barbara Ehrenreich is a journalist who wrote the book Nickel and Dimed . She goes undercover to see how it feels
Confronting a range of topics, from the fate of Vietnamese mail-order brides to the importation of Mexican nannies in Los Angeles and the selling of Thai girls to Japanese brothels, Global Woman offers an unprecedented look at a world shaped by mass migration and economic exchange on an ever-increasing scale. In fifteen vivid essays-- of which only four have been previously published-- by a diverse and distinguished group of writers, collected and introduced by bestselling authors Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild, this important anthology reveals a new era in which the main resource extracted from the third world is no longer gold or silver, but love.
With the mythbusting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America s penchant for positive thinking: On a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out negative thoughts. On a national level, it s brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best—poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.
Ehrenreich gets a job at a local Wal-Mart in the ladies’ clothing section making $7 an hour. This is not enough to buy any cooking items to cook for herself, so she lives on fast food. While working at Wal-Mart, she starts to realize that the employees are working too hard for the wages they are paid. She starts to plant the idea of unionizing into other employee’s minds, however she leaves before anything is done about it.
Taking the measure of what we are left with after the cruelest decade in memory, Ehrenreich finds lurid extremes all around. While members of the moneyed elite can buy congressmen, many in the working class can barely buy lunch. While a wealthy minority obsessively consumes cosmetic surgery, the poor often go without health care for their children. And while the corporate C-suites are now nests of criminality, the less fortunate are fed a diet of morality, marriage, and abstinence. Ehrenreich s antidotes are as sardonic as they are spot-on: pet insurance for your kids Salvation Army fashions for those who can no longer afford Wal-Mart and boundless rage against those who have given us a nation scarred by deepening inequality, corroded by distrust, and shamed by its official cruelty.
To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the 8775 lowliest 8776 occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed , was born in 6996 in Oregon State to a copper miner and homemaker. Her
She can be sanctimonious -- she has never hired anyone to clean her house, she informs readers as she questions the morality of those who do -- but there is no doubt about her passion for her central point. People cannot, in fact, live for long on these wages with dignity, and often not at all without the benefit of several other workers in the household.
Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich s perspective and for a rare view of how prosperity looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.
"On small things I was thrifty enough: no expenditures on `carousing,' flashy clothes, or any of the other indulgences that are often smugly believed to undermine the budgets of the poor," she writes.
In the acclaimed Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich delved into the origins of our species attraction to war. Here, she explores the opposite impulse, one that has been so effectively suppressed that we lack even a term for it: the desire for collective joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing.