Analysis Of Barbara Ehrenreich 's Nickel And Dimed Essay

Analysis Of Barbara Ehrenreich 's Nickel And Dimed Essay

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The invisible workforce consists of the low-wage workers that face harsh working conditions, a few or no benefits, and long hours of labor that exceed the regular business week. Barbara Ehrenreich, narrates her experience of entering the service workforce, in the book Nickel and Dimed. She proves that getting by in America working a minimum wage job is impossible. Although, the book was written in the 1990’s, the conditions in which minimum wage workers lived still prevail today. Minimum wage no longer serves its original purpose of providing a living wage for the invisible workforce.
The Fair Labor Standards Act was established in 1938 during the Great
Depression; because Roosevelt felt that an action need to be taken about the long hours and starvation wages.Before the FLSA , “it was common for workers to experience cruel work environments.” (Dugger 1) President Roosevelt was handed a message by a girl stating “We have been working in a sewing factory... and up to a few months ago we were getting our minimum pay of $11 a week.... Today the 200 of us girls have been cut down to $4 and $5 and $6 a week.” (Dugger 2). Consequently, Roosevelt worked to pass a legislation that would protect Americas laborers.
The main provisions of the FLSA “mandated that workers would be paid a living wage,workers would be paid for overtime work, and it created new laws regarding child labor”(Dugger 5). According to the established FLSA, non-exempt employees working on an hourly basis should make a living wage working the forty hour work week. Currently,minimum wage is not equal to the living wage. An action needs to be taken now, before the middle class completely disappears. One percent of the populations owns more of the wealth than the oth...


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... the Homelessness around fifty percent of the earnings of low-wage workers are spent on rent (Coalition 8) . “Declining wages, have put housing out of reach for many workers: in every state, more than the minimum wage is required to afford a one- or two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. A recent U.S. Conference of Mayors report stated that in every state more than the minimum-wage is required to afford a one or two-bedroom apartment at 30% of his or her income, which is the federal definition of affordable housing.”(Coalition 8) Consequently, the low earnings of a minimum wage worker forces them to choose between adequate housing, food and basic necessities. Shelter is not a priority, food and basic needs are. A raise in the federal and state minimum wage would allow more people to afford housing
without having to rely on the scarce government assistance.

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