Ehrenreich’s motives gave her the tools to experience poverty from a statistical standpoint, but kept her from experiencing the problems poor people face everyday in life. The insight to the fact that maybe a person on welfare needs to be there not because they do not work hard enough but because the way society is setup they are going to be doomed to from the beginning. For example, her personal experiences described gives the reader knowledge that unless you are “Superman” you can almost never work enough to get ahead in life, and you would not have enough time to “go to college” to gain the education for a higher paying job. The first person point-of-view personalizes the book and that allowed me to be drawn into the storyline and plot completely. Some ways she handled situations angered me.
Ehrenreich familiarizes the upper class Americans with the predicament that the working poor and succeeds at proving that the task was difficult. She made it obvious that employees at this status aren't being paid by what they're worth but what's the solution?
I thought the experiments resulted in average, and intolerable work environments. Working one or two jobs was needed to survive and pay for necessities. From my perspective, it was a useful trial to show readers the hardships people of every culture deal with constantly. My reactions and thoughts about the novel were surprising to read improper word language, the imagery details of her job positions, and the reactions were interesting. My interest was grabbed from the beginning of the book; as Ehrenreich’s reaction on ethnicity was unexpected.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all employers must abide by the minimum wage policy which states that they must not pay their employees a wage below the set minimum wage. It is often believed that it serves as a protection for the citizens. Though the minimum wage law benefits employees because employers cannot pay them below the minimum wage, the minimum wage, however, does not "protect" them from the struggles and hardships they will most likely encounter. Rather, as millions of Americans work in full-time minimum wage jobs, several of them discover that their wages are insufficient to survive in today's society. In the book Nickel and Dimed, the author Barbara Ehrenreich, a journalist with a PH.D, does undercover reporting about low wage workers by obtaining minimum wage jobs in three areas of the United States--Florida, Maine, and Minnesota.
But it was true. She was a woman and expected to do the dirty and domestic “work that a woman would normally do”. These low-income employees would have to use government assistance on top of being a “full time” employee an... ... middle of paper ... ... voices heard. Historically, it’s the women who are kept quiet because no one wants to hear their side. Now, it’s a different story and this documentary really did shine some light on the new age.
Ehrenreich lastly states, “guilt doesn’t go anywhere far enough; the appropriate emotion is shame- shame at our dependency, in this case, on the underpaid labor of others” (221). She brings in an appeal to emotions of guilt and shame in her readers. She wants her readers to feel ashamed for treating the working class without respect. No one in society understands that the low-wagers job is what keeps America alive, if it wasn’t for the low wage class, there wouldn’t be restaurants servers, home care services, cashiers, etc. Society takes advantage of the little things life offers and Ehrenreich wants her audience to feel empathy towards their actions and to realize the low-wage workers are not society’s outcasts.
Working conditions are bad and can be unbearable. Unable to get a job that pays a little more than minimum wage and the decrease of jobs that are out there can cause some to go into illegal jobs and to stay in those jobs in order to provide for their families. Even if they do not want to stay in those jobs, they do not know how to escape that lifestyle. Thoughts and Feelings: I actually really enjoyed this article, it made me think of many people that I fell I
Poverty is perceived as something hard to get into, and easy to get out of. Not taking into account that some people are born into it generationally. Or, by thoroughly examining the economic and social conditions in which those people live. Hence, this is what Ehrenreich did throughout her entire book. First beginning with a recap of her childhood, and a discussion about how her family was borderline impoverished and that only until her father got a job as a miner, did her family escape to middle-class status (pg.
Some of her coworkers had to go through tedious situations as can't get out of them because they can't afford to live on their own. This shows a strength in Ehrenreich's argument because it give more credibility. Another strength in her argument is she went to go experience low wage work first-hand. She said, “Maybe when I got into the project, I would discover some hidden economies in the world of the low-wage worker” (3). Ehrenreich realized that the only way that she was going to get the answer was by doing the job for herself even though she didn't want to at first.
Welfare reform caused many families surviving with the help of the government to go out and look for jobs despite their need for childcare that they could not afford. Barbara Ehrenreich, a journalist with a PhD, decided to find out how life would be like living on minimum wage labor. During her journey, we see that labor has not changed majorly because laborers are not paid fairly and they are declined their rightfully owned rights. Although women are allowed in the workplace, an eight hour work day is established, and we have a minimum wage, many are still struggling to make it because the system simply does not work unless you are running the show. Her journey begins as she begins applying at many places in Key West, Florida, where she lives.