The Reality Of The American Dream, By Barbara Ehrenreich

1869 Words8 Pages
Millions of Americans work and survive on minimum wage, form teens looking for extra money to middle aged Americans working fulltime and senior citizens. It was a curiosity to Barbara Ehrenreich to understand how so many survive on such low wages and what is there quality of life like. Barbara quickly immersed herself in her work and then continued her experiment and replicated her situation three times along the way in very different locations and jobs. She invoked a set of rules for herself and allotted herself some startup money. What she encountered is what millions of Americans face daily. Barbara who grew up in a blue collar family whose father was a miner that worked his way out of the mines to a union job; was the perfect example of the American dream. Giving her the opportunity that perhaps…show more content…
This makes looking for jobs wearisome. Barbara lands a job at Hearthside, where she for the second time in her life learns the ins and outs of waiting tables. Having found a $500 dollar month efficiency 45 minutes away from work (Ehrenreich 12). Soon to realize she would need a second job to afford all of her minimal living expenses. She is unlike many of her fellow employees who have unusual living situations whether they are living with relatives, roommates, hotels, a car or something else. She starts a second job at Jerry’s to try to pay for her housing she is currently resides in. Soon relying on drugstore pain killers she rapidly makes the decision to leave Hearthside for Jerry’s, moving to the evening shift. Barbara also makes the assessment to move leaving her efficiency 45 minutes away for a closer slightly more expensive trailer park in Key West (39). The decision comes for the need to free up time in case the possibility of a second job arises, and lessening the cost of a daily commute. She swiftly started a second job, in the hotel that
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