The Working Poverty In Nickel And Dimed By Barbara Ehrenreich

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Nickel and Dimed showcases the economic challenges the working poor face to survive. Barbara Ehrenreich reveals that despite their exuberant work ethic and discipline it takes more than hard work, determination, and initiative to achieve the American Dream. This revelation can translate to my story, as I one day hope to become a Pediatric neurologist. I have been fortunate enough to have had my undergraduate education paid for through various scholarships, parental support, and my working wages. Now, I hold the burden of paying for my graduate medical education in its entirety, while simultaneously trying to keep up the comfortable lifestyle I have grown accustomed to living. Even though the circumstances of my story and the working poor differ;…show more content…
This book serves primarily as a motivation to ensure that I do everything possible to avoid a life like that which is depicted. While I may not be living out of a car, aching from overworked muscles, or struggling with medical coverage (yet); I will be struggling to earn and save enough finances to put myself through medical school, maintain a comfortable lifestyle, and to save for the future—while attending medical school—to reach the American Dream. To do this, I will be required to possess the same qualities that many of the working poor exemplify: initiative, determination, and hard work—ones that I already have proven by choosing this career path. One aspect of my story that differentiates me from the working poor is my status in society as upper middle class. This label, although it doesn’t mean much, has provided me with enough of an edge that I can comfortably pursue a degree, increase my employability, and take the first steps on my path to becoming a doctor without getting in insurmountable…show more content…
The idea behind the program came from concerns within the public about their taxed wages being given to people who sit at home and are not productive members of society; although this was not the only reason. In theory, getting people back into the working field and increasing employment was genius. The problem, which Ehrenreich reveals, is that the jobs that were available did not offer a salary that one could live off. She goes on further to illustrate that regardless of the path one is on the result is the same, many people do not break free from the vicious grasps of poverty (); just as many people do not get a degree without getting into poverty. I have given myself a head start by not having to take out loans or make repayments on any part of undergraduate education—an advantage that many poor people cannot use. Additionally, the limitations—in terms of finances—prevent most working poor people from attending college to pursue a higher degree to work themselves out of poverty—unless they are extremely

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