Reading 5 – Ehrenreich. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
In this article, Barbara Ehrenreich embarks on a journey into low working class. She is interested in finding out whether the welfare reform back-to-work programs are able to lift the poor away from poverty into a prosperous life. She works several low-end jobs but the results are less than impressive. She quits her experiment after one month. What conclusions does she draw?
Is she similar to the average worker whose life she is trying to replicate? What advantages does she have?
What is her experience with co-workers, rent/rental scenarios, the type of work (server vs. housekeeper), and the work-diet/food link?
Why does she feel like a failure when quitting her experiment after a month?
Finally, what does she think about the welfare programs that try to send people back into work? What is her conclusion about the jobs that pay minimum wage?