Review of “Nickel and Dimed”

Part 1: The Summary

In "Nickel and Dimed," Barbara Ehrenreich argues that the working poor may never be the working rich because there are systems put in place for them to maintain status quo. Additionally, she argues that the strong will not be the educated, but those who are strong willed to live to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

In her analysis of the rich and the poor in American, Barbara Ehrenreich argues that the income gap between eh rich and poor and realizes that the poor have a lot to lose in the fight because there are many insignificant hidden costs that the poor bear without knowing. Her argument is that the poor have been made to believe their life cannot change making them live up trying. For example in America, she argues that the hidden cost of the necessities America makes them unable to afford to have these necessities (Ehrenreich, 2001; Ehrenreich, Barbara (2001).

However, while I support her argument about the nature of low wage jobs and the fact that they require unskilled labor I find her argument biased and unprofessional because she does not seem to understand that American is a country of democracy and freedom and everyone has a right to reeducation. It is not realistic to hate the system while everyone has a chance of going to school band-attaining higher education fit for skilled labors Ehrenreich, Barbara (2001

From experience, it is healthy to argue that Ehrenreich was taking about a utopian country where nobody has to do the unskilled work. There are low paying jobs even in the most enveloped country, and so is the stress that comes with every job because even the best paying jobs are also stressful. Therefore when she argues that all the signs seen in newspapers such as the “help needed” sing does not mean that there are job openings but are often ploys to help the company’s sustain their work pool because m of the constant employee turnover. To her, “To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone” (p. 221). Therefore, while America is a land of opportunities, it is not worth living because there are these who bologna to the working poor groups and those who can be considered as the rich. The working poor are more than the other classes. This is why America should rethink its future because it is possibly marred by chaos, confusion and troubles that are all imminent.


Ehrenreich, Barbara (2001). Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) getting By in America. p. 6.


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