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Getting by with More Than Money

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Essay title: Getting by with More Than Money

Getting by with more than money

In the book Nickel and Dimed On (not) Getting By in America the author Ehrenreich, goes under cover as a minimum wage worker. Ehrenreich's primary reason for seriptiously getting low paying jobs is to see if she can "match income to expenses as the truly poor attempt to do everyday."(Ehrenreich 6) Also Ehrenreich makes it extremely clear that her work was not designed to make her "experience poverty."(6) After completing the assignment, given to her by an editor, she had planned to write an article about her experience. Her article purpose intended to reach the community that is financially well off and give them an idea how minimum wage workers deal with everyday life. It also illustrated to the Economist of the harsh reality in the ultra-competitive job environment and how some one in a low paying career can not survive. 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. I did not like a few parts of the book , they seemed to be confusing, but all these attributes in the end showed a human spirit flaws and all.

Ehrenreich wants to find a ways to improve the quality of life of the working class. While working for Wal-mart, Ehrenreich discussed unionizing with her co-workers. The purpose of the union is so the workers can get a higher hourly wage. Her downfall in Minneapolis is when she can't find affordable lodging. Ehrenreich stayed in hotels which become very expensive. The accommodations in these hotels proved to be almost inhabitable. The rooms were small, most had no air conditioning. The windows had no screens so they could not be left open to have some air circulation. If she would have taken the job at Mendards she may have not failed in Minneapolis. The most difficult problem Ehrenreich faces is lodging. Finding a place to stay is very costly and exhaustive. As Ehrenreich finds out, a lot of her coworkers live inside their cars or with roommates in very small quarters.

There is one part of the book that I really did not care for and not real sure what it has to do with her argument. While Ehrenreich is in Maine on one Saturday night she goes to a tent revival and she talks about her how she starts expecting to find Jesus out there in the dark, gagged and tethered to a tent pole and how Christianity is to crucify him again and again. I am not sure how this pertains to the main point of the story or provides support to the point. I was shocked that she never offered to help any of the

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