Nickel and Dimed! The book on how to get by in AMerica while making no more than $8/hour.

Essay by OksankaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2005

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Black and White of Nickel and Dimed

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to work two jobs and still be poor? Ever think what it would be like to be unable to afford some of the simple luxuries that we all sometimes take for granted? In America, the greatest country of all we have come to know, millions of people are doing just that: working two or even three jibs, yet, being unable to make ends meet.

Barbara Ehrenreich is a well known writer, journalist who published twelve books, many of them best-sellers, has a PhD in Biology and simply a woman. Author began the task, which she was hoping someone else would do, "someone much younger..., some hungry neophyte journalist with time on her hands (p.1-2). So she sets off to do "old-fashioned journalism," leaving behind the comforts of her air-conditioned office and beautiful house.

Ehrenreich works three non-consecutive months in Florida as a waitress, in Maine as a housekeeper and a made and in Minnesota in retail Wal-Mart, receiving minimum wage, no benefits and trying to survive.

And before all this she made rules like do not mention her PhD, pretend to be a divorced house-wife, take a highest-paying unskilled position, live only off the money made in those low-wage jobs and take the cheapest accommodations that she could find which would offer and acceptable level of safety and privacy, which is most likely far away from the fact of the real "homes" of poor workers. Could someone with this level of education be able to do this realistically? Would Barbara Ehrenreich would be able to follow these rules without breaking them or falling back on her inherent knowledge?

As for me, I did not think she will follow her rules and really walk that...