Raises questions today's minimum-wage practices. Describes three major flaws with America's salary system. TITLE: "Nickel & Dimed: Not Enough"

Essay by nikkay5vCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 2003

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Nickel & Dimed: Not Enough

I'm writing my first assignment, which was something I was quite nervous about when first asked to do. Although, upon reading the book I became excited to do this, due to the fact that it hit close to home. It was easy for me to relate, because I know first hand how hard it is to make it out there on minimum wage. I took 3 years off from school and lived that life as one of the many low wage workers out there struggling to make ends meet. After reading this book, I must say the author is very knowledgeable with her perceptions of America's working poor. It is very difficult to prosper with ridiculously low pay, lack of benefits, and unaffordable housing.

To begin with, the minimum wages are not realistic. It is thought that

minimum wage should be enough money to survive on, but facts throughout the book (and my own personal experiences) have proven otherwise.

It actually requires approximately $14 an hour to afford housing, food, telephone, health insurance, and child care if needed. This is extremely important, seeing that millions of Americans are without their basic needs when having the current minimum wage across the country. That is why government assistance programs are so badly needed, such as medical assistance and food stamps. When author Barbara Ehrenreich was a waitress for instance, she was making $2.43 an hour plus tips. So even if she busted her hump and made a "decent" amount of tips, she would still hardly get minimum wage. That is just criminal if you ask me. People today are just not making enough income to afford things that everybody should be entitled to.

Along with the issue of insufficient wages, there is also a desperate need for...