Saturday, January 19, 2008


Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
"Barbara Ehrenreich’s non-fiction bestseller, Nickel and Dimed, is the story of an essay writer who goes undercover as a low wage worker to find out how non-skilled workers make ends meet. The experiment took place in Florida, Maine, and Minnesota, with the author finding a job and lodgings in each location. The experiment was held for one month in each location, working full time and living only off the amount of money earned in low-wage jobs. The end result sought was whether the author could both live off the money earned and have enough money at the end of the month to pay the next month’s rent."*
Guess I'm on a bit of a non-fiction kick. Interesting book. Not quite as illuminating as I had hoped but interesting nonetheless. The thing that struck me the most (and I already knew this) is how little employers care for their employees. And it's only getting worse. And if you think it's any better working for a church or a Christian organization, think again. They are the worst because they are supposed to be better at taking care of people and they will smile and speak caring words to your face but when it comes to money...geez...they are so good at spending it on anything but helping people. But I digress.
Getting back to the subject at hand, I only see things getting worse. It's getting harder and harder to make a living especially if you live somewhere like Seattle where you have to be nearly a millionaire to be able to afford a house...even in a not-so-great neighborhood. Why did I read this book? I don't know. Maybe so that I could see that I'm not alone in the vast ocean of the unwashed masses. Heck, compared to most of the folks described in the book, Sarah and I are doing real good. So, I shouldn't complain and I try not to. There are more important things than money.

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