Essay title: The Logic of “nickel & Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenerich
1.) The main purpose of this article is the author is trying to prove a point.She is attempts to live the lifestyle of a working poor citizen to counteract with the welfare reform that states, any job equals a better life.She went undercover by moving to three different locations applying for minimum wage jobs and finding housing that she could afford only starting with a small sum of money to get her on her feet.She wanted to understand how it felt to be in the shoes of someone who was trying to make the best for themselves coming from a poor background.She wanted to see how folks moving from welfare to jobs might be and see if she herself could survive on the minimal income provided by a series of low level jobs.The locations she moved to, in order to live this lifestyle, were Key West, FL; Orchard Beach, ME; Minneapolis, MN; and had the intentions of saving enough money by the end of the month to pay the following months rent.2.) The key question that I think the author is addressing in her book is, “How can you judge a poor working person, if you have never walked in their shoes?”I think this question would be appropriate because often times, I have found myself judging people and thinking about how they do not have a degree, or the person is very uneducated.Ehrenreich can answer this question because she truly experienced the life of a working poor person (well not the exact life of one, but still a good example of one) and stated herself, “The first thing I discovered is that no job, no matter how lowly, is truly “unskilled.Every one of the six jobs I entered into in the course of this project required concentration, and most demanded that I master new terms, new tools, and new skills.”3.) The most important information in this article is the learning from Ehrenreich’s experience what a minimum wage employee has to face day to day.They have to worry about having enough money saved to pay the next bill and if they will have any left over to pay for groceries for the week.They have so much to worry about, and do a lot more work than people expect.It was very enlightening to learn how a person from a welfare background can get back on their feet after working a part time job.After reading this book, you understand how hard it really is for a person to make a living only working a minimum wage job or even a few minimum wage jobs.4.) The main inferences/conclusions in this article the author wants readers of her book to understand is that the lifestyle of a working poor citizen is not easy.From Ehrenreich’s experience, is seems extremely difficult.Of course she didn’t have that lifestyle as hard as many working poor citizens have in the United States (extreme poverty) but her experience was enlightening to this fact.Ehrenreich worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing home aid, and a Wal-mart sales clerk.Like Ehrenreich stated before, she discovered that no job is truly “unskilled”, that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort.She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.5.) The key concepts we need to understand in this article is that millions of Americans suffer daily trying to make ends meet.Barbara Ehrenreich’s book forces people to acknowledge the average worker’s struggle.By these concepts the author means to show fellow Americans the hard lifestyles of the working poor.6.) I think maybe Ehrenreich may have taken for granted that minimum wage jobs weren’t as hard as they seemed to be (before she discovered it on her own).She had to learn new skills and work just as hard as or harder than her “stable job” as a writer, and I think she learned a lot from it.7.) A.)If we take this line or reasoning seriously, the implications are that we would agree with Ehrenreich and the fact that poor working citizens shouldn’t be treated ill because they don’t have a degree or they have had financial assistance from the state previously or presently in their life.It’s not right for us to judge them because they have to work hard at their jobs, and their jobs require hard work and learning skills just as other educated citizen’s jobs.We have sympathy for them and only hope they could get paid better wages.B.) If we fail to take this line of reasoning seriously, the implications are that we would disagree with Ehrenreich and believe that the working poor are not skilled; they do not work as hard as those who are skilled or have degrees and don’t deserve to get paid any more than minimum wage.We would stay ill spirited towards them and continue to be bitter.I think if Barbara Ehrenreich did not write this book, a lot of people would still think this.