Essay on Homeless Veterans

1758 Words Aug 1st, 2012 8 Pages
Real Life Experiment
The timeless struggle between the cost of living and the income for low-wage work has made millions of working families unable to meet their basic needs. Barbara Ehrenreich investigates this struggle in her book, Nickel and Dimed. Working low-wage jobs in Florida, Maine and Minnesota as an undercover journalist, Ehrenreich gives a lively and interesting account of a low-wage worker’s life. She used first hand experiences, the lives of her co-workers, and added in facts (as footnotes). The research she did for this book was extensive. She collected the data and materials like a scientist and carefully compiled a book that shows the reader the unflattering realities that low-wage workers are faced with. She also
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This helped make Ehrenreich’s claims more credible. She provides the reader with shocking statistics at the bottom of the page to validate what she is experiencing at that time during her project. For example, in Minnesota when she struggles to enter the housing market because of lack of affordable places, she supplies interesting and relevant information about the national decline in affordable housing, and the amount of people who qualify as poor renters who end up living in motels because of this. This note supplies more evidence that the odds are stacked against the low income earners. We see this from the start of her project.
Ehrenreich started this journey close to her home in Key West, Florida. Her first job was as a waitress at a restaurant she calls the Hearthside. She made $2.43 an hour plus tips at this restaurant, but after two weeks she found working one job was not enough to pay the $500 rent for the cabin she was living in. So, she went in search for another a second job. (28) She uses this example to show how hard the low income worker has to work just to keep a place to live. She makes it clear from her first job that her suspicions were right about the unlikelihood of being able to sustain a living on these low wages. Her co-workers don’t have the option of walking out like she did at the end of the first month in Key West.

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