The book Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America was written by Barbara Ehrenreich. The work highlights nature of the low-wage jobs in America and the treatment to low-paid employees in light of her ethnographic research. The author wonders how low-wage workers are able to survive on $8 an hour or less on a day. The most significant element of this book is that it brings out the plight of low-wage employees in the USA. This would call for action from the concerned parties in the country. The degrading nature of the low-wage jobs is also brought out in different towns, including Keywest in Florida, Portland in Maine and Minneapolis in Minnesota. However, the book does not present clear recommendations on what needs to be done to improve the welfare of the low-wage employees. It would have been more effective with this element.
This essay reviews Barbara Ehnrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America, outlining its strengths and weaknesses.
One of the most significant components of the book is that it presents the hardships of low-wage employees in America. It demonstrates a clear picture of the lifestyle that low-paid Americans are forced to live in their own country. This instrumental aspect helps in the understanding of the discrimination of such employees nationwide. For instance, the author affirms that most of the low-wage jobs in the country are degrading, demanding, and entail strict rules for workers. This circumstance would be highly assistive to unions that support the rights of workers in America because it reveals that actual suffering that they undergo. Therefore, describing the real life of these employees is crucial in ensuring they receive some level of recognition in their home country.
Additionally, Ehnrenreich’s argument in the book is strengthened by her discussion of the struggles of low-wage employees in three important towns listed previously. The use of different towns in the explanation gives the book some level of diversity in the explication of the plight of low-wage employees in the country. It indicates the similar experiences that these individuals face in their daily lives, hence calling for the need to embrace changes that would appreciate the role of these employees. Thus, Ehnrenreich embraces diversity in this book, making it more appropriate for the ordinary reader and understandable.
However, the book would have been more effective in conveying its message. In particular, Ehnrenreich could have pointed out some recommendations that would have helped in solution of the problems faced by low-wage employees in America. The message would have been more thorough with the reinforcement of recommendations to address these concerns.
I recommend this book to any college student interested in social and economic issues, affecting poor individuals in the American society. The work brings out a clear message that would assist in understanding of the true picture of these people’s living conditions. Overall, the book is extremely interesting in terms of its thoroughness in the discussion of the key issues that need urgent solutions.
In conclusion, Nickle and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America entails intensely discussed issues related to the struggles and hardships of low-wage employees in America. It presents a clear view of the living standards of workers with meager earnings in the US and the problems they face in daily lives. Nevertheless, the book would have been more complete if there could have been a set of recommendations to solve these issues. In any case, the book is effective in the presentation of the author’s message as a whole, and it is easy for any reader to understand the intended meaning of this work in general.