The Flaws of Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

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In Nickel and Dimed, author Barbara Ehrenreich examines the impact of welfare reform on the lives of people with low incomes. The book is full of information about the poor, and the impact of the act is both shocking and informative. However, it does not go far enough in its exploration of poverty. It is not without its flaws, but these are easily overlooked. In this article, I will focus on some of the flaws of the book, as well as its influences on other investigative journalism works.


If you've read Barbara Ehrenreich's book, Nickel and Dimed, you may already know about the social criticism she presents in the book. However, this is far from her only book. Her career has spanned three decades. While she's known for her groundbreaking 2001 exploration of the lives of working-class families, she also has a wealth of other works to her credit. In her latest work, she examines the issues of poverty and the lack of opportunity for single mothers, particularly those who can't afford to take care of their children.

While Ehrenreich's writing is sometimes dry and uninspiring, her essays are consistently funny and incisive. Although her prose isn't particularly stylish, her work reveals a veteran journalist at the top of her game. Nickel and Dimed's sturdy architecture and four compact chapters allow her to achieve an excellent balance between anger and wit. Nickel and Dimed is a timely and necessary book that deserves widespread acclaim.


The novel's central character is Barbara Ehrenreich, a former cell biology professor who is now a journalist specializing in social issues. Ehrenreich, who uses her real name while conducting undercover work, never reveals her real education until the end of each experiment. Ehrenreich's aunt, Caroline, works at a hotel, and her income enables the two to live in a house together. The story also depicts the challenges of working at minimum wage.

The book began in 1996, and Ehrenreich first became a waitress out of laziness. The author lives in Key West, Florida, where she often experiments with lower socioeconomic status by working in a restaurant. She decided to write about her experiences in an attempt to understand the reasons for poverty. She also began to research a welfare reform bill and decided to become a waitress. This experience gave Ehrenreich a better understanding of how people of different socioeconomic statuses live.


Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed was written at a time of economic prosperity in the United States, during the Internet boom, when young entrepreneurs could become overnight millionaires. Self-initiative has never been more prominent, as technology has created more productivity tools and comforts, and social mores have changed to emphasize individual independence and the value of a nickel over a dime. Though the book focuses on the economic aspects of life at the minimum wage, it also examines the human side of living on this minimum wage.

The novel's themes reflect the class tensions that exist between the middle and lower classes. The author, Barbara Ehrenreich, was a member of the lower class for a time, and yet she was still making efforts that most middle-class individuals would not. Nickel and Dimed reinforces these tensions, and reminds us that class is not solely about wealth or economic status. Rather, it is a question of experience and perspective.

Influence on other works of investigative journalism

The novel Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich explores the impact of welfare reform on middle-class families. It was published in 2001, but originally appeared as an article in Harper's magazine in January 1999. After reading Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich went on to write Bait and Switch, which explores her experience of finding a white-collar job. This book is a must-read for readers interested in the social and economic implications of welfare reform.

The book also offers a window into the lives of people living in poverty. Ehrenreich, who holds a Ph.D. in biology, believes that the average service worker is too passive and too entitled to receive benefits. As a result, she uses the first-person narrator's name, Barb, as a way of reminding readers of her blue-collar identity.

Author's career

As a Ph.D. author who writes about the effects of welfare reform, Barbara Ehrenreich demonstrates the difficulty of finding a job. She draws on her own experiences, as well as the sentiments of other job seekers, to demonstrate the difficulties that many Americans face. For this reason, Ehrenreich's book has become a classic, and it is now in the reading programs of over forty undergraduate colleges.

The Nickel and Dimed author's life began in Butte, Mont., where she grew up watching her father's career as a copper miner. Later, she earned a doctorate degree in cell biology and became an activist. Today, she writes 13 books and contributes to many media outlets, including The New York Times, Time magazine, and The Guardian. Her latest book, "Nickel and Dimed," was published in August 2013.

Reaction to the book

Reaction to Nickel and Dimed has been a multi-layered one. The author Barbara Ehrenreich has become known for her investigation of the working poor. She has written about poverty and labor issues in America for three decades, and her most famous book, Nickel and Dimed, has helped to restart the debate over work, American values, and the dangers of ignoring a national emergency. Her views are deeply rooted in the lives of ordinary people, but her book also represents a progressive stance, as Ehrenreich herself has experienced poverty.

Her work has inspired many other writers, including the late John Oliver. This play takes the issue of poverty and social injustice to the forefront, and Ehrenreich's firsthand experience adds verisimilitude to the book. While the play may not be highly polished or aesthetically pleasing, Ehrenreich has a knack for turning commonplace experiences into rich, believable prose. The book's four compact chapters and incisive prose have made it a favorite of critics and readers alike.

July 01, 2022
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