Nickled and Dimed essay

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The book Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich, is a narrative that was published by Metropolitan books in 2001. In the book, she skirts the issue of homelessness by focusing on what life is like for the working poor. Ehrenreich has a PhD in cell biology, and is a journalist. She bases her narrative on events between 1998 and 2000, when she performed low paying jobs to fully understand and appreciate the experience.

As a result, she condemns the system for the situation that many of the working poor are in, which is one step away from homelessness. Some of the things that she points out are that people without a savings base are often at the mercy of high rent, less nutritious foods, and a host of problems that more financially secure people are unlikely to imagine.

This book would be supportive of my thesis because it gives a unique viewpoint of homelessness from a personal perspective. It also deals with one of the root causes of homelessness-low paying jobs and underemployment. In addition, I will want to find out more about these issues and how they are related to homelessness.

This book is definitely presenting a biased perspective, so it would be beneficial to balance it out with a counter-viewpoint. Adam Shephard will help to provide this balance. He wrote a book called Scratch Beginnings, almost the antithesis of Nickel and Dimed.  The truth is likely to be lurking somewhere between these two extremes. By comparing the two, it will be easier to get a more objective synthesis.

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