27 Sept 2012
In Barbara Ehrenreich's New York Times article, “Too Poor to make the News”, she investigates a phenomenon that has been swept away by the waves of media headlines about “middle class cutbacks” and “the super-rich giving up private jets”. (pg 322) She talks to people she met while writing her book “Nickel and Dimed” and uncovers stories of people whose ends could not be met before the recession, and are even less likely to be met now with increasing layoffs, foreclosed homes, and unavailable loans. She describes the problem well, and provides several sad tales, including one about her own nephew and his family's problems. She raises a crucial issue. Accepting the ways in which poverty is measured, it seems as though poverty will dramatically increase over the next year and possibly longer. Forcing the fact of reality, people must focus on those who have entered and will enter poverty and those who remain in poverty as a consequence of the recession. A further question arises, what has the recession done to the chance to exit from poverty? Ehrenreich applies logos as well as pathos to grab the audience’s attention creating a heartbreaking narrative of what it is like to be poor in the recession that has gripped America.
Ehrenreich delivers strong views that should be addressed; poverty has been an on-going issue for years. But now, with loss of jobs and cuts in wages, economic times have worsened and people are far more in debt than ever. For example, Ehrenreich writes about a woman whom she met when writing a past book “Nickel and Dimed”. “Melissa” has worked for Wal-Mart for nine years and with a pay increase of three dollars over that span of time, it is Pl 2
unlikely a substantial amount to make a change in her economic cushion. Ehrenreich also writes about her nephew and the hardship that he and his family faced when his mother-in-law had a heart attack and was not able to provide for her...