Nickel and Dimed
According to Ehrenreich, people who work jobs that are subsidized almost entirely by tips should be either paid more to begin with or offered more services such as housing and food like European countries do. For example, the typical 10% tip is considered borderline excessive at table service restaurants because waiters and waitresses are already paid substantially. Also, it is common especially in Mediterranean countries for the 10-15% service charge to already be included in the prices displayed on the menu. As it becomes harder for someone to sustain a comfortable lifestyle off of tipping in America, this may be something the government will look into adopting. 2)
Nickel and Dimed wouldn’t have been too different if it had taken place in our community. (Considering the bare minimum of anything in Peotone, I’m including nearby towns.) Job opportunities are extremely limited, but similar with the exception of maid services. Public transit is scare and most things are not within walking distance posing a problem as far as getting from point A to B. Housing is very minimal in Peotone and can get pretty expensive, but security is great and the area is relatively noise free. However, the struggles encountered by living in poverty are pretty much the same everywhere as discovered by Ehrenreich. 3)
Ehenreich routinely refers to food as “fuel” because when trying to eat as cheap as possible just to stay going that’s really all it is. Ehenreich wasn’t eating for taste and certainly not pleasure as she often had no clue where her next meal was even coming from. When explaining why the lower class gravitates toward fast food, she explained that it’s not by choice; it’s all they can afford. Poor nutrition and a lack of consuming the body’s vital nutrients probably contributed to Ehrenreich’s coworkers’ ailments. Correlations also exist between those in poverty and drugs. While the rich use drugs because of how easily accessible they are, the poor...
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