Sunday, January 31, 2016

Nickel and Dimed: What does it mean to be poor?

The literary definition of the word poor that you would find in a dictionary is not having enough money to support yourself and not living in the normal conditions of society. Ehrenreich's own experiences changes her views on what it means to be poor. She says that we all assume that living in poverty is somewhat fine and you can get by if you work hard enough. But, living in poverty through her own experiences, she explains how this is not even a lifestyle anyone can live by or go through. "They are, by almost any standard of subsistence, emergency situations. And that is how we should see the poverty of so many millions of low-wage Americans--as a state of emergency"(214). This statement that the author makes is actually so true. We always assume that people who live on minimum wage have a lifestyle that is enough to support themselves and that the conditions are bearable. However in reality, this is not the case. People who live on minimum wage, live paycheck to paycheck. They can barely get enough food for a day and they don't have enough to get necessities like health insurance and in difficult situations. There will always come a time of hardship whether it is in sickness, accidents or more. A person living on minimum wage can't even afford to have these situations that will always come up in life. Also, one can only work for so long and later on, working in labor can become unbearable. I've realized that living on minimum wage is really not enough for a person to live on. Living in these types of conditions really is an emergency situation. This really isn't okay and there needs to changes to make the gap between the working class and the upper class to become smaller.

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