LaGuardia Community College The Common Reading 2006-2007 - Nickel and Dimed About the Author, Barbara Ehrenreich... How to read this book Teaching Suggestions Resources and Links Upcoming Events



What is harder for the nonpoor to see is poverty as acute distress: The lunch that consists of Doritos or hot dog rolls, leading to faintness before the end of the shift. The “home” that is also a car or a van. The illness or injury that must be “worked through,” with gritted teeth because there’s is no sick pay or health insurance and the loss of one day’s pay will mean no groceries for the next. These experiences are not a sustainable lifestyle, or even a lifestyle of chronic desperation and relentless low-level punishment. They are by almost any standard of subsistence, emergency situations. And that is how we should see poverty of so many millions of low wage Americans---as a state of emergency (214).

---Barbara Ehrenreich