Nickel and DImed argument paragraph

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Barbara Ehrenreich aimed to demonstrate that wages for individuals in the lower class are insufficient for supporting themselves or their families. Additionally, she aimed to establish that the effort put into low-wage jobs is not commensurate with the remuneration received per hour. In my view, Ehrenreich effectively substantiated these claims in her narrative titled “Nickel and Dimed.” By personally attempting various low-wage jobs, she not only showcased the inadequacy of wages for basic living expenses, but also provided evidence that the amount of exertion required was disproportionate to the compensation received.

During her experience in Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich took on various low wage jobs and attempted to sustain herself solely with the income from these jobs. However, she maintained a separate emergency fund for unexpected expenses. Despite her efforts, she found it challenging to afford housing, food, and other essential needs. As a result, Barbara had to rely on her emergency fund multiple times to sustain herself. This further reinforces her argument that actual low wage workers lack a financial safety net.

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Insufficient salaries make it unfair for individuals, including themselves and their families, to meet their basic needs. Not only did she face this struggle, but also many others at her first restaurant job who had to live in their cars and find housing. This highlights the necessity of raising hourly wages as low-wage workers not only struggle to support themselves but also additional dependents. Low-paying jobs require significant effort for minimal financial compensation.

The author demonstrates that low-wage workers exert maximum effort in order to support themselves, to the point where they become susceptible to injuries. These injuries and resulting pain are direct consequences of the demanding nature of their low-paying jobs. Later in the book, the author reveals that she resorts to consuming ibuprofen daily to alleviate joint pain. She describes taking four pills before each work shift, comparing them to vitamin C, as a means to cope with her reemerging upper back injury caused by repeated strain from carrying trays.

“(p. 33) Another instance is Holly, Barbara’s co-worker, who suffered a broken ankle while working but was unable to take time off due to the financial responsibility of supporting her family. Holly could not afford even a single day off work. This example further strengthens Barbara’s argument that low-wage workers have to exert extreme physical effort for meager wages that barely sustain their own needs. In summary, Barbara Ehrenreich effectively demonstrates that the wages provided to low-wage workers are insufficient.”

She brought attention to the difficulties faced by workers in low-wage jobs, exposing their efforts to provide for themselves and their families. Furthermore, these occupations are physically demanding and increase the chances of getting injured. Her viewpoint strongly emphasizes the significance of increasing hourly wages for low-wage workers in the United States to ensure their capacity to afford essential necessities like housing, food, and other crucial items.

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Nickel and DImed argument paragraph. (2016, Aug 05). Retrieved from

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