Barbara Ehrenreich’s Argument on Low-Wage Workers

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Barbara Ehrenreich’s Argument on Low-Wage Workers


One of the challenges that face the US government is the struggle to ensure fairness to all workers. Several concerns have been raised. Over the passing years, the government has managed to come up with regulations that were aimed at increasing of the minimum pay per hour for the lowest working individuals. From the evidence that has been portrayed in many instances, it is much clear that the section still requires some improvement. In the struggle to provide more evidence in order to ensure that the minimum wages need boosting, more studies have been undertaken. In her book Nickel and dimed, Ms. Barbara gives an account of the incidences that she underwent while working to come up with the evidence of the hardships that are encountered by the individuals. This document analyses the strengths and weaknesses of her arguments towards that minimum wages/employees.

Strengths of the argument

As she expresses her thought, the guru was not in a position to go entirely by what people think but to actually get to the ground and observe the situation for her. Despite having the high academic qualification, she forged the credentials. The step was aimed to create a resume that would give her the similar qualifications as the other individuals applying for the position. After working as a waitress and also as a maid in different locations, Ms. Barbara had gathered information that she thought would present the whole of the support needed to support her argument.

Ehrenreich’s presentation of the findings in the form of the first person gives the audience a clear picture of the actual events on the ground. Furthermore, most of the sections that are usually omitted in other forms of data collection, for instance, interviewing could be covered precisely by the writer. Furthermore, while working out the research, the scholar is in a better position to understand the areas of interest. Her argument has been framed in a manner that, the scholar gives the perspective of the individuals that receive the low wages. Furthermore, when writer talks of issues like, she had no intentions of going hungry can openly give the audience another view that the low paid workers run at the greatest risk of going hungry[ CITATION Ehr02 \l 1033 ].

For any careful reader, it is no doubt that the writer has pity over the individuals. Generally, the occurrences in the book speak to the whole society claiming that something needs to be done over the issues presented. Basing on the orientation of the reporter, the argument is viable and worth considering for the improvement of the situation. However, there are a number of events that the writer missed out. Ms. Barbara should have considered other environmental aspects. Then her work would have been worthwhile.

Shortcomings in the argument

As the writer presents her work, it clearly shows that there is no evidence of family. An individual may be earning less but has a spouse that works elsewhere. Furthermore, the situation can turn out to be fatal in a situation where the individual in a family of three; single mother and two school going children. In the two situations the gap of the deficiency of funds differs greatly. The researcher presents herself for the research work as an ideal sample that is rarely found in real life. Hence, it is not in a good position to entirely rely on the findings. In addition, the environment features that the writer has neglected like family and family property may play a major role in the daily financial requirement of an individual[ CITATION Sch02 \l 1033 ].

To some extent the writer is biased. The writer fails to talk about allowances that are incurred in most of the works. Waiters working overtime can gather a good amount. Furthermore, there are employers that offer other allowances despite the fact that they may be irregular or limited. Without looking at the wide perspective that outlines the profits that are being made by the business that she was working in, Ms. Barbara simply concludes that the pay is much low and lacks suitability to sustain the worker. The argument presented by the author lacks soundness and therefore, cannot appropriately be dependent upon as firsthand information. The assumptions that the writer portrays denies the manuscript the viability.


The issue of the minimum wages must be worked upon. As a result, all the workers will work in comfort and hence high production. The argument that has been raised by scholar was intended to work for the rights of the low paid individuals. Gathering the evidence by personally working on the errands that are believed to give the lowest pays was the best approach to present the matter to the reader and also to the concerned groups like the private employers as well as the government. However, the several aspects that have been neglected by the individuals render the obtained evidence less reliable.

Work Cited

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. New York, Henry Holt, and Company, 2002.

Schweikart, Larry. “Nickel and Damned: Barbara Ehrenreich’s View of America”. 2002,, Accessed 8 Jan. 2018

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