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Subject:  Re: OT:Nickel and Dimed Date:  12/30/2002  10:51 AM
Author:  mazske Number:  88131 of 888516

as I haven't read the book, I suspect its a portrayl of how tough life is for those living below the poverty level, how tough it is to make ends meet on a daily basis. I wouldn't be surprised if the author delves into the backgrounds and says many didn't have a chance from the get go. But when I think back to my high school days, I remember many who had the opportunity to break the cycle their parents were in, but by their own choices early in their life, didn't. And then there are even adults by their own choices who had an edge but gave it away.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you say by their own choices early in life they didn't break the cycle. The author does an experiment where she moves to a basically unknown area and in a limited time with basically no friends or family to help out, she needs to find shelter and a job. Now, in real life, I don't know how many people of low education will pack up and move with no other people to help them. Some do, but many "poor" people stay where they grew up so they can fall back on family and friends.

What I found interesting is her experience in working a low paying job and at the same time trying to find a better job and a decent place to live. She would get physically wore out waitressing for example and then would go "home" to a place where she was scared for her safety. At the same time, she would be trying to find a better paying job.

She needed to make some contacts to help her situation and she did so at times. Now, the book is not realistic for most people in the sense that she would work for maybe a month and then would quit to move to another part of the country to start over again. However, I have met several people in the small town I work in who have done basically this.

I found it an interesting book to read. Some will hate it and some will not.

But somehow we have to acknowledge some have a very tough life, but we can't lose focus on giving the next generation the opportunities to break the cycle.

I agree with this. I am against "welfare" for the most part and I feel that pretty much every "healthy" American can make a decent living for themselves if they are not afraid to work and if they don't make stupid decisions like so many do.

I think one point the author makes in the end of the book is about the "poor" getting poorer and the "rich" getting richer over the past 30 years or so. I'm all for my middle class self rising up to the ranks of a rich person or at least a "FIRED" person, but it seems to me that if the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen, that this is not a good thing for all of us.

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