According to the book Nickel and Dimed, how does the larger society (rich and poor) "pay" for the plight that the working poor finds themselves in?In a sense, what are the hidden costs of low...

According to the book Nickel and Dimed, how does the larger society (rich and poor) "pay" for the plight that the working poor finds themselves in?

In a sense, what are the hidden costs of low paying jobs for all of us concerning healthcare, education, retirement, housing, ect.

Asked on by kayrad92

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, the author makes the case that all of American society pays a price for the plight of the working poor. As an example, in the segment on working at Wal-Mart, she shows how the company keeps its workers below the 40 hours per week required to receive benefits.  Because of the lack of benefits, workers must use emergency health care, are unable to use preventive care, and have no real way to save for retirement.  Those workers in America who have a job with a decent salary with benefits pay through taxes for the help the working poor needs  while in essence the billions that Wal-Mart makes on the backs of its workers and the workers in the cities where Wal-Mart exists, are the profits the company owns.  In other words, the company counts on their profits being subsidized by the welfare community in the cities where they do business.  This example is followed by many others in the book which show how housing is beyond the reach of many, that education is a dream for the children of the working poor, and that we all pay to keep the working poor alive and working.

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