The social and economic status of maids and other domestic workers is low. Maids are paid wages that do not constitute a living-wage income. Many domestic workers are paid under the table (or "off the books") which means that they are often not eligible for state assistance such as food stamps, government health care, or other services. In addition, maids and other domestic workers are subject to a social stigma that ties manual labor to laziness, lack of intelligence, and lack of character. This stigma contributes to the low social status of all working class people. One of the main themes of the book is to critique this social stigma and examine it's economic and cultural implications.