Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Simple Dollar

So the first thing this article says to critique Nickel and Dimed is; " In short, [Ehrenreich]'s an excellent writer, though not an expert on any way in the matters of personal finance.". It then goes on to describe what the book is about before saying " A cynic might say she was “slumming it” for a book, but the book does succeed in one clear way: it is a well written account of what life is like near the poverty line.".

And that is true, Ehrenreich is a good writer and the point of the book is a great one - to raise awareness of the poverty in America. The critique points out that those reading the article (and most likely the book) think of frugality as "buying the generic bow-tie pasta at the grocery store, but the fact of the matter is that if you’re reading The Simple Dollar, you’re probably not eating beans out of a can and hoping that the heat isn’t turned off".

They then go on to write about how "Often, her coworkers were single who simply chose not to even try to better themselves... education is the most valuable investment you can make in yourself". The critique does point out that "However, most of the other people in the book simply do not see further education as an option". That probably is correct, and my problem with the writer's attitude is how can they afford the price of education?

The whole article is full of positive praise for Ehrenreich's writing and how the book raises awareness. Yet the article does not speaking highly of those living this life. The thing that bothered me the most about this article was how snobby the writer seemed. The example given above was the one that spoke out to me most - he's blaming the people themselves for this life. While on one hand, yes they are not setting higher goals and trying to better themselves, it's not like they can get that chance as easily as those born into more financially stable homes can. And because of how society treats them - or what society tells them- I can see why they do not feel further education is not an option and how it's not always their choices that lead to this.

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