Barbara Ehrenreich

Articles by this author

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Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 8:46am
Preying on Poverty: How Government and Corporations Use the Poor as Piggy Banks
Individually the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 8:55am
Rediscovering American Poverty
It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, “discovered” poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book The Other America . If this discovery now seems a little overstated, like Columbus’s “discovery” of America, it was because the poor, according to Harrington, were so “hidden” and “invisible” that it took a crusading left-wing journalist to ferret them out.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 10:27am
The Making of the American 99% And the Collapse of the Middle Class
“ Class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared), feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different from (and usually opposed to) theirs. ” -- E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class
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Sunday, October 23, 2011 - 11:59am
Throw Them Out With the Trash: Why Homelessness Is Becoming an Occupy Wall Street Issue
As anyone knows who has ever had to set up a military encampment or build a village from the ground up, occupations pose staggering logistical problems. Large numbers of people must be fed and kept reasonably warm and dry. Trash has to be removed; medical care and rudimentary security provided -- to which ends a dozen or more committees may toil night and day. But for the individual occupier, one problem often overshadows everything else, including job loss, the destruction of the middle class, and the reign of the 1%. And that is the single question: Where am I going to pee?
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Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 9:04am
The Guys in the 1% Brought This On
At the risk of being pedantic, let me point out that “99% versus 1%” is not a class analysis, not in any respectable sociological sense. Shave off the top 1% and you’re still left with some awfully steep divides of wealth, income and opportunity. The 99% includes the ordinary rich, for example, who may lack private jets but do have swimming pools and second homes. It also includes the immigrant workers who mow their lawns and clean their houses for them. This is not a class. It’s just the default category left after you subtract the billionaires.
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Saturday, October 1, 2011 - 12:42pm
The Rich Are Under Attack! Poor Things.
The latest group to claim victim status is the rich. Actually the super-rich, whose wealth ordinarily exempts them from pity. While they are not yet subjected to airport profiling (except for early boarding and club access), they sense that the public is turning subtly against them — otherwise how could President Obama propose raising their taxes ?
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 9:18am
Nickel and Dimed (2011 Version): On Turning Poverty into an American Crime
I completed the manuscript for Nickel and Dimed in a time of seemingly boundless prosperity. Technology innovators and venture capitalists were acquiring sudden fortunes, buying up McMansions like the ones I had cleaned in Maine and much larger. Even secretaries in some hi-tech firms were striking it rich with their stock options. There was loose talk about a permanent conquest of the business cycle, and a sassy new spirit infecting American capitalism.
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Monday, July 11, 2011 - 8:21am
The Fog of (Robot) War
For a book about the all-too-human “passions of war,” my 1997 work Blood Rites ended on a strangely inhuman note: I suggested that, whatever distinctly human qualities war calls upon -- honor, courage, solidarity, cruelty, and so forth -- it might be useful to stop thinking of war in exclusively human terms. After all, certain species of ants wage war and computers can simulate “wars” that play themselves out on-screen without any human involvement.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 12:42pm
Making Sense of Poverty Numbers
The Great Recession has hit those on the bottom most heavily, adding six million Americans to the ranks of the officially poor. The number of officially poor is now higher, at nearly 44 million, than at any time in the 51 years of this count. Yet these recent Census numbers hide as much as they reveal.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 9:03am
Not So Pretty in Pink: The Uproar Over New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
Has feminism been replaced by the pink-ribbon breast cancer cult? When the House of Representatives passed the Stupak amendment, which would take abortion rights away even from women who have private insurance, the female response ranged from muted to inaudible.
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