Barbara Ehrenreich

Articles by this author

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Thursday, September 23, 2010
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 02, 2009
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Has feminism been replaced by the pink-ribbon breast cancer cult?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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Wednesday, November 04, 2009
The Swine Flu Vaccine Screw-up
If you can't find any swine flu vaccine for your kids, it won't be for a lack of positive thinking. In fact, the whole flu snafu is being blamed on "undue optimism" on the part of both the Obama administration and Big Pharma.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Are Women Getting Sadder? Or Are We All Just Getting a Lot More Gullible?
Feminism made women miserable. This, anyway, seems to be the most popular takeaway from "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," a recent study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers which purports to show that women have become steadily unhappier since 1972.
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Sunday, August 09, 2009
Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?
It's too bad so many people are falling into poverty at a time when it’s almost illegal to be poor. You won’t be arrested for shopping in a Dollar Store, but if you are truly, deeply, in-the-streets poor, you’re well advised not to engage in any of the biological necessities of life — like sitting, sleeping, lying down or loitering. City officials boast that there is nothing discriminatory about the ordinances that afflict the destitute, most of which go back to the dawn of gentrification in the ’80s and ’90s.
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Saturday, June 06, 2009
Welcome to a Dying Industry, Journalism Grads
Barbara Ehrenreich delivered this commencement address to the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism class of 2009 on May 16: The dean gave me some very strict instructions about what to say today. No whining and no crying at the podium. No wringing of hands or gnashing of teeth. Be upbeat, be optimistic, he said - adding that it wouldn't hurt to throw in a few tips about how to apply for food stamps.
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Monday, May 11, 2009
Use Jobless Time to Build Better World
In most parts of the world, mass unemployment brings the specter of mass social unrest. Not in the U.S., though, where 13 million people have accepted joblessness with nary a peep of protest. Many reasons -- from Prozac to Pentecostalism -- have been cited to explain American passivity in the face of economic violence. But the truth might be far simpler: In America, being unemployed doesn't mean you have nothing to do but run around burning police cars. Unemployment has been reconfigured as a new form of work.
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Friday, March 06, 2009
Reimagining Socialism: Rising to the Occasion
Note from The Nation editors: Socialism's all the rage. "We Are All Socialists Now,"Newsweek declares. As the right wing tells it, we're already living in the U.S.S.A. But what do self-identified socialists (and their progressive friends) have to say about the global economic crisis? We hope that Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher Jr.'s " Reimagining Socialism: Rising to the Occasion will kick off a spirited dialogue.
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Sunday, February 22, 2009
My Unwitting Role in Acts of Torture
I like to think that some of the things I write cause discomfort in those readers who deserve to feel it. Ideally, they should squirm, they should flinch, they might even experience fleeting gastro-intestinal symptoms. But I have always drawn the line at torture. It may be unpleasant to read some of my writings, especially if they have been assigned by a professor, but it should not result in uncontrollable screaming, genital mutilation or significant blood loss.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009
Corporate America, Ground Your Jets
If anything symbolizes the excesses and inequalities of the last few years, it's the private Learjet or Gulfstream. While the masses take off their shoes and line up for security screening, high-fliers inhabit a parallel transportation universe characterized by cozy private terminals, flexible departures and nonexistent security. In flight, the sky is the limit, with some private jet owners spending $10 million to $40 million on interior decorating, which could include gold bathroom fixtures and rare-wood paneling, as well as flight staffs, including chefs and masseuses.
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