Barbara Ehrenreich

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The Growing Clout of the Nouveau Poor
Ever on the lookout for the bright side of hard times, I am tempted to delete "class inequality" from my worry list. Less than a year ago, it was the one of the biggest economic threats on the horizon, with even hard-line conservative pundits grousing that wealth was flowing uphill at an alarming rate, leaving the middle class stuck with stagnating incomes while the new super-rich ascended to the heavens in their personal jets. Then the whole top-heavy structure of American capitalism began to totter, and--poof!--inequality all but vanished from the public discourse.
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Saturday, October 04, 2008
The Communist Manifesto Turns 160
This year marks the 160th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto and capitalism--a k a "free enterprise"--seems willing to observe the occasion by dropping dead. On Monday night, some pundits were warning that the ATMs might run dry and hinting that the only safe investment left is canned beans. Apocalypse or extortion? No one seems to know, though the populist part of the populace has been leaning toward the latter.
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Monday, July 28, 2008
The Suicide Solution
A few days before Congress passed its Housing Bill, Carlene Balderrama of Taunton MA found her own solution to the housing crisis. Just a little over two hours in advance of the time her mortgage company, PHH Mortgage Corporation -- may its name live in infamy -- was to auction off her home, Balderrama killed herself with her husband's rifle.
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Friday, June 13, 2008
This Land Is Their Land
I took a little vacation recently -- nine hours in Sun Valley, Idaho, before an evening speaking engagement. The sky was deep blue, the air crystalline, the hills green and not yet on fire. Strolling out of the Sun Valley Lodge, I found a tiny tourist village, complete with Swiss-style bakery, multistar restaurant and "opera house." What luck -- the boutiques were displaying outdoor racks of summer clothing on sale! Nature and commerce were conspiring to make this the perfect micro-vacation.
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Monday, May 12, 2008
Hillary's Gift to Women
In Friday's New York Times , Susan Faludi rejoiced over Hillary Clinton's destruction of the myth of female prissiness and innate moral superiority, hailing Clinton's "no-holds-barred pugnacity" and her media reputation as "nasty" and "ruthless." Future female presidential candidates will owe a lot to the race of 2008, Faludi wrote, "when Hillary Clinton broke through the glass floor and got down with the boys."
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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Truckers Take Their Case to the Capitol
Truckers live in an alternative dimension, at least so I conclude when trying to figure out how to meet up with the convoy of trucks coming into to DC to protest high diesel fuel prices on Monday. JB, a k a Mike Schaffner, one of the organizers of the action, calls early in the morning to suggest various highway intersections, and I have to explain there's no way a pedestrian can be just standing on one of the superhighways around DC.
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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Truckers Hit the Brakes
Until the beginning of this month, Americans seemed to have nothing to say about their ongoing economic ruin except, "Hit me! Please, hit me again!" You can take my house, but let me mow the lawn for you one more time before you repossess. Take my job and I'll just slink off somewhere out of sight. Oh, and take my health insurance too; I can always fall back on Advil.
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Thursday, March 20, 2008
Hillary's Nasty Pastorate
There's a reason Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The Fall of the American Consumer
How much lower can consumer spending go? The malls are like mausoleums, retail clerks are getting laid off and AOL recently featured on its welcome page the story of a man so cheap that he recycles his dental floss--hanging it from a nail in his garage until it dries out.
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Friday, February 15, 2008
Unstoppable Obama
When did you begin to think that Obama might be unstoppable? Was it when your grown feminist daughter started weeping inconsolably over his defeat in New Hampshire? Or was it when he triumphed in Virginia, a state still littered with Confederate monuments and memorabilia? For me, it was on Tuesday night when two Republican Virginians in a row called CSPAN radio to report that they'd just voted for Ron Paul, but, in the general election, would vote for... Obama.
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