Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

Drugs and Other Intrusions: Ehrenreich's Conundrum on Usage and Testing 11th Grade

Barbara Ehrenreich attempts to forgo her upper-middle class life in order to prove her argument for a higher minimum wage as she lives her life Nickel and Dimed. As she moves from Florida, to Maine, to Minnesota, Ehrenreich attempts to live her life as a minimum wage worker, including the lifestyle, subordination, and apparently the supposed drug habit of this lower class. Ehrenreich fails to give up her higher social status as she interacts with drugs and drug testing in a very hesitant and ashamed way, even avoiding the testing all together, which she does successfully only because of the privilege of her true background. However, her argument against drug testing stands out from this general failure regarding her personal stigma of drug usage and her call for the end of drug testing ultimately distinguishes itself from her personal experience. Though her personal experiences involving drugs reveal Ehrenreich incapable of shedding her upper class background, her argument regarding the illegality of drug testing breaks through her failure as she strongly calls those affected by the intrusion, the lower class, to action through empathy.

In Florida, Ehrenreich begins her discussion of drugs by immediately empowering the literal...

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