Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Books: Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch, the (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich was created in the same model as her earlier book, Nickled and Dimed. She "becomes" one of the population she is researching, and attempts to do the same jobs as that population. In Nickled and Dimed she worked in blue collar jobs such as maid and Walmart associate and wrote about trying to survive on those low wages and the treatment one receives in those jobs.

This one, Bait and Switch, is similar in that she attempts to find jobs in middle management. This is the group of Americans who have worked in professional level jobs but found themselves laid off due to downsizing (for the most part). This book is not as captivating as Nickled and Dimed. It seems to go nowhere, however that is often the fate of people stuck in this predicament: attempting to find employment but going nowhere.

People find themselves laid off at a time when one's age and one's expected salary range are not what employers are looking for. Many of them find only meager paying jobs that barely keep them at survival but offer no real security and no benefits.

You could call this book an expose on corporate greed and the resulting attack on middle class security. One wonders if we are headed toward a society of two classes: poor and rich, with no one inbetween.

Reading at Byerly's

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