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So you take the bus to the Detroit city limits — 8 Mile Road — and you transfer to another bus that takes you as far as the mall at 16 Mile Road. Stranded, you have to walk another seven miles to get to your $10.55-an-hour factory job making plastic parts for automobiles you can't afford.
originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck
Ive been riding the bus for years and let me tell you. if you work a 10 hour day and you have to ride a bus back and forth then its probably going to turn into a 12-14 hour day.
The bus system in this country was designed for the 1950's not 2015.
Ehrenreich investigates many of the difficulties low wage workers face, including the hidden costs involved in such necessities as shelter (the poor often have to spend much more on daily hotel costs than they would pay to rent an apartment if they could afford the security deposit and first-and-last month fees) and food (e.g., the poor have to buy food that is both more expensive and less healthy than they would if they had access to refrigeration and appliances needed to cook).
Foremost, she attacks the notion that low-wage jobs require unskilled labor. The author, a journalist with a Ph.D. in cell biology, found manual labor taxing, uninteresting and degrading. She says that the work required incredible feats of stamina, focus, memory, quick thinking, and fast learning. Constant and repeated movement creates a risk of repetitive stress injury; pain must often be worked through to hold a job in a market with constant turnover; and the days are filled with degrading and uninteresting tasks (e.g. toilet-cleaning and mopping). She also details several individuals in management roles who served mainly to interfere with worker productivity, to force employees to undertake pointless tasks, and to make the entire low-wage work experience even more miserable.
When someone works for less pay than she can live on ... she has made a great sacrifice for you .... The "working poor" ... are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone. (p. 221)