Jobs are not jobs unless workers can live off of their wages in a way that does not trap them in eternal poverty. Unfortunately, the "Walmartization" of America—the proliferation of low wage jobs with little benefits for workers—and the continued deterioration of the government welfare system has worsened rather than alleviated the jobs crisis.
Barbara Ehrenreich, author and frequent Nation contributor, worked entry-level, minimum wage jobs to write her exposé, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. Ten years later, she caught up with her coworkers from her jobs at Walmart and in housekeeping and waitressing to revisit how these below-living wage "jobs" only further institutionalize poverty.
Ehrenreich joined Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! this morning to describe her investigation in light of the debt-ceiling deal and the ensuing credit rating downgrade and its ramifications for an already depressed economy.
—Anna Lekas Miller