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Books that Shaped Work in America

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Title    Author    Year    Contributors
Nickel and Dimed

Nickel and Dimed

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich

Year Published: 2001

Description: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America summarizes undercover journalist Barbara Ehrenreich's two-year investigation into the ground-level impact of the 1996 welfare reform act. The book highlights the challenges faced by the working poor, which paradoxically include paying more for basic necessities, as well as degrading and dangerous tasks. In the context of three undercover experiences, she posits that, by working for less than suitable to live on, low-wage earners who receive public subsidies are not takers, but rather givers to all those who benefit from their work.

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'To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone.'

Nickel and Dimed

What does this book have to do with the U.S. Department of Labor?

The Department of Labor touches almost every aspect of working in America, including:

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