By Barbara Ehrenreich
The bestselling writer of Nickel and Dimed is going again undercover to do for America’s unwell center classification what she did for the operating poor
Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed explored the lives of low-wage staff. Now, in Bait and turn, she enters one other hidden realm of the financial system: the shadowy international of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with a believable résumé of a pro “in transition,” she makes an attempt to land a middle-class job—undergoing occupation training and character trying out, then trawling a sequence of EST-like boot camps, task festivals, networking occasions, and evangelical job-search ministries. She will get a picture makeover, works to undertaking a successful perspective, but is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and—again and again—rejected.
Bait and turn highlights the folk who’ve performed every thing right—gotten university levels, constructed marketable talents, and equipped up amazing résumés—yet became many times at risk of financial ruin, and never easily as a result of vagaries of the enterprise cycle. Today’s ultra-lean companies show pride in laying off their “surplus” employees—plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight region of white-collar unemployment, the place task looking out turns into a full-time activity in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social helps for those newly disposable workers—and little safeguard even in case you have jobs.
Like the now vintage Nickel and Dimed, Bait and turn is alternately hilarious and tragic, a searing exposé of financial cruelty the place we least count on it.
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Additional info for Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
19 Many of the victims of the vicious wars in Armenia, Georgia, and Chechnya were Russian civilians. In Kazakhstan, where 44 percent of the 1994 population were Russians and other Slavs, Kazakh became the official language even though only one-half of the ethnic Kazakhs could speak it. Most of the Russians live in the cities, but in the rural regions, ethnic Kazakh gangs imparted the knowledge to their Russian neighbors that they were not wanted. After independence, constitutions and laws of the former Soviet Republics favored their citizens.
Moreover, after the explosion, the radiation levels inside the building went above 800 roentgens per hour, but the available dosimeters could not measure radioactivity above 4 roentgens per hour. 17 Operators lacked respirators and protective tablets of potassium iodide. The medical center lacked radiometric apparatus capable of identifying the nature and extent of external irradiation. 18 In short, the long-standing official assumption of the perfection and infallibility of the Soviet nuclear power generating establishment prepared no one for a serious accident.
Every individual is first and foremost a member of a nation or a class, and his or her whole being is subordinated to and owes allegiance to the nation or the class. For a nationalist, individual freedom grows out of national freedom, and individual dignity accompanies national dignity. Oppressive governments are the ones imposed by foreign invaders and occupiers. Individual freedom has no separate and transcendental meaning. Nationality is destiny. II The question of whether the Baltic States were occupied or liberated by the Red Army has been settled in favor of occupation despite Soviet denials.
Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream by Barbara Ehrenreich