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Barbara Ehrenreich
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Entries by Barbara Ehrenreich

Preying on the Poor

(874) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 9:18 AM

How Government and Corporations Use the Poor as Piggy Banks

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com.

Individually the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and...

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Rediscovering Poverty

(1429) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 9:44 AM

How We Cured “The Culture of Poverty,” Not Poverty Itself

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, “discovered” poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book The Other America. If this discovery now seems...

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The Making of the American 99%

(52) Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 11:08 AM

And the Collapse of the Middle Class

Cross-posted from TomDispatch.com

Class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared), feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different...

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Throw Them Out With the Trash

(352) Comments | Posted October 24, 2011 | 1:39 PM

Why Homelessness Is Becoming an Occupy Wall Street Issue

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

As anyone knows who has ever had to set up a military encampment or build a village from the ground up, occupations pose staggering logistical problems....

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Nickel and Dimed (2011 Version)

(1609) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 2:23 PM

On Turning Poverty into an American Crime

Cross-posted from TomDispatch.com

I completed the manuscript for Nickel and Dimed in a time of seemingly boundless prosperity. Technology innovators and venture capitalists were acquiring sudden fortunes, buying up McMansions like the ones I had cleaned in...

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War Without Humans

(14) Comments | Posted July 11, 2011 | 11:16 AM

Modern Blood Rites Revisited

Cross-posted from TomDispatch.com

For a book about the all-too-human “passions of war,” my 1997 work Blood Rites ended on a strangely inhuman note: I suggested that, whatever distinctly human qualities war calls upon -- honor, courage, solidarity, cruelty, and...

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The Uproar Over New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

(14) Comments | Posted December 2, 2009 | 10:52 AM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com.

A few weeks later, when the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended that regular screening mammography not start until age 50, all hell broke loose. Sheryl Crow, Whoopi Goldberg, and Olivia Newton-John raised their voices in protest; a few dozen non-boldface women

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The Swine Flu Vaccine Screw-Up: Optimism as a Public Health Problem

(61) Comments | Posted November 3, 2009 | 4:19 PM

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com.

If you can't find any swine flu vaccine for your kids, it won't be for a lack of positive thinking. In fact, the whole flu snafu is being blamed on "undue optimism" on the part of both the Obama administration and Big Pharma.

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Are Women Getting Sadder?

(6) Comments | Posted October 13, 2009 | 5:45 PM

Or Are We All Just Getting a Lot More Gullible?
By Barbara Ehrenreich

Feminism made women miserable. This, anyway, seems to be the most popular takeaway from "The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness," a recent study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers which purports to show that women have...

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The Destruction of the Black Middle Class

(211) Comments | Posted August 4, 2009 | 10:33 AM

By Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammed


To judge from most of the commentary on the Gates-Crowley affair, you would think that a "black elite" has gotten dangerously out of hand. First Gates (Cambridge, Yale, Harvard) showed insufficient deference to Crowley, then Obama (Occidental, Harvard) piled on to accuse the...

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My Role in the Torture of Binyam Mohamed

(75) Comments | Posted February 23, 2009 | 3:34 PM

I like to think that some of the things I write cause discomfort in those readers who deserve to feel it. Ideally, they should squirm, they should flinch, they might even experience fleeting gastrointestinal symptoms. But I have always drawn the line at torture. It may be unpleasant to read...

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Rich Get Poorer, Poor Disappear

(226) Comments | Posted January 12, 2009 | 2:56 PM

Ever on the lookout for the bright side of hard times, I am tempted to delete "class inequality" from my worry list. Less than a year ago, it was the one of the biggest economic threats on the horizon, with even hard line conservative pundits grousing that wealth was flowing...

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Report from the Socialist International Conspiracy

(198) Comments | Posted October 21, 2008 | 11:06 AM

Surely you have heard by now of the imminent socialist takeover of America, and if you find the prospect unlikely, ask yourself: How many socialists do you know who lost millions in the recent stock market crashes? Just as I thought -- none -- and that's not only because you...

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The Communist Manifesto Hits 160

(111) Comments | Posted October 1, 2008 | 2:50 PM

This year marks the 160th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto and capitalism, aka "free enterprise," seems willing to observe the occasion by dropping dead. On Monday night, some pundits were warning that the ATMs might run dry and hinting that the only safe investment left is canned beans. Apocalypse or...

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Pastors Go Postal

(99) Comments | Posted August 12, 2008 | 1:18 PM

For heartsick former supporters of John Edwards, this week offers an edifying tabloid alternative: the civil trial of Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch minister and televangelist Joel Osteen, for assaulting a flight attendant. The issue was what is sometimes described as a "spill" and sometimes as a "stain" on the...

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The Suicide Solution

(225) Comments | Posted July 28, 2008 | 11:18 AM

A few days before Congress passed its Housing Bill, Carlene Balderrama of Taunton MA found her own solution to the housing crisis. Just a little over two hours in advance of the time her mortgage company, PHH Mortgage Corporation -- may its name live in infamy -- was to auction...

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Liposuction: The Key to Energy Independence

(55) Comments | Posted June 23, 2008 | 10:40 AM

Everyone talks about our terrible dependency on oil -- foreign and otherwise -- but hardly anyone mentions what it is. Fossil fuel, all right, but whose fossils? Mostly tiny plants called diatoms, but quite possibly a few Barney-like creatures went into the mix, like Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus and other giant reptiles...

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Hillary's Gift to Women

(733) Comments | Posted May 12, 2008 | 10:41 AM

In Friday's New York Times, Susan Faludi rejoiced over Hillary Clinton's destruction of the myth of female prissiness and innate moral superiority, hailing Clinton's "no-holds-barred pugnacity" and her media reputation as "nasty" and "ruthless." Future female presidential candidates will owe a lot to the race of 2008, Faludi wrote, "when...

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With the Truckers in DC

(32) Comments | Posted April 29, 2008 | 3:50 PM

Truckers live in an alternative dimension, at least so I conclude when trying to figure out how to meet up with the convoy of trucks coming into to DC to protest high diesel fuel prices on Monday. JB, aka Mike Schaffner, one of the organizers of the action, calls early...

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Truckers Protest, the Resistance Begins

(83) Comments | Posted April 7, 2008 | 2:55 PM

Until the beginning of this month, Americans seemed to have nothing to say about their ongoing economic ruin except, "Hit me! Please, hit me again!" You can take my house, but let me mow the lawn for you one more time before you repossess. Take my job and I'll just...

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