Thursday, February 17, 2005

Barbara Ehrenreich

Luke gave me Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed for my birthday last week and I read it on the plane to Las Vegas. It is a fantastic piece about the struggle to make even the most paltry of wages in America. I could easily relate to the chapter in which Ehrenreich served at a restaurant, having until last September been in the employ of Olive Garden myself. Her observations about restaurant management are right on the money; I had quite nice managers, but their entire ideology was built around a bottom line of wrenching money from customers rather than serving them. And the chapter on Wal-Mart, in which one employee keeps visiting the women's clothing department to see if a certain polo shirt is marked down so that she can afford it on her Wal-Mart wage was moving while reaffirming my commitment to social justice.

In a column from The Progressive linked to above, Ehrenreich -- an atheist -- tackles theodicy, the reconciliation of God's goodness with the existence of evil. I think she does a good job of it.

[via CommonDreams]

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