Barbara Ehrenreich: Poor Paid a Pittance

Posted by admin on Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Barbara Ehrenreich Money Quote saying we seek too much mystery about why people are poor, when it should be quite obvious that pay is too low and costs of living are excessive. Barbara Ehrenreich said:
People poor because they are paid a pittance quickly sucked off by predators Quote

“Why are people poor? Because they are uneducated? No, because (1) they are paid so little for their work and (2) the pittance they are paid is quickly sucked off by landlords, credit companies, the medical industry and other predators” — Barbara Ehrenreich


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In this quote, Barbara Ehrenreich argues that low pay and predatory industries are the primary causes of poverty, not lack of education. She makes two key points:

  1. People are paid so little for their work that even those who are employed full-time often cannot earn enough to rise above the poverty line. Low wages, not lack of skills or education, trap many in poverty.
  2. Much of what low-income people do earn is then “sucked off” or drained away by expenses like high rents charged by landlords, exorbitant interest rates from credit companies, and large medical bills. This leaves little remaining for other basic needs like food and housing.

Ehrenreich contends that predatory practices in housing, lending, and healthcare exacerbate poverty caused by unlivable wages, rather than lack of education or skills being the root problem. The quote assigns responsibility for widespread poverty to insufficient pay and exploitative industries rather than personal faults or shortcomings.

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