For a few of you who know me well, you know that I'm not afraid to voice my opinions on things such as politics, what social situations enrage me, and situations I feel to be unfair to certain groups of people. I don't want to be abrasive about these topics, but if in a situation where I feel I can have an honest, sane conversation with someone, I'll let my opinions be known.
That being said, no matter what your views are politically, I think that one person worth reading is Barbara Ehrenreich. The first book of hers that I read, "Nickel and Dimed", was about her journey as a woman trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage job in various parts of the country. She took her computer, a reserve amount of cash in case of a major emergency, and a few clothing items. Anything more than that she pretty much had to find for herself on a very limited means...income levels that many Americans must live with on a daily basis. The book is a description of jobs she had, interview processes, where she lived (many hotel rooms), people she met, and the many difficulties that she and her co-workers were facing. If you've never known someone trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage job, this is very eye-opening.
She's written a few other books looking at different aspects of people in other income levels and situations. Sadly, I have not yet had the time to read them. Recently, she was on The Colbert Report and she keeps a blog (which is a bit more sarcasm and satire than her books and so an entertaining read). Although its not updated too often, I do enjoy reading it and thought I'd pass it along to anyone who's curious. She's a wonderful sociologist and someone that I would absolutely love to hear speak one day. She gives, what I feel to be, a very honest, unbiased description of many of the struggles Americans face in today's society as well as some reasons that people are in these situations. The latest post on her blog happens to be regarding foreclosures and the housing-market crisis - and is interestingly compared to the public's response to a housing crisis in the 1930s versus the ways people are dealing with foreclosures today. Its short, so give it a read if you're interested. Let me know what you think...