About Unfair Unemployment

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At the beginning of Barbara Ehrenreichr’s book “The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream,” Ehrenreich mentions issues such as blue-collar and white-collar unemployment and the issues they raise. She sets aside blue-collar, not saying that it is less important than white-collar, to talk about white-collar unemployment and how it cant be as easily ignored as blue-collar since it is so common today. She talks about how white-collar employment comes with many troubles for the employees, like being overworked or “over-employment” (Ehrenreich, 263). Ehrenreich goes on to talk about the economic decline in the year 2001, leaving a large amount highly credentialed and experienced people out of work (Ehrenreich, 262). Barbara Ehrenreichr’s theory of white-collar unemployment and how it may be more brutal than blue-collar unemployment is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem that even if someone is highly educated, have the right experience and earned his or her high-rank employment status, or have done everything the right way doesnt mean that he or she wont be laid off unexpectedly, and itr’s very unfair, economically and psychologically.

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Most of the time, people think that when they have a job they dont need or want to think about whether or not they will have a job tomorrow because it can cause unwanted stress. Steve Crabtree, writer of the article In U.S., Depression Rates Higher for Long-Term Unemployed, he writes unemployed Americans are more than twice as likely as those with full-time jobs to say currently have or are being treated for depression ?”? 12.4% to 5.6% respectively, (Crabtree). Ehrenreich states, you dont, in other words, have to lose a job to feel the anxiety and despair of the unemployed (Ehrenreich, 263). Barbara Ehrenreichr’s point is that even when an individual may have a job, the fear of someday being unemployed will always be stuck in the back of their mind because it will always be a possibility. According to Ehrenreich, throughout the first four years of the 2000s. . . the mighty and the mere midlevel brought low, ejected from their office suits and forced to serve behind the counter at a Starbucks,” (Ehrenreich, 262). The essence of Ehrenreichr’s argument is that no matter how high someone is ranked in his or her job, they can be unexpectedly laid off. Even when somebody believes that he or she has a secure job, there will always be a chance that the employer will not be able to employ some of the workers anymore, and when it comes time to be laid off, it’s not up to anyone but the employer who will be terminated.

When people talk about the American Dream itr’s commonly thought of as them owning their own home, having a preferred amount of kids, owning their own car, and possibly even a pet or two. Surprise termination isnt part of the American Dream. It doesnt matter if the person being terminated is a blue-collar or a white-collar employee, once they are terminated the severance pay given is most likely not enough for them to run their American Dream household. It is very hard to be able to adjust quickly after losing your income. In Ehrenreichr’s view, “while blue-collar poverty has become numbingly routine, white collar unemployment“and the poverty that often results”remains a rude finger in the face of the American Dream, (Ehrenreich, 261). In other words, Barbara Ehrenreich believes that the poverty that follows unemployment tends to ruin an individualr’s hope to live the American dream. In an interview between the author of the book “The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity”, Allison Pugh and Deseret News, Pugh herself says, “partnerships dissolve and reform much more rapidly than they did 50 years ago . . . 20% of marriages will end in 5 years,” (Pugh). Since job insecurity commonly leads to some sort of family disruption, such as divorce or finical poverty among the family, it makes it hard to follow the path to the American Dream (Pugh).

A lot of the time the people suffering from blue-collar unemployment they are accused of making bad choices meaning they didnt go out of their way to get a higher education, choosing to postpone marriage, or waiting to bear offspring. Matthew Fifolt mentions in his article called Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream about the author Sara Goldrick-Rabr’s book Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream Goldrick-Rab frames access to higher education as a right, and observes that without a higher education credentials, individuals are systematically out of nearly every decent paying job opportunity,(Fifolt). Ehrenreich herself writes, “distressed white-collar people cannot be accused of the fecklessness of any kind; they are the ones who ?did everything the right'” (Ehrenreich, 261). In making this comment, Ehrenreich urges people to notice that white-collar workers who got the higher education, possibly getting more than one degree, and maybe even waited to start their families, cant be accused of making bad choices because it seems that they have done everything right. According to Pugh in an interview with Deseret New, affluent people were raising their kids to be flexible, to take advantages of opportunities, low-income people were raising their children to brace themselves for bad news and inevitable hardships, (Pugh). Referring to a poll she had done on children she had done or her book The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity to figure out the outcome of blue-collar and white-collar parents offspring. A lot of the time, when white-collar unemployment occurs, it is due to the company choosing to downsize, meaning that they have decided to let some employees go, most of the time itr’s the employees that they dont find an important member or a vital piece of making the company successful.

In short, the rise in unemployment is unfair. Being laid off from a well-paying job can cause a lot of stress and emotional damage to the person that is being let go. They have to find a way to change their, possibly, once lavish lifestyle to accommodate their new income, that income either being paid by unemployment or a lesser paying job. Most even chose to wait on living their life until they get advanced educations and a high paying job so they know that they can support themselves, whatever lifestyle they plan on living, and maybe even support a family. Having to deal with the stressful idea of maybe one day being unemployed with some sort of baggage to take care of can cause psychological issues, not just financial.

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About Unfair Unemployment. (2019, Jun 10). Retrieved December 5, 2022 , from
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