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Barbara Ehrenreich

Geburtstag: 26. August 1941

Barbara Ehrenreich ist eine US-amerikanische Sachbuch-Autorin und journalistische Kolumnistin.

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„Wenn du deine Zeit stundenweise verkaufst, bekommst du das Entscheidende nicht gleich mit: daß nämlich das, was du verkaufst, in Wirklichkeit dein Leben ist.“ Arbeit poor. Unterwegs in der Dienstleistungsgesellschaft. Aus dem Englischen von Niels Kadritzke. München: Kunstmann, 2001. ISBN 3888972833

„Of all the nasty outcomes predicted for women's liberation... none was more alarming than the suggestion that women would eventually become just like men.“


„What you don't necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you're really selling is your.“ Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

„No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.“

„When someone works for less pay than she can live on — when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently — then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The 'working poor,' as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.“ Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

„I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, or course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever -- on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country -- vote Republican.“

„I grew up hearing over and over, to the point of tedium, that "hard work" was the secret of success: "Work hard and you'll get ahead" or "It's hard work that got us where we are." No one ever said that you could work hard - harder even than you ever thought possible - and still find yourself sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt.“ Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

„I do not write this in a spirit of sourness or personal disappointment of any kind, nor do I have any romantic attachment to suffering as a source of insight or virtue. On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more happiness and, better yet, joy. In my own vision of utopia, there is not only more comfort, and security for everyone — better jobs, health care, and so forth — there are also more parties, festivities, and opportunities for dancing in the streets. Once our basic material needs are met — in my utopia, anyway — life becomes a perpetual celebration in which everyone has a talent to contribute. But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it. We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world. And the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking.“ Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America


„But the economic meltdown should have undone, once and for all, the idea of poverty as a personal shortcoming or dysfunctional state of mind. The lines at unemployment offices and churches offering free food includes strivers as well as slackers, habitual optimists as well as the chronically depressed. When and if the economy recovers we can never allow ourselves to forget how widespread our vulnerability is, how easy it is to spiral down toward destitution.“ Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

„A lot of what we experience as strength comes from knowing what to do with weakness.“ Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

„In matters of the heart as well, a certain level of negativity and suspicion is universally recommended. You may try to project a thoroughly positive outlook in order to attract a potential boyfriend, but you are also advised to Google him.“

„The failure to think positively can weigh on a cancer patient like a second disease.“ Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America


„The question is why one should be so inwardly preoccupied at all. Why not reach out to others in love and solidarity or peer into the natural world for some glimmer of understanding? Why retreat into anxious introspection when, as Emerson might have said, there is a vast world outside to explore? Why spend so much time working on oneself when there is so much real work to be done?“ Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

„... Maybe it's low-wage work in general that has the effect of making feel like a pariah. When I watch TV over my dinner at night, I see a world in which almost everyone makes $15 an hour or more, and I'm not just thinking of the anchor folks. The sitcoms and dramas are about fashion designers or schoolteachers or lawyers, so it's easy for a fast-food worker or nurse's aide to conclude that she is an anomaly — the only one, or almost the only one, who hasn't been invited to the party. And in a sense she would be right: the poor have disappeared from the culture at large, from its political rhetoric and intellectual endeavors as well as from its daily entertainment. Even religion seems to have little to say about the plight of the poor, if that tent revival was a fair sample. The moneylenders have finally gotten Jesus out of the temple.“ Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

„When someone works for less pay than she can live on -- when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently -- than she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made of a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life.“ Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

„There seems to be a vicious cycle at work here, making ours not just an economy but a culture of extreme inequality. Corporate decision makers, and even some two-bit entrepreneurs like my boss at The Maids, occupy an economic position miles above that of the underpaid people whose labor they depend on. For reasons that have more to do with class — and often racial — prejudice than with actual experience, they tend to fear and distrust the category of people from which they recruit their workers. Hence the perceived need for repressive management and intrusive measures like drug and personality testing. But these things cost money — $20,000 or more a year for a manager, $100 a pop for a drug test, and so on — and the high cost of repression results in ever more pressure to hold wages down. The larger society seems to be caught up in a similar cycle: cutting public services for the poor, which are sometimes referred to collectively as the 'social wage,' while investing ever more heavily in prisons and cops. And in the larger society, too, the cost of repression becomes another factor weighing against the expansion or restoration of needed services. It is a tragic cycle, condemning us to ever deeper inequality, and in the long run, almost no one benefits but the agents of repression themselves.“ Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

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