If you are reading Barbara Ehrenreich's 2001 book, Nickel and Dimed, you will find some material here that may help you think critically about what she has written.

I. General

Brothersjudd.com, "Nickel and Dimed: On [Not] Getting by In America" Book review, 2001 (viewed May 5, 2008)

Comments on Ehrenreich's view of corporations: "Corporate as Opposed to Human"

Questions for discussion:

  1. Are we better off with Wal-Mart or worse off?
  2. Would South-Central LA be better off if the LA City Council had not prohibited Wal-Mart from entering?
  3. Why did City Council Member Bernard Parks oppose the restrictions on Wal-Mart? Did his actions help the poor?
  4. Why do so many people apply to work at Wal-Mart?

II. Wal-Mart

National Public Radio, “In Defense of Wal-Mart,” NPR interview with Andrew Young, March 2, 2006
"The former mayor of Atlanta and UN ambassador defends the retailer from recent negative publicity."

Dean, Andrea M. and Russell S. Sobel, "Has Wal-Mart Buried Mom and Pop?" Regulation, pp. 38-45, Spring 2008


Video: Galloway, Ron (director), "Why Wal-Mart Works and Why that Makes Some People C-R-A-Z-Y" 2005


Hanke, Steve H. and Stephen Walters, “Hard Line State: Big Labor's War on Wal-Mart Claims Casualties Among Poor Marylanders,”Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2006


Leedberg, Greg, "In Defense of Wal-Mart," blog Leedberg.com, Feb. 3, 2006

Romer, Paul, "Are There Too Many Wal-Mart Jobs, or Too Few?" Aplia Econ Blog; News for Econ Students, Nov. 1, 2006

Stossel, John and Penny Flemming, "Wal-Mart: Greedy Villain or a Shopper's Best Friend?" 2005

Stossel, John "Is Wal-Mart a Problem?" 2005

Svorny, Shirley, "Banning Wal-Mart May Prove Costly" 2004

III. Employee Testing

Autor, David H. and David Scarborough, "Does Job Testing Harm Minority Workers? Evidence from Retail Establishments,"The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 123, Iss. 1; p. 219, Feb. 2008. (MIT is preparing a 700-word synopsis for a lay audience on this and I will post it when I get it.)


Gale, Sarah Fister, "Three Companies Cut Turnover with Tests," Workforce, workforce.com, p. 66-69, April 2002


Knight, Victoria, "Personality Tests as Hiring Tools," Wall Street Journal (Eastern edition), March 15, 2006, pg. B3A


Mehay, Stephen and Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, "The Effectiveness of Workplace Drug Prevention Policies: Does 'Zero Tolerance' Work?" NBER Working Paper No. 7383; a brief review is here: http://www.nber.org/digest/mar00/w7383.html


Rawlinson, Holly, "Pre-Employment Testing" in Small Business Reports, Volume 14, No. 4, pg. 20-27, April1989


IV. Transportation as a Hindrance to Employment


Saillant, Catherine. "Loan Program Gives Welfare Recipients a Lift; Jobs: A Ventura County Effort to Help Workers Buy Cars and Become More Self-sufficient is Being Immitated Throughout the State," Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2002