Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?

Apparently some folks in North Carolina aren’t too happy about Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, a book that focuses on the impossibility of surviving on low-income wages. The University of North Carolina chose the book as required reading for all incoming freshmen, which seems like a safe choice, given last year’s book (a collection of readings from the Koran). Yet a group of students going by Committee for a Better Carolina is calling Ehrenreich’s book a “classic Marxist rant” and a work of “intellectual pornography with no redeeming characteristics.” But as Ehrenreich responds, perhaps the Committee for a Better Carolina should realize just how much better they need to be: “60 percent of North Carolina families with children do not earn enough to meet basic, bare-bone needs. Nationwide, when last measured in 2000, 29 percent of families were in the same straits, giving North Carolina twice the level of economic misery as the country as a whole.” Ouch. (link via

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