Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream



What can you do when you’ve got no job? Barbara Ehrenreich answers this question in detail in Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. She tells us how searching for employment is a job in itself, requiring as much time and energy as having a job, but without the compensation or social support of coworkers. In addition, she says that in many cases the money a person invests in the job search results in an end result of no job, a goal unattained, and money lost. Ehrenreich speaks of those who have experienced obstacles to a fast financial track, for example, women who have become mothers in high school. She also speaks of the person who has “done everything right” as someone who has earned higher college degrees, and is a high achiever, as a loser in a classic game of “bait and switch.” That is, the high achiever’s salary has risen to a level that makes it look more attractive to the employer to cut the “valued,” experienced employee from the payroll so as to trim the company’s expenditures. Ehrenreich describes this trend as “white-collar downward mobility.”

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  • For the past 40 years, since its founding in 1976, the mission of World Hunger Education Service is to undertake programs, including Hunger Notes, that
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