Even in this recession, the fact that unemployment among African-Americans is nearly double that of whites (at 13.4%), is confirmation for some that this is not an issue of the economy as much as it is an issue of 'will' and determination.
Barbara Ehernriech, whose book "Nickle and Dimed", really warned of the danger of income inequality in our nation. In an effort to simulate the plight of middle class/working class Americans, she took low wage to middle income employment to show how difficult it was, not just to get ahead, but simply to make ends meet.
Adam Shepherd, young college graduate, challenged the premise of Ehrenriech's book with a simulated study of his own. He published a book based on his own experience, "Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25 and the Search for the American Dream". Shepherd takes $25, a relatively low wage job and graduates to a used truck and an apartment.
In his interview with John Stossel on ABC's 20/20, he touts his frugality and the sacrifices he made in order to find the level of success he made. He points to Ehrenriech's 'extravagances' ("she bought $40 pants", he said).
I actually think that what both of these books point to are the limits of simulated exercises! While somewhat effective, lessons learned depend entirely on the objective.
Give me the real life experiences of people whose lives are being ruined by our country's drift into corporate greed and the creation of a culture of materialism. Like this one, being replicated countless times throughout our country today...