90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Barbara Ehrenreich on Poverty Now
Jose Rivera, 54, a resident of a homeless encampment in Fresno, Calif., was photographed on Thursday, June 18, 2009. (AP)

Jose Rivera, 54, a resident of a homeless encampment in Fresno, Calif., was photographed on Thursday, June 18, 2009. (AP)

Politicians love to talk about the middle class. Barbara Ehrenreich writes about the poor.

There are a lot of poor in this country. Working poor. The economic crisis of the last year has pushed their lives from hard to harder. And the nation’s response, says Ehrenreich, has been almost cruel. Not help, but the back of a hand.

This hour we’ll sit down with Barbara Ehrenreich — and with two women, hotel housekeepers, recently fired by a national hotel chain that hired replacements at half their wages.

This hour, On Point: life on the edge in hard times, with Barbara Ehrenreich.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Barbara Ehrenreich joins us from Washington. She’s a journalist and author of several books, among them “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” and “Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream.” Her recent four-part series on poverty in America ran on The New York Times Op-Ed page.  Her new book, out next month, is “Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.”

Joining us in our studio is Lucine Williams, a mother of two, worked for 21 years and eleven months at a Hyatt Hotel in Boston as a housekeeper. She had a full-time, non-union job with benefits. In August, Hyatt Corporation laid off approximately 100 cleaning staff and replaced them with outsourced employees making half their salary. The hotel chain has since extended the health benefits of the laid-off workers and offered job-search assistance.

Also with us in our studio is Angela Norena. She worked at a Hyatt Hotel in Boston for 15 years until she was laid off three weeks ago. She’s the mother of a 14-year old son.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

 
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment