Terms & Definitions For Nickel And Dimed

by The Quicklet Team

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on Nickel And Dimed.

Proletariat – Barbara uses this term in the Marxist sense. According to Marx, a capitalist system is made up of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie own the capital. The proletariat “own” the labor. Proletarians earn their living by selling their labor for wages. Life under capitalism is a constant struggle between these two classes.

Glossolalia – This term is used when Barbara visits a tent revival. It refers to the practice of speaking in tongues. The phenomenon is commonly associated with Pentacostal religions although it is found elsewhere.


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Proletariat – Barbara uses this term in the Marxist sense. According to Marx, a capitalist system is made up of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie own the capital. The proletariat “own” the labor. Proletarians earn their living by selling their labor for wages. Life under capitalism is a constant struggle between these two classes.

Glossolalia – This term is used when Barbara visits a tent revival. It refers to the practice of speaking in tongues. The phenomenon is commonly associated with Pentacostal religions although it is found elsewhere.

Living Wage – This term refers to the hourly wage that enables a person to live by minimally acceptable standards. The wage is determined by local standards and can vary by locality. In general terms, $14.00 per hour is considered to be an appropriate living wage.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – In some cases, low-wage workers earn less than they would if they relied totally on welfare. The IRS provides this credit to overcome that barrier to working. If the credit exceeds the amount of tax owed, the difference results in a refund.

Welfare Reform Act – This short form name refers to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. It is thought by many to be a watershed moment in the American welfare system. Supporters laud its linking of work to welfare payments. Opponents view it as throwing the poor into the unskilled market place.

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