- Standard & Poor’s announced Friday it has downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. The move by S&P, one of three leading credit rating agencies, came just days after Congress approved a $2.1 trillion deficit-reduction plan. “In some ways that is in another world from most Americans and their day to day struggles. What is it going to mean if you have no job now?” says award-winning author Barbara Ehrenreich on Democacy Now! She has just published the tenth anniversary edition of her book, “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.” In the book, Ehrenreich tells the story of life in low-wage America, and tries to earn a living working as a waitress, hotel maid, nursing home aide and Wal-Mart associate. Ten years later, she compares the current situation of low-income U.S. workers to “third world levels of poverty.”

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