Barbara Ehrenreich Quotes (52 Quotes)


    In economics, we borrowed from the Bourbons in foreign policy, we drew on themes fashioned by the nomad warriors of the Eurasian steppes. In spiritual matters, we emulated the braying intolerance of our archenemies, the Shi'ite fundamentalists.

    A free-enterprise economy depends only on markets, and according to the most advanced mathematical macroeconomic theory, markets depend only on moods specifically, the mood of the men in the pinstripes, also known as the Boys on the Street.

    Like many other women, I could not understand why every man who changed a diaper has felt impelled, in recent years, to write a book about it.

    That's free enterprise, friends: freedom to gamble, freedom to lose. And the great thing - the truly democratic thing about it - is that you don't even have to be a player to lose.

    Upscale people are fixated with food simply because they are now able to eat so much of it without getting fat, and the reason they don't get fat is that they maintain a profligate level of calorie expenditure. The very same people whose evenings begin with melted goats cheese... get up at dawn to run, break for a mid-morning aerobics class, and watch the evening news while racing on a stationary bicycle.


    Imagine spending four billion years stocking the oceans with seafood, filling the ground with fossil fuels, and drilling the bees in honey production --only to produce a race of bed-wetters.

    The label of liberalism is hardly a sentence to public ignominy otherwise Bruce Springsteen would still be rehabilitating used Cadillacs in Asbury Park and Jane Fonda, for all we know, would be just another overweight housewife.

    If that's how it all started, then we might as well face the fact that what's left out there is a great deal of shrapnel and a whole bunch of cinders (one of which is, fortunately, still hot enough and close enough to be good for tanning).

    It seems to me that there must be an ecological limit to the number of paper pushers the earth can sustain, and that human civilization will collapse when the number of, say, tax lawyers exceeds the world's total population of farmers, weavers, fisherpersons, and pediatric nurses.


    Take motherhood: nobody ever thought of putting it on a moral pedestal until some brash feminists pointed out, about a century ago, that the pay is lousy and the career ladder nonexistent.

    In sci-fi convention, life-forms that hadn't developed space travel were mere prehistory -- horse-shoe crabs of the cosmic scene . . .

    Surely there must be some way to find a husband or, for that matter, merely an escort, without sacrificing one's privacy, self-respect, and interior decorating scheme. For example, men could be imported from the developing countries . . .

    The secret of the truly successful, I believe, is that they learned very early in life how not to be busy. They saw through that adage, repeated to me so often in childhood, that anything worth doing is worth doing well.

    The one regret I have about my own abortions is that they cost money that might otherwise have been spent on something more pleasurable, like taking the kids to movies and theme parks.

    From the point of view of the pharmaceutical industry, the AIDS problem has already been solved. After all, we already have a drug which can be sold at the incredible price of 8, 000 an annual dose, and which has the added virtue of not diminishing the market by actually curing anyone.

    The truth is, many things are worth doing only in the most slovenly, halfhearted fashion possible, and many other things are not worth doing at all.

    Heads of state are notoriously ill prepared for their mature careers think of Adolf Hitler (landscape painter), Ho Chi Minh (seaman), and our own Ronald Reagan.

    Those Romans who perpetrated the rape of the Sabines, for example, did not work themselves up for the deed by screening Debbie Does Dallas, and the monkish types who burned a million or so witches in the Middle Ages had almost certainly not come across Boobs and Buns or related periodicals.

    Of all the nasty outcomes predicted for women's liberation... none was more alarming, from a feminist point of view, than the suggestion that women would eventually become just like men.

    Given the cultural barriers to intersex conversation, the amazing thing is that we would even expect women and men to have anything to say to each other for more than ten minutes at a stretch.

    Thus will the fondest dream of Phallic science be realized a pristine new planet populated entirely by little boy clones of great scientific entrepreneurs free to smash atoms, accelerate particles, or, if they are so moved, build pyramids without any soc

    If men were equally at risk from this condition -- if they knew their bellies might swell as if they were suffering from end-stage cirrhosis, that they would have to go nearly a year without a stiff drink, a cigarette, or even an aspirin, that they would

    At best the family teaches the finest things human beings can learn from one another generosity and love. But it is also, all too often, where we learn nasty things like hate, rage and shame.

    My Turn is the distilled bathwater of Mrs. Reagan's life. It is for the most part sweetish, with a tart edge of rebuke, but disappointingly free of dirt or particulate matter of any kind.

    It is the marketplace that calls most clearly for men to be softer, more narcissistic and receptive, and the new man is the result.

    Some of us still get all weepy when we think about the Gaia Hypothesis, the idea that earth is a big furry goddess-creature who resembles everybody's mom in that she knows what's best for us. But if you look at the historical record -- Krakatoa, Mt. Vesuvius, Hurricane Charley, poison ivy, and so forth down the ages -- you have to ask yourself Whose side is she on, anyway

    The discovery of poverty at the beginning of the 1960s was something like the discovery of America almost 500 years earlier. In the case of these exotic terrains, plenty of people were on the site before the discoverers ever arrived.

    There is the fear, common to all English-only speakers, that the chief purpose of foreign languages is to make fun of us. Otherwise, you know, why not just come out and say it?

    The media have just buried the last yuppie, a pathetic creature who had not heard the news that the great pendulum of public conciousness has just swung from Greed to Compassion and from Tex-Mex to meatballs.


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