Not much, Kamenetz argues, and the trend looks even worse for those who don't attend college. 'In 1970,â?� she writes, 'high school graduates entered the world of GM and $17.50 an hourâ?� in today's dollars. Now Wal-Mart is the nation's largest employer, and their average wage is $8 an hour. Many of those workers don't get health care or can't afford it. And as Kamenetz points out, women still earn 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts take home. Compiling statistics like these, Kamenetz reveals how American society has undergone a radical 'risk shiftâ?� over the past decades, from the old to the young and from companies to individuals. As a result, young people are now often responsible for their own health care, their own retirement funds and, in all likelihood, the health care bills of their aging parents, too.
Kamenetz is right to find this alarming. She even has some good suggestions about how to address the problems she raises. But the one thing Kamenetz can't do ' even through this thoughtful and rigorous book ' is force her comrades to do something that might actually make politicians listen: Vote.