The war on poverty is over. Rich people won

The war on poverty is over. Rich people won

Annie Lowrey writes:

Why do so many Americans live in poverty? Because so many rich people benefit from it.

This is the thesis of the lauded sociologist Matthew Desmond’s new book, Poverty, by America. The best seller is at once a careful exploration of poverty statistics; a deeply reported depiction of the lived experiences of the poor; an examination of the ways America’s wealthy exploit the masses; and a case for ending poverty. Desmond shows how the country’s employers, financial institutions, and landlords extract money from low-income families while rich families hoard opportunity for themselves. He also demonstrates how America’s safety-net programs are not just too stingy but poorly designed.

Desmond is a professor at Princeton. His previous book—Evicted, about the low-income rental market in Milwaukee—won a Pulitzer Prize. We discussed how the rich came to win the War on Poverty and what’s necessary to end poverty. [Continue reading…]

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