Poverty and the Economy: Why Aren't We Outraged?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Demonstrators clash with police during a protest against plans for new austerity measures on June 28, 2011 in Athens, Greece. (Milos Bicanski/Getty)

As we've watched the economic crisis unfold in Greece this year, and Greek citizens taking to the streets to protest the financial situation there, we've wondered why the same thing hasn't happened in America. Why haven’t we heard more outrage from the increasingly squeezed American people?

We’re joined today by two big thinkers, who have their own ideas on why we’re reacting — or not reacting — as we are to America’s economic downward spiral. Barry Schwartz is professor of social theory and social action at Swarthmore College, and the author of "The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less" and the co-author of "Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing." And David Shipler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Working Poor: Invisible in America" and "The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades Our Liberties."

Comments [5]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, This is to comment on both the foreclosure and homelessness crisis in America. I have no computer or Internet andI work out of the public library. I lost my home in Atlanta, Ga in November 2005 due to mortgage fraud, predatory lending and foreclosure. I lived on the streets. Now, in many ways, I am still homeless because I don’t feel safe. I don’t have the money—or a job—to pay for the housing I need—not want, but need. Eugenia Renskoff

Sep. 16 2011 10:59 AM

This proves that the 9.1 unemployment rate is deeply deceptive and those underemployed and the working poor has increased considerably under this President who refuses to learn from his policy mistakes. If domestic spending has increased massively, why has the poverty rate and unemployment increased with it and why is this administration doubling down on this failed policy?

Sep. 16 2011 08:21 AM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

We had an organization that addressed and assisted with many of the problems of the poor - "Acorn" - recently dismantled after succumbing to a right wing entrapment scheme.

Sep. 16 2011 08:10 AM
Ian from Queens, New York

Thank you for expanding the discourse on poverty in America beyond the mere statistics which support that poverty is a reality that some individuals face. Poverty is not just a statistic. Where there is poverty, it's a trend affecting each individual life and circumstance which is suffered, often, in silence. I would just ask that The Takeaway not stop with conducting a more in-depth analysis than it has already because it pervades our reality despite our (un)willingness to account for it.

Sep. 16 2011 08:07 AM

The media has coined the terms "Hoovervilles" and "Reagan Ranches" in the past so why is the famously unbiased media not calling these homeless communities "Obamavilles" as our President hosts lavish parties and takes high profile vacations?

Sep. 16 2011 08:04 AM

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