Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poverty is one of the most pressing and divisive issues of our day, and Democrats and Republicans have staked out largely different approaches to the increasing divide between the poorest members of the United States and the richest. With the economy central to the November elections, the wealth gap will likely only become even more talked about in the months to come. Peter Edelman is one of the most outspoken antipoverty advocates in the country.

Edelman became a household name in 1996 after resigning from his post at the Department of Health and Human Services in protest of President Clinton's signing of the welfare reform bill. In his new book, "So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America," he examines the current state of poverty in the country, and elaborates upon what can be done — and what hasn't.

To read the conclusion of "So Rich, So Poor," click here.


Peter Edelman

Produced by:

Ben Gottlieb

Comments [2]


Does spending five trillion dollars we do not have in three years help ease poverty for the nation?

The War of Poverty clearly has not ended poverty but has vastly expanded government and that was the whole idea as was the stimulus and Obamacare. The citizen becomes dependent on the government instead of the other way around.
This President wants to do nothing serious about Medicare and Social Security and when they go bankrupt true poverty and what that means for society will become evident.

He and his supporters seem to be content in demagogue those who are sounding the alarm today.
Paul Ryan wants to "slash and smash everything, people need to wake up"
Perhaps the guest needs to grow up and recognize what a simple calculator and calendar tells him regarding the debt this nation owes and where is the point of no return. 20 trillion...25 trillion?

May. 22 2012 11:41 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

So, the Civil Rights Movement's emphasis (albeit inadequate) on economic justice benefited poor whites, but they hated on us with the Southern Strategy, which is alive and well in the Republican party today?...

Here's a statistic that probably won't be cited during the campaign, and may not even be in Edelman's book --

2/3 of black kids still experience a level of neighborhood poverty that only 6% of whites experience.

This, according to Scott Winship – fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, and Director of the Center on Children and Families for the Social Genome Project. Here him cite this stat at 24:24 of this talk show segment: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/01/09/not-movin-on-up

Anyway, there's much more work to be done. And too much of it is not even on the radar...

May. 22 2012 09:54 AM

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