chapter  6
52 Pages

POVERTY: High Rates Persist Despite Overall Growth

The evidence presented below reveals that the recent debate over poverty in America has become misguided. The conventional wisdom typically defines the problem in terms of the supposedly counterproductive behavior of poor people themselves, implying that, with more effort, the poor could lift themselves up by their bootstraps. The implication is that, because of bad choices about family structure and lack of work effort, the poor have failed to be lifted by the rising economic tide.