Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending U.S. Poverty

Joanne Samuel Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox. BenBella, $26.95 (310p) ISBN 978-1-950665-46-4
Social worker Goldblum, founder of the National Diaper Bank Network, and journalist Shaddox deliver an illuminating and wide-ranging account of what poverty looks like in America and how it is perpetuated by a broken and negligent system. The U.S. government actually wastes money by underfunding welfare programs, according to the authors, who claim that cuts to food assistance programs have contributed to malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and other medical conditions that require greater spending on health care. Goldblum and Shaddox also note that majority-Black cities, including Detroit and Baltimore, are more likely to have high lead levels and other issues with their water supply, and that bottling corporations often pay less for water access than residential customers. Sketching the roots of American poverty, the authors point to redlining and predatory lending practices that have made homeownership and wealth accumulation difficult for people of color, among other causes. They suggest a number of potential policy solutions, including raising the minimum wage and a national jobs guarantee, and draw on their own experiences to advise readers on how to get involved. Enriched with revealing statistics and vivid personal stories, this is a valuable resource in the fight against poverty. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/27/2020
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-950665-63-1
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