Barbara Ehrenreich – How the poor are made to pay for their poverty

Individually, the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene. But as Businessweek helpfully pointed out in 2007, the poor in aggregate provide a juicy target for anyone depraved enough to make a business of stealing from them. Lire la suite

Barbara Ehrenreich – The discovery of the poverty

The poor are just people without enough money. But a ‘culture of poverty’ gives the affluent a reason to blame them for it

It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, « discovered » poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book The Other America. If this discovery now seems a little overstated, like Columbus’s « discovery » of America, it was because the poor, according to Harrington, were so « hidden » and « invisible » that it took a crusading leftwing journalist to ferret them out. Lire la suite