So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America
The New Press, 2012
In this provocative book, lifelong antipoverty advocate Peter Edelman offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle. The structure of today’s economy has stultified wage growth for half of America’s workers—with even worse results at the bottom and for people of color—while bestowing billions on those at the top.
So Rich, So Poor delves into what is happening to the people behind the statistics, and takes a particular look at the continuing crisis of young people of color, whose possibility of a productive life too often is lost on their way to adulthood.
Peter Edelman is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and president of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Youth Law. A top adviser to Senator Robert F. Kennedy from 1964 to 1968, he went on to fill various roles in President Bill Clinton’s administration, from which he famously resigned in protest after Clinton signed the 1996 welfare reform legislation.