Fran Quigley in Jacobin:
When we speak to our sisters and brothers living in poverty in the United States, the confessional trope that describes so many dysfunctional relationships should be our opening line. “Poverty is a choice that the fortunate collectively make,” social worker Joanne Goldblum and journalist Colleen Shaddox write in Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending U.S. Poverty. “No American should ever be poor.”
Of course, we fall far short of that mark. By Goldblum’s and Shaddox’s measure, over 120 million people living in the United States struggle to meet their most basic needs. The pandemic has caused another eight million to fall into poverty this past year. Worse yet, the poor in our nation are often blamed for their own crises, with lawmakers and even service providers citing bad behavior or ignorance as the cause of individual poverty.
In Broke in America, Goldblum and Shaddox reject that narrative. US policies that benefit the wealthy cause poverty, they insist — and changes to those policies can end it.