America loves to tell itself fables about many things. For instance, the issue of poverty is often thought of as an issue of ‘them’ not ‘us’. Yet over an adult lifetime, owing to divorce, job loss or health calamity, over half of us will experience poverty for a year or more. We have so many other things wrong about poverty–its color, the reasons for it and whether as a society, we are helpless to fight it. Going back to Lyndon Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty’ in the 1960’s we have told ourselves that it was a failure. It wasn’t. Without programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, for example, the poverty level of seniors in America, would skyrocket from present levels. In their book ‘Poorly Understood: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty’, co-authors Mark Rank, Lawrence Eppard and Heather Bullock, correct our misconceptions one by one and in empircal and convincing fashion. Mark Rank is our guest today and will provide insights that each of us should understand about poverty, the minimum wage debate and income in equality in 2021 America.
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