Book Review: $2.00 a Day by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer


Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

$2.00 a Day

By Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT

Two dollars per person per day is a poverty threshold in the developing world that’s rarely evoked when discussing the United States. It should be, say academics Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, whose new book documents a troubling rise in the number of Americans—including as many as 3 million kids—who survive on almost nothing. $2.00 a Day is an intimate chronicle of the “cashless economy” and also serves as an indictment of the welfare reform that began under President Clinton. Shaefer and Edin—a Johns Hopkins sociologist noted for her “home economics of welfare”—embedded with communities in Cleveland, Chicago, and the Mississippi Delta to learn how the most off-the-radar poor manage without a safety net. They found heartbreaking survival strategies—plasma sales, sugar daddies—and kids in horrible circumstances. With any luck (calling Bernie Sanders) this important book will spark election year debate over how America cares for its most vulnerable.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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