Some 50 million people in the United States live in poverty today—and over 108 million people survive on less than $55,000 a year. Despite having the largest economy on earth, poverty in the US is often grinding and brutal. From millions who live without running water or reliable power, to countless children who experience food insecurity and homelessness.
The data on poverty only becomes exacerbated when race is taken into account. In 2019, the median white household had a net worth of $188,200, compared with $24,100 for the median Black household. Matthew Desmond joins The Chris Hedges Report, to discuss his new book, ‘Poverty, by America,’ which delves into the reality of American poverty not as a condition earned by individuals’ poor choices, but a phenomenon produced by the knowing and unknowing choices of the wealthy.
Matthew Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity, organizations and work, social theory, and ethnography.
In 2018, Desmond’s Eviction Lab at Princeton University published the first-ever dataset of more than 80 million American eviction records. The Lab is currently pursuing nearly a dozen lines of inquiry analyzing this groundbreaking dataset that will help scholars, policymakers, and advocates better understand eviction, housing insecurity, and poverty.