Poverty is not an accident. Poverty is an integral part of a systemic historical pattern that includes slavery, economic policy, technological change, lobbying, globalization, class, race, mass incarceration, housing segregation, disenfranchisement, and lack of investment in the public sector (education, infrastructure, public transit).
Peter Temin’s new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy sheds light on the “dual economy” in the United States. This dual economy, this wealth gap that stretches across generations is what is perpetuated by the privatization of the public sector and disinvestment in the public sector. I am constantly amazed by how many “decent” people I come across fail to see the connection between privatization and systemic inequality.