Reports from the Economic Front
New York Times Book Review
Matthew Desmond is an academic who teaches at Harvard - a sociologist or, you could say, an ethnographer. But I would like to claim him as a journalist, and one who has set a new standard for reporting on poverty. In Milwaukee, he moved into a trailer park and then to a rooming house on the -poverty-stricken North Side and diligently took notes on the lives of people who pay 70 to 80 percent of their incomes for homes that are unfit for human habitation.
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Downward mobility plus racial resentment is a potent combination with disastrous consequences. We know now that election 2016 is increasingly an open portal into an age-old American dark side of slavery, repression, internment, and know-nothing-ism that couldn't be grimmer. And behind it all, running like an interstate highway through our history, is a powerful sense of white skin privilege that has traditionally extended even to those who were relatively powerless.