Radio Boston Radio Boston

Support the news

'So Rich, So Poor': Why Is Poverty In America So High?12:14
Download

Play
This article is more than 8 years old.
This file photo shows boarded-up buildings in Camden, N.J. The ranks of America's poor have climbed to a record high, according to new census data that paints a stark portrait. (AP)
This file photo shows boarded-up buildings in Camden, N.J. The ranks of America's poor have climbed to a record high, according to new census data that paints a stark portrait. (AP)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 46 million Americans are living in poverty. That's the highest number in the 52 years that the bureau has been tracking it.

Given the long recession, slow job growth and cuts in state services, that number will probably rise. But why are there such high rates of poverty in the world's richest country? That's among the big questions that Peter Edelman tackles in his new book "So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America."

Edelman began working on the problem as a young advisor to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy back in the 1960s. He also worked for President Bill Clinton, and famously quit in protest when Clinton signed the 1996 welfare reform law.

Edelman joins Radio Boston to discuss the problem of poverty in the U.S.

You can read an excerpt of his book, below:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/96057271/Excerpt-So-Rich-So-Poor-Why-It%E2%80%99s-So-Hard-To-End-Poverty-In-America

Guest:

  • Peter Edelman, author, "So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America."

This segment aired on June 5, 2012.

Support the news