"$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America" by H. Luke Schaefer and Kathryn Edin

An in-depth look at the struggles of the ultra-poor in America.  The authors do extensive interviews and reporting on families that somehow manage to survive on $2.00 per day per person.  People who move from place to place to place; a woman who sells her plasma twice a week for $30 a visit and who lives in fear that if she becomes anemic or falls below the weight threshold, she won’t be able to donate anymore.  Homes that are housing 22 people; kids sleeping 8 to a bed.  People selling their SNAP card, which is intended for food, for 60 cents on the dollar, to get cash so they can pay their rent or utilities. The horrible bureaucracy involved in trying to get assistance, since Clinton signed the welfare reform act.  It’s eye-opening and depressing.  The authors do offer some sensible solutions, but we shouldn’t hold our breath seeing if any politician or political party adopts them. 

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