Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on September 1st 2015
Buy from IndieBound
After researching American poverty for over two decades, Kathryn Edin began to notice that vast numbers of households were living with almost no income. Edin and Shaefer discovered nearly 1.5 million households surviving on just $2.00 per person, per day, which put them well below the federal poverty line. Their new book collects some of these stories—pulled from vastly different areas of the country—in an effort to show what life is like and explain how we, as a nation, can work to fix the system we’ve allowed to fail.
“One way the poor pay for government aid is with their time.”
$2.00 a Day is particularly important in the current political climate, where so many see welfare as a giant system supporting lazy families searching for “free stuff“. Edin and Shaefer show just how far this is from the truth by focusing on how little government aid is available for many Americans, how that availability has changed over time, and the societal factors that can make it virtually impossible to rise from deep poverty.
While the stories in $2.00 a Day will be shocking to some, for many they will be a reminder of either of their own experiences or situations they have long been aware of. Still, when compiled, the book makes an incredibly strong and compelling case for desperately necessary reform.