Broke USA, book on the US poverty industry

Broke USA, book on the US poverty industry


Okay, the deal is that those payday lender stores you see, stuff that doesn't quite seem right, they're part of the "poverty industry" which folks in Washington are trying to reform. It's part of the whole financial reform thing.

Check out Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.How the Working Poor Became Big Business, by Gary Rivlin, which tells us about people who aren't treating others like they'd want to be treated. Gary used to write about Silicon Valley for the NY Times:

BROKE USA is the story of relatively new financial subculture made up of
payday lenders, instant tax shops, corporate pawn shops, subprime credit card
issuers, rent-to-own stores, the debit card business, and subprime
mortgages–the poverty industry, I call it. These companies are making big
profits charging very high interest rates to the working poor and others just
managing to get by on a paycheck. Who are the people who pioneered these
businesses? What are some of the more creative, or at least more lucrative,
products they've devised? Plus: who wakes up one morning and says I want to
make my mark and my millions charging horrifically high interest rates to the
single mom working as a chambermaid at the Holiday Inn?

Says Dan Okrent, writing for CNN Money: "Rivlin opens up, dissects,
and eviscerates the gigantic industry of vulture finance."



Andrew S

Don't forget that our very own state governments are also responsible for one of these swindlings of the poor. Most state lotteries pay out about 60%, about 30% worse than Vegas!


"[the book] tells us about people who aren't treating others like they'd want to be treated."
One would have to read the book to confirm this. Absent that one can discuss the merits of the opinion as to whether vulturea do or do not want to be treated as carrion. Or to put it less polemically, maybe some people don't expect the playing field to be levelled for them, or by them!

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