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The Persistence of Poverty
Why the Economics of the Well-off Can't Help the Poor
Why hasn't the poverty rate fallen in four decades, despite society's massive and varied efforts? The notable philosopher Charles Karelis contends that conventional explanations of poverty rest on a mistake. And so do the antipoverty policies they generate. "The Persistence of Poverty" proposes a new explanation of the behaviours that keep people poor, including unemployment, abandoning school, failure to save, and breaking the law. This provocative, thoughtful book finds a hidden rationality in the problematic conduct of many poor people, a rationality long missed by economists. Using science, history, fables, philosophical analysis, and common observation, Karelis engages us and provides us with a deeper grasp of the link between consumption and satisfaction. He thereupon provides us a new view of distributive justice and fresh policy recommendations for combating poverty. "The Persistence of Poverty" is the 'Big Idea' book that is overdue. With Karelis' bold work and original insights, the long-stalled campaign against poverty can begin to move forward once more.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"This book is astonishingly lively. It ranges from the facts of life among the American underclass to deep philosophical puzzles about what does and does not count as 'rational' behavior, and will make economists, philosophers, and ordinary engaged citizens rethink just about everything they took for granted about the causes and cures of poverty."--Alan Ryan, Professor of Politics, Oxford University --Alan Ryan