THE RICH AND THE REST OF US: A POVERTY MANIFESTO
By Cornel West and Tavis Smiley
“Our intent with The rich and the rest of us is to make [people] think about the pervasiveness of poverty, its real causation, and the threat it poses to our democracy. We want to raise awareness about poverty and discuss how best to end it- in out lifetime. “(Excerpted from the introduction, page 10-11) When I started with this book, I had expected it to be a book on how depressing poverty is and maybe how to become rich. What I came across was none of that but a realistic approach with some new ideas of how to deal with poverty. The authors have explained everything in simple language that is discernable by everyone and no necessarily economists. It is based on the US economy and not poverty all over the world. It deals with the situation of poverty in the US. Recently with the Presidential election campaign, a lot was said about the difference between the middle class and the rich. Especially with the tax cuts issue where tax cuts are being wanted for the middle class and the wealthy shall not be given any cuts. Any household that is earning anything more than $1 million per year should not be paying lesser income tax than what a middle class family does. This book has historical backgrounds, personal stories and statistics to say to us that poverty is not just a big issue but also a national threat along with bringing shame upon USA. It seems that the citizens of America as a whole does not choose to solve this problem. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are crying out for help to speedily address the growing poverty before it forever distorts the US democracy, values and economic future. The great recession has affected a large number of people who have been forced into poverty and also deepening the poverty that already exists. United States census declares that 50% of all Americans are now in the low income or close to low-income bracket. When the biggest economic...
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