The Current Either-Or Choice in “Solutions” to Poverty


Aaron Barlow’s post highlights a major difference between how Progressives and those on the Far Right have sought to address endemic poverty. Progressives have been accused, sometimes with much justification, of being willing to waste millions on wrong-headed “solutions” to poverty. On the other hand, the Far Right has essentially ignored solutions and has turned poverty into another source of corporate profits. One can argue that some Progressive solutions ironically and tragically made some problems worse. On the other hand, one would be very hard-pressed to argue that any Far Right alternatives to anti-poverty programs have made anything better–except for how they have improved corporate profits and shareholder dividends.

There is no “culture of poverty,” no cultural transformation that is the magic bullet that will eradicate poverty. But there are very clearly defined broader political and cultural attitudes constructed around notions of poverty that have made it much more difficult…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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