Could You Survive on $2 Day?


I wrote this piece for Mother Jones, looking at the nearly 1.4 million people in America living in extreme poverty. Support for the piece came from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Mother Jones, December 13, 2012

Two years ago, Harvard professor Kathryn Edin was in Baltimore interviewing public housing residents about how they got by. As a sociologist who had spent a quarter century studying poverty, she was no stranger to the trappings of life on the edge: families doubling or tripling up in apartments, relying on handouts from friends and relatives, selling blood plasma for cash. But as her fieldwork progressed, Edin began to notice a disturbing pattern. “Nobody was working and nobody was getting welfare,” she says. Her research subjects were always pretty strapped, but “this was different. These people had nothing coming in.”

Continue reading