C4SS Feed 44 presents “Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty as We Know It” from the book Markets Not Capitalism, written by Charles Johnson, read by Stephanie Murphy and edited by Nick Ford.
The daily experience of the urban poor is shaped by geographical concentration in socially and culturally isolated ghetto neighborhoods within the larger city, which have their own characteristic features: housing is concentrated in dilapidated apartments and housing projects, owned by a select few absentee landlords; many abandoned buildings and vacant lots are scattered through the neighborhood, which remain unused for years at a time; the use of outside spaces is affected by large numbers of unemployed or homeless people.
The favorite solutions of the welfare state—government doles and “urban renewal” projects—mark no real improvement. Rather than freeing poor people from dependence on benefactors and bosses, they merely transfer the dependence to the state, leaving the least politically connected people at the mercy of the political process.
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