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$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

Cover: '$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America'

Staff Review: "$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America" by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer


When conducting research in 2010, Edin, who had been researching poverty for 20 years noticed a fundamental change in many families she interviewed—they were living without any visible cash income. In the summer of 2012, Edin joined forces with Shaefer, a leading expert on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and they started in-depth studies of families living on $2.00 per person per day (or less) in four areas (Chicago, Cleveland, Johnson City (TN), and rural communities in the Mississippi Delta). $2.00 per day is a metric of global poverty used by the World Bank. (As a point of reference, the U.S. government’s metric for deep poverty was approximately $8.30 per day in 2011.) This book explores how families live in $2.00 a day poverty, the factors contributing to the increase in this new level of poverty, and the challenges of living with little-to-no cash income. It’s a thought-provoking exploration of a difficult topic that includes personal accounts and statistical analysis that is sobering and compelling. Readers of Barbara Enhrenreich’s book "Nickel and Dimed" and those interested in issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness are likely to appreciate this book.

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

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