From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.: How the Working Poor Became Big Business
By Gary Rivlin
(Harper Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061733208, 358pp.)
Publication Date: June 2011
List Price: $15.99*
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For most people, the Great Crash of 2008 has meant troubling times. Not so for those in the flourishing poverty industry. These mercenary entrepreneurs have taken advantage of an era of deregulation to devise high-priced products to sell to the credit-hungry working poor, including the instant tax refund and the payday loan. In the process they've created an industry larger than the casino business and have proved that pawnbrokers and check cashers, if they dream big enough, can grow very rich off those with thin wallets.
Broke, USA is Gary Rivlin's riveting report from the economic fringes. Timely, shocking, and powerful, it offers a much-needed look at why our country is in a financial mess and gives a voice to the millions of ordinary Americans left devastated in the wake of the economic collapse.