Fall 2014

Table of Contents

The End of Poverty

From the Editors

Let’s End Poverty: We Have the Money, Do We Have the Will?

47 million Americans live beneath the official poverty line, under a daily judgment of failure. The question today is: Whose failure?

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Pearl Street photo by Eric Magnuson

Poverty is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around

Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will?
Dean Paton

How Seattle Led the Country’s Wage Revolution

Seattle's path to a $15 minimum wage is a winding tale of effective organizing, smart messaging, and blind dumb luck. It is also a roadmap for bypassing partisan gridlock—one city at a time.
David “Goldy” Goldstein
New graduates from a free training program in July at the Cooperative Home Care Associates offices in the Bronx

How America’s Largest Worker Owned Co-Op Lifts People Out of Poverty

Cooperative Home Care Associates has 2,300 workers who enjoy good wages, regular hours, and family health insurance. With an investment of $1.2 million into the cooperative sector, New York City is hoping to build on the group's success.
Laura Flanders
Photo by AAstock / Shutterstock.

A Wealthy Capitalist on Why Money Doesn’t Trickle Down

Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist and self-described "plutocrat," says a healthy economy and an effective democracy depend on a thriving middle class of workers.
Nick Hanauer
Photo by Michael Newman / Flickr

“We Couldn’t Possibly Be Poor”: How a Doctor Fell Into Poverty

“As we found ourselves choosing between rice, oatmeal, or potatoes for every meal, it occurred to us that being in poverty isn’t about how hard you work; it’s about how much money you make.”
Robin Dickinson

The Faces Behind the Fight for $15 an Hour

For low-wage workers, Seattle's minimum wage increase means a chance to go to college, pay the rent, and visit the dentist.
Betty Udesen
Photo by Sallie Campbell.

Americans on Food Aid Document Their Hunger in Photos

“Before I was on SNAP, I budgeted $50 a week for all groceries for my two children and myself. This was for food, shampoo, toilet paper, everything.”

America Keeps People Poor On Purpose: A Timeline of Choices We’ve Made to Increase Inequality

How four decades of lobbying and legislation gave corporations dominion over our economy—and eroded the American middle class.
Woman doing bills.

Why a Tiny Decrease in Unemployment Means a Big Pay Raise for the Poor

A sustained one-percentage-point decline in the unemployment rate is associated with a 9.4 percent rise in the wages of workers in the bottom quintile of the wage distribution.
Dean Baker
Octavio Garcia and his brothers now manage their own 6.5 acres leased from ALBA. Photo by Nancy Porto / ALBA.

Migrant Farmworkers Find Paths Out of Poverty Through Incubator Farms

Incubator farms help seasonal workers start their own businesses, where they get better pay and the support of a community.
Lisa Gale Garrigues
Photo courtesy of LBJ Presidential Library.

When Poverty Was the Enemy, Not the Poor

The poverty rate in the U.S. would be 15 percent higher if not for the War on Poverty and government anti-poverty programs since 1967.
Tom Eblen
The author and his partner

A Wall Street Equity Firm Evicted My Family. We’re Still Searching for a Home

Our experience strengthened our resolve to fight for housing as a human right.
Michael Donley
Kerry Morrison interviews homeless veteran John Watkins in the Hollywood Hills. Hollywood was one of the first communities to join the 100

7 Practical Ideas for Compassionate Communities, From Free College to Debt Relief

It's not hard to bring a little more equality into each others' lives.
Shannan Lenke Stoll

Solutions We Love

Explore Section
Photo by Ben / Flickr.

If Unions Are Breaking Automakers, Why Are BMW and Mercedes So Rich?

In Germany, auto workers get paid well and their companies still profit. Author Thom Hartmann on why living wages and corporate success don't have to be mutually exclusive.
Thom Hartmann
Photo by the author.

How Residents of a Rural New Mexico County Fought the Fracking Barons and Won—For Now

In Mora County, New Mexico, corporations seeking fracking contracts came up against “querencia”—a traditional way of thinking about and defending the land.
Nina Bunker Ruiz

The Enchanted Land Where Community College Is Free? Welcome to Tennessee in 2015

A new bill provides two years of tuition at a community college for participating high school grads who might otherwise face a 7.5 percent unemployment rate—and other states are already following suit.
Yessenia Funes

Stanford’s Coal Divestment: Meet 2 Students—And 1 President—Who Made It Happen

The movement to persuade schools to divest from fossil fuels has taken off around the country. Meet a few people who helped get Stanford’s money out of coal.
Dana Drugmand
Photo by RTimages / Shutterstock.
The Page That Counts

Americans Spend $1.8 Billion on Eating Out Every Day (And 23 Other Facts You Should Probably Know)

Meanwhile, more Americans got insured, the oceans continued to become more acidic, and the world’s largest collection of rubber ducks grew at a rapid pace.
Dana Drugmand & Yessenia Funes

Culture Shift

Explore Section
"I pedal everywhere

What I Learned About Living From Dying of Cancer

Many more patients are now living for years with the diagnosis of terminal illness. The author describes her journey to what she calls “livingly dying”—facing her death by living in the moment with grace and mindfulness.
Marcy Westerling
Photo by Khakimullin Aleksandr / Shutterstock.

The Antidote to Mansplaining: Rebecca Solnit on Everyday Sexism and What We Can Do About It

Useful as it may be as journalistic shorthand, “mansplaining” is cultural bubblegum in comparison to Solnit’s actual body of work.
Valerie Schloredt
Photo by Shutterstock.

Most Social Change Groups Grapple with White Privilege—But This Book Can Help

The work of activism is full of messy contradictions. In “Towards Collective Liberation,” Chris Crass breaks down the influence of racism and patriarchy, including helpful how-tos—like “Twenty Careful Steps Toward Anti-sexist Action.”
Joshua Kahn Russell
Photo by H. Kopp-Delaney / Flickr.

The Key to a Sustainable Future Is Resisting Violence Every Day

The Nonviolence Handbook teaches that when we exhibit patience and refrain from criticizing others harshly, we're building nonviolent potential.
Yessenia Funes
Photo from Years of Living Dangerously

Matt Damon, Harrison Ford Lead All-Star Cast in Showtime Climate Change Series

Years of Living Dangerously features celebrity correspondents who thoughtfully explore how politics and religion divide people and impede action on this critical issue.
Dana Drugmand
Pickles by Susy Morris

How to Pickle Almost Anything

Why ferment? It’s practical magic. Here are a few basics to get you started.
Doug Pibel