51% Show #1281

Jan 31, 2014

Credit 401(K) 2012

  This week, we're looking at poverty in America... The divide between haves and have nots is gaping wider – what can you do about it?

The newest Shriver Report released last month looked deeply into the issue of poverty. It found that policy changes in the sixties and seventies have been effective at helping our nation's seniors – but both children and women have been left behind. And it suggests that closing the wage gap between men and women, which hasn't budged in recent years, could make a dramatic difference.

According to the US Census Bureau, 11.8 percent of families were at or below the poverty level in 2012. 6 percent of them were married couple families. 16 percent were single parent male families. And 31% were families of single mothers.  Professor Alice O'Connor teaches history at the University of California Santa Barbara . She is the author of Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy, and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History. We spoke about government policy and its role in helping, or holding down, the poor.

Coming up, remembering growing up poor..and the modern version of a job interview. If you missed part of this show or want to share it, visit the 51% archives at wamc.org.  This week’s show is # 1281.


  Sixteen-year-old Arturo spent most of his life in what he considers poverty--living on welfare and supported by the Section 8 housing program--but his mother doesn't see the situation the same way. Arturo Camelot produced this essay for City High Radio.

Finally, a first hand description of today's version of the job hunt. Writer Catherine Breese reflects on the virtual interview.

That’s our show for this week.  Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance.  Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.  Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.