Jim Shepard’s new book, The Book of Aron, tells the story of a Jewish boy growing up in poverty and desperation. It begins before the Germans invaded Poland and, through Aron’s eyes, takes us from the Polish countryside into the depths of the Warsaw Ghetto and then into a famous orphanage for destitute children.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

If you’re poor and live in the Capital Region, it’s better to be in Rensselaer County than in Schenectady County or Columbia County. Not only that, the younger you are when you move to Rensselaer, the better you will do on average. Analysts have found children who move at earlier ages are less likely to become single parents, and more likely to go to college and earn more.


A national non-profit announced plans today to repair and spruce up 20 homes on one street in Springfield, Massachusetts.  It is the third year of a 10-year plan designed to revive the housing stock in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the United States.

   The two story house at 124 King Street that was purchased by Curtis Vaughn’s grandparents in the 1920s  needs a lot of work.  But Vaughn, who lives in the house with a son and a daughter, said at age 82 he is unable to do the repairs himself and can’t afford to hire contractors.

On Sunday, faith leaders will gather in Albany to have an integrated "Call For Justice" around issues of poverty and inequality. The gathering is being billed as a "meeting addressing poverty from a truly interfaith perspective."

Mark Emanatian is the Capital District Organizer with Citizen Action of New York:  "Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish groups are coming together to an interfaith call for justice to work on the issues of poverty, what causes poverty, how we can solve poverty."

  Corporate attorney, Rich Honen, pays us a visit once a month with some thoughts on headlines from the business world. Today he is here to share to talk about the industry of poverty.

To help us sort this all out – we welcome Rich Honen - with Phillips Lytle LLP, where he is the partner in charge of the Albany office.

  Through the stories of prisoners and their families, including her own family’s experiences, Maya Schenwar shows in her book, Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better, how the institution that locks up 2.3 million Americans and decimates poor communities of color is shredding the ties that, if nurtured, could foster real collective safety.


  Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal.

In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts; the War on Poverty program; Medicare and Medicaid; the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities; Public Broadcasting; immigration liberalization; a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts; and major federal investments in public transportation.

Collectively, this group of achievements was labeled by Johnson and his team the “Great Society.” In his new book, The Fierce Urgency of Now, Princeton Professor of History Julian Zelizer looks at the full story.

Stephen Gottlieb: Tailspins For The Poor

Aug 5, 2014

George Gershwin wrote “I’ve got plenty of nothing, and nothing’s plenty for me.” But sometimes it seems like politics is about the art of squeezing or taking as much as possible from people who have nothing at all – the villainy of the Sheriff of Nottingham in the Robin Hood story but in modern dress.

Richard Iannuzzi: In The Grip Of Poverty, Inequality

Nov 22, 2013

In his new book, So Rich, So Poor, former Clinton and Kennedy policy advisor Peter Edelman writes that poverty and inequality stem from the same root causes.  They cannot be separated – certainly not in America today.

Blair Horner: Health Inequality Grows

Mar 18, 2013

It’s well established that the income gap between rich and poor in America has increased over the past few decades.  Income inequality among developed nations is highest in the United States.  Most of the growth in this inequality has been between the middle class and top earners, with the disparity becoming more extreme the further one goes up in income.