A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

By Stephen Pimpare

During this compulsively readable social background, political scientist Stephen Pimpare vividly describes poverty from the viewpoint of negative and welfare-reliant americans from the large urban to the agricultural geographical region. He makes a speciality of how the bad have created neighborhood, secured look after, and located foodstuff and illuminates their battles for dignity and respect.

Through prodigious archival learn and lucid research, Pimpare information the ways that charity and relief for the negative were inseparable, mostly, from the scorn and disapproval of these who may aid them. within the wealthy and infrequently incredible old tales he has amassed from the bad in the USA, Pimpare overturns any easy conclusions approximately how the terrible see themselves or what it appears like to be poor—and he indicates basically that the terrible are all too frequently conscious that charity comes with a cost. it's that cost that Pimpare eloquently questions during this booklet, reminding us via strong anecdotes, a few heart-wrenching and a few strangely funny, that poverty isn't really easily an ethical failure.

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Extra resources for A People's History of Poverty in America

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Until the French Revolution, political philosophers oriented their enquiries from a natural state, where men were believed to be in possession of rights by virtue of their humanity. The formal rights of political society could then be adjudicated in terms of these natural rights which provided criteria of reason for judging the validity of the political state as an exponent of the general will. In the nineteenth century, with the intensification of private property, enlightenment reason lost its charm as it bccame clear that there were no conditions in which the state could express the general will of socicty, since it was by nature a special force or class state.

It contained the most complete and systematic account of the labour theory of value, and removed the inconsistencies of earlier authors, notably Adam Smith. Alongside Rousseau's Social Contract it stands at the culmination of the philosophy of natural'law. T h e theoretical roots of Ricardo's theory of value in natural law are made explicit by his recourse to the 'early stages of society' in order to demonstrate his fundamental proposition that 'the exchangeable value of . . commodities . . depends almost exclusively on the comparative quantity of labour expended upon each'.

This vision of the world survived until the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Philosophers of natural law reduced the state to an original necessity for men to reach agreement on mechanisms to preserve rights. These rights in turn were reduced to men's natural being through which they were considered as formally complete by virtue of sharing a common humanity. Man was thought to exist as a species in nature whose every member was fully endowed with the qualities of reason and compassion, for others as well as himself.

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