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Publisher's Summary

Government aid doesn't always go where it's supposed to. Foster care agencies team up with companies to take disability and survivor benefits from abused and neglected children. States and their revenue consultants use illusory schemes to siphon Medicaid funds intended for children and the poor into general state coffers. Child support payments for foster children and families on public assistance are converted into government revenue. And the poverty industry keeps expanding, leaving us with nursing homes and juvenile detention centers that sedate residents to reduce costs and maximize profit, local governments buying nursing homes to take the facilities' federal aid while the elderly languish with poor care, and counties hiring companies to mine the poor for additional funds in modern day debtor's prisons.

In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America's most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue. The poverty industry is stealing billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, and the disabled and elderly poor. As policy experts across the political spectrum debate how to best structure government assistance programs, a massive siphoning of the safety net is occurring behind the scenes.

In the face of these abuses of power, Hatcher offers a road map for reforms to realign the practices of human service agencies with their intended purpose, to prevent the misuse of public taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that government aid truly gets to those in need.

©2016 NYU Press (P)2017 NYU Press

What listeners say about The Poverty Industry

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Necessary and Brilliant

You won't be able to stop thinking about it. This book skillfully pulls back a veil on phenomena that eventually affect us all. And once exposed, readers will not be able to look at their communities and governments the same way. But to be clear, this is not simply a finger-wagging expose. Hatcher invites readers/listeners to imagine new possibilities. He proposes some, but he is careful to not be exclusively prescriptive. I can well imagine people from across the political spectrum being comfortably engaged and enjoying their own process of idea generation. Hatcher ultimately frames the exercise brilliantly, noting that solutions arise from embracing one's own vulnerability and accepting responsibility for constructive work.

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Poverty industry is big business.

Poverty industry is a must listen for anyone concerned the equality among the poorest of us citizens. The breathtaking ways and means that the poor are being exploited is frightening. I don't know if there is a more important issue today.

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Good information, terrible audio.

I think this may be a book best read in print. It is dense with information and exposes a lot of issues that deserve our attention. However, I really disliked the narration. The audio frequently contains noises that I don't know what else to call it but "mouth sounds"-- the narrator wetting her lips, taking a breath, etc. and it is quite distracting. The narrator is also very monotone, and I lost my place multiple times and had to go back to the start of a chapter to figure out what was being covered.

1 person found this helpful