AirTalk for June 14, 2010

Profiting from poverty: how the working poor became big business

Mercer 8279

HarperCollins

Gary Rivlin's Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. - How the Working Poor Became Big Business

Adding insult to injury, the poor are the most likely to fall prey to scams. In his new book, Broke, USA: From Pawnshop to Poverty, Inc., New York Times writer Gary Rivlin looks at what he calls the “poverty industry.”It used to be just pawn shops that offered short-term cash for the remaining valuables of people who’d fallen on hard times. Today, there’s an explosion of companies that offer payday loans, used car financing, and sub-prime loans to people who are too poor to buy things up front. The result: the poor end up so deep in debt, they can never get out. What, if anything, can be done about predatory lending targeting the disenfranchised?

Guest:


Gary Rivlin, author of Broke, USA: From Pawnshop to Poverty, Inc. – How the Working Poor Became Big Business (Harper)


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