The Persistence of Poverty


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Why the Economics of the Well-Off Can't Help the Poor

Charles Karelis

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Price: $20.00
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New thinking about poverty is finally here

In this important book, one of our boldest and most original thinkers charges that conventional explanations of poverty are mistaken, and that the anti-poverty policies built upon them are doomed to fail. Using science, history, fables, philosophical analysis, and common observation, Charles Karelis engages us and takes us to a deeper grasp of the link between consumption and satisfaction—and from there to a new and persuasive explanation of what keeps poor people poor. Above all, he shows how this fresh perspective can reinspire the long-stalled campaign against poverty.

Charles Karelis is Research Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University. Formerly professor of philosophy at Williams College, director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, and president of Colgate University, he lives in Washington, D.C.

Listen to the author's recent reading on BookTV.

“I am very enthusiastic about Charles Karelis's book. It is powerful and important. After a number of years as a senior official dealing with social policy in Washington, this thoughtful philosopher argues impressively for a fundamental shift in perspective in economics. He then goes on to trace the consequences for dealing with poverty clearly. The work merits serious attention from economists, who may well resist at first, but who I suspect will in time be persuaded and excited.”—Gordon C. Winston, Orrin Sage Professor of Political Economy, Williams College 

“This book is astonishingly lively. It ranges from the facts of life among the American underclass to deep philosophical puzzles about what does and does not count as 'rational' behavior, and will make economists, philosophers, and ordinary engaged citizens rethink just about everything they took for granted about the causes and cures of poverty.”—Alan Ryan, Professor of Politics, Oxford University 


"The Persistence of Poverty is an original and enlightening book with a startling thesis. Written with verve and inviting clarity, it will be of interest to philosophers, economists, and public policy planners alike. Its theoretical arguments and practical proposals are sure to be the subject of debate for years to come."—Anthony Kronman, Sterling Professor of Law, Yale Law School

"This book is a provocative addition to the literature on poverty. Recommended."—Choice

Finalist for the 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in the Philosophy category.
ISBN: 9780300151367
Publication Date: July 21, 2009
208 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
6 b/w line illus.