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219 Notes Introduction 1 Putnam 2015. 2 Section 8 is the commonly used name for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, funded by the government through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A tenant with a Section 8 voucher can use it to rent housing and pay a portion of his or her income on rent (usually around 30 percent), with the government paying the balance of a fair market rent to the landlord. There are waiting lists for vouchers, and even when tenants receive them they must find a suitable property with a landlord who will accept the voucher and which will pass Section 8 inspection (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 2013). 3 Lepore 2015. Even when we talk about how inequality has widened and life is beyond difficult for “the poor,” it’s not clear who or how many people in the United States we mean. As Shea (2014) notes, “While the accepted number of people in poverty is about 46 million, that number is based on a flawed system for measuring poverty. The current measure was created in the 1960s, based on food costs, which at that time comprised about a quarter of people’s incomes. Today, food costs are about 6 percent, while housing and health-care costs have grown much larger. And those costs can vary widely from city to city.” 4 McCall 2013; McCoy 2015. 5 Perriello 2013; Goldfarb and Boorstein 2013. 6 These have included Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. During his time as speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner expressed similar sentiments. 7 Chozick 2015. 8 “Income and Wealth Inequality,” Bernie 2016 campaign website, accessed August 5, 2015, 9 Baptist and Rehmann 2011; Blackmon 2015; Edelman 2012; Gould and Davis 2015; Gould et al. 2015; Jeroslow 2015; Kahne and Mabel 2010; Stiglitz 2012; Yellen 2006. 10 Gould and Davis 2015. 11 Danziger and Gottschalk 1994; Desmond 2015; Edin and Shaefer 2015; Fox et al. 2015; Gilbert 2011; Massey 2007; Putnam 2015; Shaefer et al. 2015. 12 Nixon 1969. 13 Stiglitz 2013. 14 Silva 2013: 18. 220 | Notes 15 Silva 2013: 151. 16 Silva 2013: 151. 17 Silva 2013: 145. 18 Sennett and Cobb 1972: 255. 19 Hacker 2008: xii–xiii; see also Cooper 2014. 20 Skobba et al. 2015. 21 U.S. Department of Agriculture 2016b. 22 Harris and Zakari 2015. 23 Baptist and Rehmann 2011; Harris and Zakari 2015; Harvey 2005. 24 There have been some efforts to address the consequences of this, such as the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD), restricting banks’ ability to impose higher fees and interest rates. With no safety net, credit cards have become a too-common last resort that exacerbates the difficulties of those without financial resources and without a public or a private safety net to rely upon. Provisions of the CARD Act went into effect in February 2010. American consumers saved billions of dollars in fees as a result (Delamaide 2013). By February 2011, a year after the effective date of many provisions of CARD, there had been significant changes: • The long-standing practice of hiking interest rates on existing cardholder accounts has been dramatically curtailed. • The amount of late fees consumers are paying has been substantially reduced. • Overlimit fees have virtually disappeared in the credit card industry. • Consumers report that their credit card costs are clearer, but significant confusion remains. ( The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a response to the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 and the Great Recession (Eaglesham 2011,, and is an independent government agency responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. It’s now responsible for administering changes due to CARD and has put for-profit colleges under scrutiny (Kamenetz 2015). But there has been pushback. Congress tried to defund the CFPB and to prevent it from moving forward by blocking confirmation of a director. Obama eventually installed a director via recess appointment in 2012. 25 Hacker 2008: 5. 26 “As private and public support erodes, workers and their families must bear a great burden. This is the essence of the Great Risk Shift. Through the cutback and restructuring of workplace benefits, employers are seeking to offload more and more of the risk once pooled under their auspices. Facing fiscal constraint and political opposition, public social programs have eroded even as the...


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