restricted access The Inner Life of the Poor

In general, the poor are invisible and silent. Because of the various layers of segregation in our society—from work to schools to places of worship—few of us reading this have opportunities to live and work closely with people who are at the bottom of the income ladder. We don't know them. And because we don't know their values and aspirations, the particulars of their daily decisions, and the economic and psychological boundaries within which those decision are made, they easily become psychologically one-dimensional: intellectually, emotionally, and volitionally simplified, not quite like us. This fact has huge implications for public policy, education and work, and civic life.