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"Poverty, by America" is sociologist Matthew Desmond's call to action to end poverty

Matthew Desmond and the cover of his new book, "Poverty, by America"
Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House
Matthew Desmond and the cover of his new book, "Poverty, by America"

The federal poverty rate was more than 11% in 2021, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, and has been roughly flat since 1970. That's 50 years of nearly 1 in 9 Americans living in poverty, with 1 in 8 children living in poverty in the U.S.

Experts believe the poverty rate could be higher due to official statistics excluding the more than 1 million people in jails across this country.

So why does the richest nation in the world still have so many people living in poverty? According to a new book, "Poverty, by America," by sociologist Matthew Desmond, it's because many of America's richest citizens benefit from keeping people in poverty.

The Pulitzer Prize winning-author takes a hard look at not just the structural changes that would need to happen to eliminate poverty, but also the change in behavior many Americans need embrace in order to fix a broken system.

On Monday's “Sound of Ideas”, host Rick Jackson speaks with Matthew Desmond about his new book, ahead of his appearance at the Parma-Snow Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Later in the hour, a conversation about soil health, as we head towards Earth Day.

Rick Jackson speaks with two experts focused on soil health to discuss why not farmers, but home gardeners have a crucial role to play in fostering healthy soil - which impacts overall climate.

- Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize winning sociologist and author, "Poverty, by America"
- Tory Erpenbeck, landscape consultant and regenerative soil scientist
- Jim Hoorman, soil health specialist; Ohio State University Extension educator

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.
Jay Shah is an associate producer for the “Sound of Ideas.”