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Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty,…
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Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became… (edició 2010)

de Gary Rivlin (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
227789,595 (3.52)6
"A unique and riveting exploration of one of America's largest and fastest-growing industries--the business of poverty"--Provided by publisher.
Membre:sslyham
Títol:Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became Big Business
Autors:Gary Rivlin (Autor)
Informació:HarperBusiness (2010), Edition: 1, 368 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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

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I did like this book, but I am not rating it higher because, well, "I liked it" but I did not "really like it." It is not because the book is bad. Far from it. If a list is ever compiled of the books that must be read to understand the 2008 financial meltdown, this book has to be among the top two or three. Also, the book is required reading to understand why the poverty industry-- those who profit from the plight of the poor-- are thriving in the United States. So, why only rate it "three stars"? Because the book is exhaustive, but it is also exhausting.

Rivlin takes us on a gran tour of Poverty Inc. He covers just about every player: payday loans, rent-to-own, those tax refund loans, pawn shops, subprime mortgages and a few others I cannot recall at this moment. He delivers human interest stories, interviewing a lot of victims, but he also sits down with some of the tycoons of these companies. Though Rivlin strives to be fair, in the end, the tycoons pretty much hang themselves. As we read, it is clear that what they do is far from noble, and we are reading a tale of greed gone awry. The damage these companies caused is such that it will be felt for years. And even if you are tempted to feel bad about one of these tycoons, once you learn of their trade conventions, where they trade secrets on how to squeeze the poor even more, their lobbyists, and their underhanded tactics, you won't be left feeling too much sympathy for them.

The thing is that there were very early warning signs, signs that many people either failed to see, or they refused to see them because the money being made was very good. In the end, the companies may be bruised, but they are not totally out yet. We can only hope more education can help the poor find better options. Because in the end, these companies thrive because society and businesses have simply enabled the erosion of a solid middle-class turning it into a working poor class with no other choice than to fall into the trap of the subprime lender or other poverty exploitation merchant. Rivlin, in addition to telling the story, raises some very good ethical and moral questions that we as a society really need to consider if we want to move forward.

The book includes a good set of notes for documentation for those who may be interested in learning more. The only catch, as I said, is that Rivlin strives to cover so much that after a while reading these tragic stories of exploited people just becomes too exhausting. Add to it you may get angry (as a decent human being) when you read about these predatory lenders and their deceptions, and you have to read this book a little at a time. However, it is an important book, and I think it is one more people should read. Plus, in an election season, it may be a relevant one as well.
( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
Interesting expose of the way various descendants of the pawnshop, such as payday advance, check cashing, prepay credit cards etc. developed and how little has been done to actually control or limit them. Also, how subprime mortgage and home equity businesses developed and what's driving them to continue. Gets a little repetitive and focuses a little too much on personalities for my taste, but definitely worth browsing through. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
This is a great recent history on financial gains made from the impoverished, from payday lending, tax preparation to subprime mortgage and credit lending. It details the consequences of instant financial gratification and reveals some of the motivation behind why a consumer would subject themselves to such consequences. Regardless of the reader's income level, this book will make the reader a more aware consumer. The overall lesson, from the consumer's perspective: the majority of lenders are not on the side of the consumer. ( )
  Sovranty | Mar 17, 2014 |
A long hard look at predatory lending, it's strategies, consequences and the people that fight it. Checking cashing, pay day loans, subprime morgages, refund anticipation loans, pawnshop loans, rent to own-- it is staggering the number of ways persons of few scruples have found to extract large profits in exchange for dodgy if not downright poisonous "financial services". Rivlin's focus is on the personal consequences and actions at play and, as a book constructed primarily from interviews, he has a lot to draw from the victims, former employees, lobbyists, activists, and yes, the men that run these businesses. It's a dark story-- engrossing and edifying.

My only complaint is that Rivlin seems compelled to put a black or white hat on everyone he talks to playing up their likability or contemtability with entirely irrelevant tidbits about their appearance or bearing. It really hate it when writers do that. Just let actions speak for themselves, don't condescend to pull transparent tricks on the reader. ( )
  fundevogel | Jan 24, 2014 |
A brief history of the business of poverty; who makes money, how it is made, and what the effects of that business are on individuals, businesses, communities, and government. If you've ever wondered who uses the (now ubiquitous) payday loan outlets, why anyone would sign a bad loan agreement, and why regulating predatory lending is so difficult, this book will answer those questions and more. ( )
1 vota BruceCoulson | Dec 30, 2013 |
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"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness.

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

--Wilkins Micawber, in David Copperfield, by Charles Dicken
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And in honor of two extraordinary people
who passed away during the writing of this book,

Sandra Rothbart Cohen
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Daniel Sheafe Walker
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"A unique and riveting exploration of one of America's largest and fastest-growing industries--the business of poverty"--Provided by publisher.

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