Read Take the Quiz: Could You Manage as a Poor American? (New York Times)
See whether you make the kinds of mistakes that can cost poor families food or health insurance.
This is some horrid evidence. 

From a web development perspective, I love the way the mail in this article moves as you scroll. It adds to the overall effect of the story here.

Originally bookmarked on January 29, 2020 at 06:39AM


Debates about how to structure these programs have long been influenced by a related economic assumption: The more people really need a benefit, the more effort they’ll put into getting it. “For decades, economists had this view that burdens could quote-‘help’ separate out those that are what one calls truly disadvantaged versus those who might be more marginally needy,” said Hilary Hoynes, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley. “Our current research suggests it could be exactly the opposite.” These burdens, she suggested, may instead be tripping up the worst off: hourly workers who can’t shuffle their schedules for a meeting; parents dealing with domestic violence, disabilities or low literacy; families without bank accounts to automate monthly payments; households already facing unpaid bills and late notices when another urgent letter arrives in the mail.

Annotated on February 04, 2020 at 11:12AM


It can be easier to apply for farm subsidies than it is to get SNAP benefits, said Joel Berg, a former official with the Department of Agriculture, the agency that administers both programs.

Annotated on February 04, 2020 at 11:14AM


👓 Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars | the Guardian

Read Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars by Alastair Gee (the Guardian)
Adjunct professors in America face low pay and long hours without the security of full-time faculty. Some, on the brink of homelessness, take desperate measures

👓 Teachers Are Moonlighting As Instagram Influencers To Make Ends Meet | BuzzFeed

Read Meet The “Teacher Instagrammers” Who Moonlight As Influencers To Make Ends Meet (BuzzFeed News)
One teacher in Texas told BuzzFeed News she makes a $50,000 a year, but made over $200,000 in a year through Instagram.

👓 ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans | Washington Post

Read ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans (Washington Post)
As treasury secretary, Tim Geithner criticized predatory lenders. Now the private equity firm he leads runs a company that mails high-rate loans to risky customers.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Racism’s Punishing Reach | The New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Racism’s Punishing Reach by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
For decades, Americans have believed that the best way to end racial inequality is to end class inequality. But a landmark 30-year study is debunking that logic.



On today’s episode:
• Emily Badger writes about cities and urban policy for The Upshot, The New York Times’s data-driven venture.
• William O. Jawando worked in the Obama administration on My Brother’s Keeper, a mentoring initiative for black boys.

Background reading:
• Extensive data shows the punishing reach of racism for black boys.
Is there no humanity left in the world? The more I see and hear of the world, the more I want to remove the positive connotation that the word humanity is frequently assigned.

This story is both very powerful and painfully depressing for me, and yet I know there are many that are still far worse. I hope we can find something in these statistics that can help drastically improve the paying field.