“Desmond’s 2017 book Evicted, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, examined the nation’s affordable housing crisis through the lens of those losing their homes. His new book, Poverty, by America, studies various factors that contribute to economic inequality in the U.S., including housing segregation, predatory lending, the decline of unions and tax policies that favor the wealthy. Desmond says that affluent Americans, including many with progressive political views, benefit from corporate and government policies that keep people poor.
“‘Most government aid goes to families that need it the least,’ Desmond says. ‘If you add up the amount that the government is dedicating to tax breaks — mortgage interest deduction, wealth transfer tax breaks, tax breaks we get on our retirement accounts, our health insurance, our college savings accounts — you learn that we are doing so much more to subsidize affluence than to alleviate poverty.'”