By Larry James on October 31, 2008
Common wisdom says that folks in this country can work hard, keep their noses clean and sooner or later they will "make it" through their sheer effort alone. While this assessment works out occasionally, it is not the prevailing reality for millions of poor people who understand generational poverty.
People who will protest my judgment here simply don't understand all of the forces that conspire against the urban poor. The factors that work counter to breakthroughs for low-income Americans are legion. Some relate to public policy, be it educational opportunities, enhanced skills training, health care, decent and affordable housing, access to higher education... the list goes on and on.