Melissa Smith from MLPP on Poverty in Michigan and America

Today we talk to Melissa Smith, a senior policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy. Melissa works on poverty and social safety net issues.


This is more conversational and a little longer than our normal shows, but we just started talking and let the discussion go where it wanted.

Today we talk about:

  • One of the largest jobs in poverty work is making people aware that poverty exists
  • The narrative that people who live in poverty deserve it
  • Structure that contributes to poverty, beyond the fact that we do not properly fund anti-poverty programs
  • The focus on blame in our society
  • Poverty is a personal experience
  • Is poverty something that we do not want to acknowledge
  • Many people, including legislators, wrongly assume that America has enough ‘welfare’ programs
  • What do you have to be to “deserve” government help?
  • The role of mental illness in poverty
  • The false narrative of the welfare queen
  • How a Cadillac can ‘cost less’ than a GM mid-tier vehicle (Cadillac offers cash incentives and doesn’t raise interest rates to offset lending risk)
  • Our hypocrisy toward assets belonging to the poor
  • How to help fight the poverty narrative


Headlines, links, activism over the jump ……

Headlines & other links:

5 Minute Activism:

This week we are looking at putting together an information system. The goal is to help you keep up on the news that is of interest to you. This means finding the information, having it delivered to you in a convenient way, processing it efficiently, then acting on it as desired.

Today we have a video showing you how to use The Old Reader. This is a suggested replacement for Google Reader, which will no longer be available after July 1.

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