AuthorLueders, Bill

Much of this issue of The Progressive, focused on poverty, was written, edited, and even already laid out on pages as the rapid advance of COVID-19 forced dramatic changes in American life. We made what tweaks we could and replaced a few offerings, but the package is mostly the same and, we think, more relevant and vital than ever.

That's because, in the weeks and months ahead, the working poor will be among the pandemics primary targets as they continue to provide essential services. The people on the frontlines of this public health crisis--the ones who can't simply stay home and wait it out--are low-wage workers in what are now high-risk professions: health care providers and nursing home staff, grocery store clerks, child-care providers, drug store employees, bus drivers and truckers, gig economy workers, and home health care attendants (see Mike Ervin's column).

That many of the low-wage workers we are relying on during this crisis are also subject to non-compete agreements, as Sharon Johnson describes in her article in this issue, is a travesty--and so is the fact that many states have laws barring communities from raising the minimum wage, the subject of Bryce Covert's article.

As the poverty scholar Frances Fox Piven explores in this issue, we still treat poverty like a personal failing, and the poor as being somehow responsible for their own predicament. That has to change, now that many Americans are facing an economic crisis through no fault of their own.

We are proud to present two of the nation's leading voices for the poor, Piven and the Reverend William J. Barber II, who writes our lead "Comment" on the moral crisis of poverty in America. Also in this issue: Wilson Sherwin on the need for militancy among anti-poverty activists; Rebecca Nathanson on how San Francisco is helping the poor escape crushing fees and fines; Emily Whitnall on efforts to curb homelessness in Missoula, Montana; Amy Littlefield on the need for a broader vision of reproductive justice; Mike Kuhlenbeck on a funeral industry that is now...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT