This essay in the NYT lays out the poverty situation in America eloquently:
Low-wage jobs bedevil tens of millions of people. At the other end of the low-income spectrum we have a different problem. The safety net for single mothers and their children has developed a gaping hole over the past dozen years.
And he rightfully point to politics, not policy, as the solution:
A surefire politics of change would necessarily involve getting people in the middle — from the 30th to the 70th percentile — to see their own economic self-interest…
I have seen days of promise and days of darkness, and I’ve seen them more than once. All history is like that. The people have the power if they will use it, but they have to see that it is in their interest to do so.
Edelman speaks like a community organizer here- change is not about “empowering,” but organizing the power that already exists- which is easier said than done.