Magazine February 25, 2019, Issue

The Poverty Puzzle

A homeless encampment on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, Calif., May 12, 2018 (Dania Maxwell/Reuters)
The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor, by Michael D. Tanner (Cato Institute, 314 pp., $24.95)

Michael D. Tanner, a longtime poverty re­searcher for the libertarian Cato Institute and a National Review Online columnist, is rethinking some things. In the preface to his new book, he writes that some friends of his have “rais[ed] my consciousness” on certain issues. Racism and the legacy of slavery, for example, are bigger ob­stacles to success, even in a free market, than he had truly grappled with before.

In the book’s early pages he also writes that government spending on the poor isn’t totally useless. True, the official poverty rate hasn’t fallen much since the War on Poverty began — but that

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


Join Now

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Law and Disorder

Amy L. Wax reviews Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing, by Issa Kohler-Hausmann.




Readers write in to address Kevin D. WIlliamson’s essay on Antifa and Douglas Murray’s recent comments on hate crimes.
The Week

The Week

Everyone watched on television, but it was a defensive, low-scoring affair. The Super Bowl was kind of boring, too.


The Latest