Adam D. Reich

Adam D. Reich is an assistant professor of sociology at Columbia University and author of Selling Our Souls: The Commodification of Hospital Care in the United States.

Recent Articles

The Costs of Being Poor

Two new books explore how difficult the housing market and criminal justice system make it to climb out of poverty.

(E.J. Harris/East Oregonian via AP)
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City By Matthew Desmond Crown A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as Punishment for the Poor By Alexis Harris Russell Sage Foundation This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . It is easy to think of poverty as a condition rather than as a relationship, to treat the problems of the poor as separate from and unrelated to the profits of the rich. And when analysts do explore the relational dimensions of poverty, they usually deal with the relations of the labor market. Marx saw exploitation as the process by which capitalists profit from their workers, largely ignoring the people on the margins of work whom he called the “lumpenproletariat.” Two new books take us beyond the labor market, revealing the extent to which the deep poor are subject to exploitation in other institutions—by landlords in private housing, and by state and local governments in the criminal justice...