with Gene Krebs

Phil DeVol: How do we get people from the left and right into this? One of the things that we look at in the different aha! Process books is the four causes of poverty. It’s not just two.

Of those four causes, there’s one that conservatives pay attention to, which is individual choice, behavior, circumstances, and responsibility. And then the one that the liberals look for and their think tanks are creating, is the socioeconomic, political structures that lead poverty.

Those turn into the “either/or” debates of today. Those are the narratives that we hear all the time, and that’s how they pass policy. And what we’re saying is that it’s not either/or. It’s actually true that poverty is caused by the individuals and their circumstances, and poverty is caused by political and economic structures.

So we come at it from “both/and.” And we honor the research on both sides.

We also discovered that there are causes of poverty that have to do with where you live. And poverty is different in every city, county, state, and some places upward mobility is easier than others. Poverty in the small counties in northeastern Colorado? it’s going to be harder to get out of poverty there than it is in some place like Columbus, Ohio, or one of the Eastern cities, where the resources are all around, and so are opportunities. So where you live matters.

And then the fourth category is: How much exploitation are people in poverty facing?

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