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Wealth & Poverty Review A New American Poverty

Originally published at SC Now

There's a new American poverty, and it's spreading through every corner of our nation.

The visuals are familiar: boarded-up homes, abandoned downtowns and shuttered factories. But underneath the visible signs of economic decline, a new social and cultural order has quietly established itself in all of the forgotten cities of the American interior.

I spent five years documenting three of these communities – Youngstown, Ohio; Memphis, Tennessee; and Stockton, California – for a feature documentary called "America Lost." Fifty years ago, all three were exemplars of economic and social progress. What happened next has become conventional wisdom: the old industrial economy was automated and outsourced, the new high-growth industries were centralized in coastal megacities, and places like Youngstown, Memphis and Stockton fell into a half-century of decline.

Continue Reading at SC Now

Christopher Rufo

Former Director, Center on Wealth & Poverty
Christopher Rufo is former director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty. He has directed four documentaries for PBS, Netflix, and international television, including his latest film, America Lost, that tells the story of three "forgotten American cities.” Christopher is currently a contributing editor of City Journal, where he covers poverty, homelessness, addiction, crime, and other afflictions. Christopher is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow, and has appeared on NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS, HLN, and FOX News.