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Thursday, August 21, 2003

More on 'The Marriage Cure.'

The New Yorker interviews Katherine Boo about the months she spent researching the government's plan to lift people out of poverty by their wedding rings. Boo says, "Marriage is probably the most cost-efficient antipoverty instrument a society possesses." But she also observes:

It was hard not to notice that, as the government aggressively attempted to address one kind of isolation—singleness—the women’s lives were altered by other varieties, with which government was far less preoccupied. Kim struggled to find the transportation that would help her get out of the projects by way of a job. Corean struggled to find the information and resources that would help her son get out of the projects by way of a college education. Both women were energetic and imaginative in trying to solve the problems they faced. But the eight hours I spent with Kim trying to do something quite simple—take a bus to and from a shopping mall to search for a job—reminded me again that there are many things besides being single that make it blisteringly difficult to bootstrap oneself up from places like Sooner Haven.

Plus, Boo concludes the interview with a lengthy thought-experiment from John Rawls.

Update 8.22.03. Katherine Boo's 2001 New Yorker article, "After Welfare," is up on the magazine's Archive site. (Thanks, Antic Muse!)

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 21 August 2003 at 11:45 PM

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