The reasons for this blame-the-victim mentality are no doubt varied, but among them one must surely acknowledge that American culture has become obsessed with the rich. Tabloids hound celebrity debutantes and teenyboppers as they shop for clothes on Rodeo Drive or Park Avenue. Radio commentators wonder whether a millionaire baseball player will take a competing team's offer or show loyalty to his fans by staying. Some of the most popular websites on the Internet are gossip blogs that closely track the love life of leading actors, the wives they left, and the girlfriends they're currently courting. MTV has a new show solely devoted to spoiled teenagers throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars on their "sweet sixteen" parties. (And, Lord help me, why do I even know about this?)Read Lalami's "Fiction in the Age of Poverty."
Image: Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother.