What Malcom Gladwell Gets Wrong About Poverty

What Malcom Gladwell Gets Wrong About Poverty

In discussing the Hurricane Katrina victims who left New Orleans, Malcom Gladwell ignores a major factor contributing to modern U.S. poverty.

Malcom Gladwell’s latest New Yorker piece considers the Hurricane Katrina victims who left New Orleans and what their experiences can teach us about poverty. The reasons people remain stuck in poverty are complex, interconnected, and range from the environmental to the systemic to the personal. Gladwell’s interest in Katrina victims is that the storm created a “natural experiment” that allows us to try to untangle that causal web.

By no choice of their own, thousands of poor New Orleans residents […]