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Of course it’s nice that Harvard takes notice but this “theory” is neither revolutionary nor new. At least not to anyone who is poor or has known someone poor…

Margaret’s “What choices did I have?” monologue in David Lindsay-Abaire’s play Good People is one of the best-crafted summaries of the roles context and scarcity play in poverty. Here, Margaret is explaining how she lost her job:

Shit happened, that made me late! […] One time I got my car taken. Why’d I lose the car? Because I missed a payment. Why’d I miss a payment? Because I had to pay for a dentist instead? Why’d I have to pay the dentist? Because I didn’t have insurance, and I cracked a tooth and ignored it for six months, until an abscess formed. Why’d I crack a tooth? Because one night I thought I’d save a little money, and skip dinner! But I got hungry and decided to snack on a piece of candy brittle. And that’s all it took — a piece of fucking candy brittle, and I was out of a job again.

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