Summary of How the Poor Can Save Capitalism

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How the Poor Can Save Capitalism book summary
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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Inspiring


In this engaging study, entrepreneur and activist John Hope Bryant prescribes something of a New Deal for America’s poor and working class. Bryant – a self-made businessman and founder of the nonprofit Operation HOPE – doesn’t dwell on the data of America’s growing inequality. He focuses instead on opportunities and solutions. If disenfranchised people started businesses, he argues, the US economy would spark to life in new ways. getAbstract recommends this powerful guide to policy makers, activists, NGO leaders and entrepreneurs seeking a new, workable approach to income inequality.

About the Author

Entrepreneur, author, self-made business success and former adviser to President Barack Obama, John Hope Bryant is founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE.



An Unequal Economy

Many problems plague the US economy: inequality, a lack of upward mobility, and the decline of the American dream for the working and middle classes. Politicians and business leaders who ignore people on the bottom of the income distribution scale make a serious miscalculation. Consumer spending drives the US economy. The top 1% of American earners spends nearly half its income on consumption; the bottom 80% of earners spends 90%. They have no choice but to devote their incomes to living expenses. Lifting the lower-class tide would raise all boats.

Walmart is the world’s largest merchant because the working class controls vast buying power. The poor view themselves as victims, and that can lead to passive acceptance of their plight and pessimism about their opportunities. For many, poverty is a permanent mind-set. As economic insecurity spreads into the American middle class, a feeling of helplessness spreads as well.

Financial Literacy

Author and activist John Hope Bryant grew up in South Central Los Angeles and in Compton, California, poor communities that were disconnected from the mainstream economy. One day, a white banker ...

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    V. M. 2 years ago
    Who wants to work and earn the one who does it does not want that one looks for reasons. We must find our niche in the labor market and opportunities
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    T. D. 2 years ago
    Interesting article, lack of knowledge by negro Americans keeps them held back. How government allows people to inundate low income areas with check cashing, liquor stores and rent -to-own. You never see them in other neighborhoods only in impoverished neighborhoods.
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    J. O. 2 years ago
    This sums it up: “Call it Misery Row: those predatory check cashers next to rent-to-own stores next to payday lenders next to liquor stores.”