Summary of Poverty Isn’t a Lack of Character; It’s a Lack of Cash

Looking for the video?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Poverty Isn’t a Lack of Character; It’s a Lack of Cash summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Controversial


Historian Rutger Bregman makes a stirring argument for a guaranteed basic income – a seemingly radical idea rooted in history. Bregman traces its ideological origins back hundreds of years and presents evidence of a quietly successful 1970s socioeconomic experiment. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends this intriguing, at times oversimplified, addition to the conversation about how to address poverty.

About the Speaker

Historian Rutger Bregman is the author of Utopia for Realists.



Data show that the poor tend to make bad health and financial decisions. Thus, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher interpreted poverty as a “personality defect.” Yet the belief that impoverished people are flawed is wrong. A psychological study of sugarcane farmers in India explains why. These farmers collect about 60% of their yearly income in one postharvest paycheck, instantly transforming them from poor to relatively affluent. IQ tests before and after the payday showed that while they were poor, they had significantly lower IQs, comparable to the effects of ...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Let’s Create the Third Wave of Poverty Reduction
Meet the Leader with Jack Ma
The New Feudalism

Related Channels

Comment on this summary