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Merchants of Misery: How Corporate America Profits From Poverty

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1567510829
ISBN-10: 1567510825
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Common Courage Press (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567510825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567510829
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Merchants of Misery" is a damning indictment of unregulated, free-market capitalism and provides a reader with more than enough material to refute the claim that capitalism is synonymous with fredoom, as espoused by Milton Friedman disciples etcetera.
A lucid, searing and compelling analysis of America's poverty industry, "Merchants of Misery" starts off by illustrating how discriminatory banking practices disallow poor and minority coneumers to partake of their services. By refusing banking services (loans) in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, mainstream banks are creating a vacuum that is being filled by cheque-cashers, high-rate mortgage companies and other financial enterprises eager to fleece the poor.
"Merchants of Misery" provides glimpse after glimpse into the lives of real poverty-stricken people and their efforts to fight back. Fighting back by way of consumer rights attorneys, neighbourhood activists and a coalition of average citizens attacking the purveyors of this despicable industry with lawsuits, protests and alternative financial services. A powerful book.
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Format: Paperback
How much misery can one person stand in their lifetime? is it not enough to be poor in America? Must one suffer injurious harm and injury at the hands of rent-to-own centers,check-cashing stores, and pay-day lending operations? Michael Hudson catalogs not just the personal misery of those merely seeking a piece of the American dream, he skillfully exposes the corporations behind the merhcants of misery. The names of these corporate perpetrators are all-too-familiar to us--Ford, Chrysler, and NationsBank. Hudson ironically points out that these same corporations, who are unwilling to provide branch operations in the inner city, are perfectly willing to provide finance subsidiaries, check-cashing operations, rent-to-own centers, and a myriad of loan sharking operations that would make the mafia proud. Hudson points out that few states, particularly southern states, have usury laws which prevent these predators from charging anywhere from 20-1,000% for their merchandise. In one case, a TV set, which could have been purchased for $300-400 went for over $1,200 after all the payments were made to a rent-to-own center. Hudson has written an important, must-be-read book detailing yet another war on the poor--the war penalizing those who merely want a piece of the American dream--and get a piece of the American nightmare.
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By Astrid on October 3, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incredible, prescient reporting by a reporter who ascended the ranks based on determination and obsession with public service journalism. I'm grateful to Michael Hudson and to journalists like him. This couldn't have come from the Ivory Tower. Some have criticized it as "dated"-- and it is. So check out his later work. Here is the guy who reported on sub-prime mortgages before they bore the name.
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