Heilbroner, Robert

Although known for his best-selling history of economics, The Worldly Philosophers, Robert Heilbroner wrote frequently about poverty in affluent America and about the intractable poverty in less-developed countries. He saw poverty firsthand, growing up in New York City, and encountered this problem in the work of worldly philosopher Thomas Malthus, who held that wages would tend to fall to a level that was barely enough for workers to survive. Heilbroner sought to understand the causes and possible solutions to the problem. Galbraith’s The Affluent Society and Harrington’s The Other America are generally credited with bringing the problem of poverty to public attention in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Much earlier, in 1950, Heilbroner described the problem of poverty in America in similar ways, ...

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