poverty CamdenEmpty homes in Camden, New Jersey, October 11, 2012. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Camden is the most impoverished city in the U.S. with nearly 32,000 of residents living below the poverty line(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Getty)

John Hope Bryant, founder of the nonprofit Operation HOPE, says business and political leaders are ignoring the one force that could truly re-energize the stalled American economy: the poor. After decades of deprivation, poor Americans lack bank accounts, decent credit scores, and any real firsthand experience of how a healthy free enterprise system functions. In How the Poor Can Save Capitalism, he argues that if we give poor communities the right tools, policies, and inspiration, they’ll be able to lift themselves up into the middle class and become a new generation of customers and entrepreneurs. 


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