"If you and everyone around you are desperately poor, maybe it's perfectly rational to think that an extra dollar or two won't make much of a difference in reducing your misery. Or that you won't be able to 'study' your way out of the ghetto. Or that if you find a $100 bill on the street, maybe it's logical to blow it on one great night on the town rather than portion it out a dollar a day for 100 days."
Steven Pearlstein concludes by writing, "Maybe it's time for liberals to regain the upper hand in the debate by arguing that the vicious cycle that needs to be broken isn't one of dependence but one of declining expectations."
Okay, so what's the answer, then, folks?