Given that we have had historic increases in inequality, as well as stagnant poverty levels for several decades, I will tell the story of poverty and inequality in the U.S. from the perspective of the metrics of happiness and well-being. My research—and the book that resulted—found that inequality is part of this story, but not the only part. The story was much more complicated than I anticipated. One of the most interesting parts of the story includes different levels of hope and resilience across races and places. Poverty and inequality play a big role, but there is much more to it.

Document Type

Policy Brief






Reports Series


The Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture on Health Policy, sponsored by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University and the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., honors the memory of Herbert Lourie, MD, a distinguished Syracuse neurosurgeon, professor, and community leader for nearly 30 years. Generous contributions from his family, friends and colleagues, and former patients have endowed this series.


Economics | Finance and Financial Management | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Health | Sociology | Urban Studies and Planning

Additional Information

Policy brief no. 53


Local input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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