The Public Interest

Looking for jobs in all the wrong places

Marvin H. Kosters

Fall 1996

IN his new book, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor,† William Julius Wilson argues that “the disappearance of work and the consequences of that disappearance for both social and cultural life are the central problems in the inner-city ghetto.” The consequences of joblessness, he says, are “more devastating than those of high neighborhood poverty.” His analysis of this problem is commendable and not to be dismissed out of hand, but nor should it be uncritically accepted.

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