Found in 5 comments on Hacker News
barry-cotter · 2020-02-11 · Original thread
If you're going to read the story of someone determined to prove you can't get ahead in the US you should also read that of someone determined to show you can.

Scratch Beginnings

> I am going to start almost literally from scratch with one 8′ by 10′ tarp, a sleeping bag, an empty gym bag, $25, and the clothes on my back. Via train, I will be dropped at a random place somewhere in the southeastern United States that is not in my home state of North Carolina. I have 365 days to become free of the realities of homelessness and become a “regular” member of society. After one year, for my project to be considered successful, I have to possess an operable automobile, live in a furnished apartment…, have $2500 in cash, and, most importantly, I have to be in a position in which I can continue to improve my circumstances by either going to school or starting my own business.

yummyfajitas · 2016-08-29 · Original thread
Does a poor man on the street, with no shower, no transportation, no cell phone, and barely enough money in his pocket to eat, really have the ability to seek work?

Yes. Hundreds of thousands of people manage to do this even with the additional hindrances of no tengo permiso de trabajo and no hablo Ingles. But I'm sure that those illegal Mexicans are suffering from privilege, unlike the white man born into a country where welfare benefits usually exceed the mean GDP/Capita of Mexico.

The book Scratch Beginnings is well worth a read:

I'm not even sure what you're suggesting though. It sounds like you're suggesting that we should continue shaming poor people as an effective means to prevent poverty. You don't think absolute desperation and lack of safety, security, health, and food, is enough of a motivation?

Apparently not.

You think shaming works?

No, I think ignoring the cause of the problem is not a road to a solution.

Maybe a basic income system is necessary for our society to function in the future. There are a lot of indications that this is the case.

I have yet to see even a back of the envelope calculation suggesting these benefits will occur.

yummyfajitas · 2016-04-11 · Original thread
And Scratch Beginning by Adam Shepard is a good illustration of how a hard working person can work his way from homeless to middle class in under a year.

There are apparently good choices and bad - Erenreich illustrates how making the bad choices keeps you poor, while Shepard illustrates how making the good choices can you out of poverty.

mtmail · 2016-02-10 · Original thread
In the author leaves everything behind and builds everything up again. There's no riches though (unless his book sold really well).
stephenbez · 2014-11-05 · Original thread
Someone did this experiment and wrote a book about it:

Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream

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