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"Shortchanged" exposes how America's "fringe economy" - the booming industry of check cashers, payday lenders, pawnshops, and so on - that prey on the poor and middle class. This is the first book to chronicle how the fringe economy ruthlessly and systematically exploits the poor and middle classes. The number of people affected by the fringe economy is enormous - it's not just poor immigrants, but working and middle class families who are affected. The author provides both the hard facts and personal stories - has scores of shocking real-life examples. "Shortchanged" takes a hard look at the corporate vultures that prey on America's poor and middle classes. This "fringe economy" - made up of pawnshops, payday lenders, check cashers, credit card companies and the like - entices vulnerable consumers into an economic netherworld of high interest rates and ever-increasing debt. Powerful analysis is combined with moving personal stories of the mothers, fathers, and families whose lives have been put on the line for the perpetuation of this economy. Ruthless, compelling, outrageous, and often enraging, "Shortchanged" puts the spotlight on the shady side of America's economic underbelly.
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About the Author

Howard Karger is a professor of social policy at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Houston. He is a two-time Fulbright Scholar and has written nine books and more than 80 articles or book chapters in various national and international journals. His articles have also appeared in The Washington Monthly, The Jerusalem Report, Tikkun, and Ram- parts. Howard and his wife, Anna, live in Houston, Texas.


"A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the impact of predatory economic practices on the poor and credit-challenged in the United States." --Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997) "Like such classics as Nickel and Dimed, this book is a wake up call for action to redirect our economy towards fairness and ethics." --John de Graaf, coauthor of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic "Shortchanged exposes a side of American economic life that would appall even the most cynical observers. Its incisive analysis offers powerful and somber insights into the underworld of predatory finance capitalism. It is rich in detail, eloquent and steadfast in its commitment to change. It deserves to be widely read." --James Midgley, Specht Professor and Dean, School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley "If you think you know all about the credit industry and how the poor are getting ripped off, think again. Howard Karger's masterful new book shows how the poor and middle class are being conned by increasingly clever scams....This book is highly recommended to all those who care about social justice." --Steven Rose, PhD, Professor of Social Work, George Mason University "Shortchanged charts the perfect economic deregulation, predatory companies, and consumer vulnerability... It is required reading for anyone concerned about economic justice in America." --David Stoesz, Ph.D., Director, policyAmerica

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