$2.00 a Day author stunned by United Way poverty study

In 2015, Houghton Mifflin published a groundbreaking expose of poverty in America by authors Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. $2.00 a Day revealed more than 1.5 million American households — including about 3 million children — live on less than two dollars of cash income every day.

Edin, the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology at the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, was stunned to learn more than 40 percent of individuals in Louisiana can't afford the basic necessities of life.

"Those numbers are stunning," Edin said. "If 40 percent can't make ends meet, we have a serious problem as a nation."