Against the Grain

How Corporations and the State Dispossess the Rural Poor

We think of public utilities operating for the public good — it’s right there in the name. But most public utilities are investor-owned and, like corporations as a whole in this country, have enormous power to dispossess poor people through government-backed mechanisms like eminent domain. Sociologist Loka Ashwood discusses how such dispossession, along with state-sanctioned corporate tax breaks and limits on corporate liability, lead poor rural people to distrust the government.


Loka Ashwood, For-Profit Democracy: Why the Government Is Losing the Trust of Rural America Yale University Press, 2018

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