What Mrs. Esh characterized as “the culture of poverty” is actually “the culture of immorality,” in my opinion. I have been blessed to serve those in poverty for more than 20 years in several venues: pastoral ministry, social services, mental health counseling. Here is what I have found consistently: there are those in poverty who are making a good faith effort to be productive citizens across all life domains (including valuing education for their children/grandchildren); and there are those who are parasitical, predatory and exploitative. It is regrettable that Ms. Esh unwittingly (I hope) cast a false light over those in poverty making good faith efforts, implying that all in poverty are: parasitical, predatory and exploitative.
By the way, parasitical, predatory and exploitative folks can be found in abundance also in the middle and upper economic classes. Remember: it wasn’t the poor folks who brought about the mortgage meltdown debacle, but parasites and predators wearing $1,000 suits on Wall Street and in the halls of Congress and the White House who exploited and are still exploiting people of all economic strata who earn their money the old-fashioned way by working for it.