Poor Excuses examines how, after strong economic growth in the 1990s, poverty in America has been on the rise since 2000. This Reality Check traces the root of the problem back to areas of concentrated poverty that exacerbate the situation by disconnecting their residents from the job market and providing substandard schools. The authors find that the best remedy to this problem is the reversal of recent government efforts to curtail programs that assist the poor. Published in 2004, this publication was updated in May 2008.