The Poverty Trap (Fattigfällan)

Charlotta von Zweigbergk


Rights sold


We Swedes believe that there is always a safety net to fall back on when needed. Our socialistic society with its insurance policies and foremost our social security system are the ones making sure no one gets evicted or needs to starve. But the truth is that more and more people are falling through the security net, and on so many places the social services fail to meet the demand and the growing number of poor people in Sweden meets a system with aspiration towards them and a system that controls them, rather that offering help.


Beata has a proper education, a nice apartment and has raised four children without ever being late with a single payment. Sure, she has never been wealthy, but she became somewhat of an expert at managing with what she has, she never turned down a job and was never afraid to roll up her sleeves when needed. How could she - who was always so competent - become one of the people in line at the Salvation Army's food stand? Someone who takes expensive SMS loans and pawns her jewelry to not end up getting evicted by the end of the month. The only single mistake she made was being a victim of a long-term illness.



In the Poverty Trap we get to follow Beata on her struggles when facing the social services and her quest for a moment of comfort and her efforts of finding the strengths to become well again before it's too late. Beata is a fictitious example of what happens to all those people who have suffered when the accident occurs, but the book is based on real events.




255 pages




”It is so well written and important that it should be one of the fundamental books for all economics students” Dagens Nyheter
”The Poverty Trap is a book that could become political dynamite if someone ever brings it up in a discussion, if anyone were to take the human beings seriously that are treated in the story – they would realize that it could be either one of us sooner or later” Åsa Linderborg, Aftonbladet


”One of the most important books of the year” Gotlands Tidningar