Menu board confirming the establishment accepts Food Stamps Creative commons image Credit: Coolhunting "tapas" under CC-BY-NC-SA licence Food stamps being accepted in a Baltimore deli Another weekly slice of thought from the social sciences, brought to you by BBC Radio 4 and The Open University.

Poverty versus abundance in the US - why does America have more poor people than any other developed country? How can its great wealth fail to impact on the 46 million Americans, who, according to official figures, live below the poverty line? US sociologist, , Monica Prasad, suggests some reasons.

She talks to Laurie Taylor about her new book, 'The Land of too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty", arguing that we can't answer these questions by saying that America has always been a liberal, laissez-faire state - it hasn't.

Instead, she claims that a particular tradition of government intervention in America has undermined the development of a European-style welfare state. They're joined by Professor of Social Policy, Peter Taylor-Gooby, who provides a British perspective.

Also, stammering and identity - Dr Clare Butler discusses her interview based research into how people who stammer learn to control, conceal and rise above the stigma of having a style of speech which departs from the norm.

This edition of Thinking Allowed is first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on May 15th, 2013. You can listen again through the BBC Website.