assets and the poor new american welfare policy

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Assets And The Poor

Author : Michael Sherraden
ISBN : 9781315288352
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 21 MB
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This work proposes a new approach to welfare: a social policy that goes beyond simple income maintenance to foster individual initiative and self-sufficiency. It argues for an asset-based policy that would create a system of saving incentives through individual development accounts (IDAs) for specific purposes, such as college education, homeownership, self-employment and retirement security. In this way, low-income Americans could gain the same opportunities that middle- and upper-income citizens have to plan ahead, set aside savings and invest in a more secure future.

Can The Poor Save

Author : Michael Sherraden
ISBN : 9781351530224
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 90. 29 MB
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Many policymakers argue that the best poverty policy not only provides cash to the poor for subsistence but also incentives and structures that encourage long-term social and economic improvement. As part of this, they make the case for Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a new policy proposal designed to help the poor save and to build assets. This book explores IDAs to determine their effectiveness. IDAs are matched savings accounts targeted on low-income, low-wealth individuals. Savings in IDAs are used for home ownership, post-secondary education, small business development, and other purposes. Do IDAs work? If they do, for whom? And does how an IDA is designed determine savings outcomes? This volume is the first analysis of matched savings by the poor to use data from monthly bank statements. It comes at a critical time, as debate rages over the merits of individual social security accounts. IDAs also respond to policy that is becoming more asset based and less inclusive of the poor. The authors argue for the efficacy of IDAs to counter this tendency. They find that while savings outcomes vary among participants, no characteristics (such as low income or public assistance) preclude saving. They examine effects of IDA design (the match rate, savings targets, and the use of automatic transfer) on savings results and analyze factors that influence varying rates of saving and spending over time. They conclude that financial education and other support services, though costly, improve savings performance. To address the issue of cost they suggest a two-tier system of IDA design, one with broad access and simple services and the other with targeted access and intensive services. Can the Poor Save? offers a wealth of lessons to those interested in saving and asset accumulation among the poor. It not only breaks new ground in the scientific study of savings behavior, but also offers concrete, evidence-based recommendations to improve policies designed to encourage the poor to save and how to make such policies more inclusive.

Assets For The Poor

Author : Thomas M. Shapiro
ISBN : 9781610444958
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75. 31 MB
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Over the past three decades, average household wealth in the United States has declined among all but the richest families, with a near 80 percent drop among the nation's poorest families. Although the national debate about inequality has focused on income, it is wealth—the private assets amassed and passed on within families—that provides the extra economic cushion needed to move beyond mere day-to-day survival. Assets for the Poor is the first full-scale investigation into the importance of family wealth and the need for policies to encourage asset-building among the poor. Assets for the Poor shows how institutional mechanisms designed to encourage acquisition of capital and property favor middle-class and high-income families. For example, the aggregate value of home mortgage tax deductions far outweighs the dollar amount of the subsidies provided by Section 8 rental vouchers and public housing. Banking definitions of creditworthiness largely exclude minorities, and welfare rules have made it nearly impossible for single mothers to accumulate savings, let alone stocks or real estate. Due to persistent residential segregation, even those minority families who do own homes are often denied equal access to better schools and public services. The research in this volume shows that the poor do make use of the assets they have. Cash gifts—although small in size—are frequent within families and often lead to such positive results as homebuying and debt reduction, while tangible assets such as tools and cars help increase employment prospects. Assets for the Poor examines policies such as Individual Development Account tax subsidies to reward financial savings among the poor, and more liberal credit rules to make borrowing easier and less costly. The contributors also offer thoughtful advice for bringing the poor into mainstream savings institutions and warn against developing asset building policies at the expense of existing safety net programs. Asset-building for low-income families is a powerful idea that offers hope to families searching for a way out of poverty. Assets for the Poor challenges current thinking regarding poverty reduction policies and proposes a major shift in the way we think about families and how they make a better life. A Volume in the Ford Foundation Series on Asset Building

Financial Education And Capability

Author : Julie Birkenmaier
ISBN : 9780199755950
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49. 44 MB
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This book introduces the concept of financial capability and assembles the latest evidence from ground-breaking innovations with financially vulnerable families, and links it to education, policy, and practice. It is a key resource for those interested in improving financial education and financial products and services for low-income families.

A Poverty Of Imagination

Author : David Stoesz
ISBN : 0299169545
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 56. 84 MB
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Tracing the roots of recent US reforms to the early days of the war on poverty, this work describes a social welfare system grown inept, corrupt, and susceptible to conservative redesign. It focuses on the economic barriers impeding movement out of poverty into the American mainstream.

Women And Poverty In 21st Century America

Author : Paula vW. Dáil
ISBN : 9780786488148
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 46. 95 MB
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Despite an overhaul in the 1990s, the American welfare system remains with a business model focused on the bottom line. Crafted by male-dominated legislative bodies whose members most likely never had to choose between paying the rent or feeding their kids, established policies primarily protect the popular programs that ensure politicians’ re-election. This book offers a feminist perspective on the 21st century attitude toward poverty, illustrated by the words of women forced to live every day with social policies they had no voice in developing. Topics include the struggles of daily life, crime, health care, education, employment, and a discussion of capitalism, inequality, greed, and moral obligation in a free society. In the unrestrained pursuit of wealth, this work shows that America has created a vast poverty problem, making the rich richer and forcing the poor into a forgotten class.

Social Policy And Social Justice

Author : Michael Reisch
ISBN : 9781483320755
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 79. 59 MB
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Social Policy and Social Justice provides today's students and tomorrow's practitioners with a comprehensive overview of U.S. social policy and the policymaking process. Author and editor Michael Reisch brings together experts in the field to help students understand these policies and prepare them for the emerging realities that will shape practice in the 21st century. This text explores the critical contextual components of social policy—including history, ideology, political-economy, and culture—and demonstrates major substantive areas of policy such as income maintenance and health/mental health.

Changing Poverty Changing Policies

Author : Maria Cancian
ISBN : 9781610445986
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 31. 5 MB
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Poverty declined significantly in the decade after Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 declaration of “War on Poverty.” Dramatically increased federal funding for education and training programs, social security benefits, other income support programs, and a growing economy reduced poverty and raised expectations that income poverty could be eliminated within a generation. Yet the official poverty rate has never fallen below its 1973 level and remains higher than the rates in many other advanced economies. In this book, editors Maria Cancian and Sheldon Danziger and leading poverty researchers assess why the War on Poverty was not won and analyze the most promising strategies to reduce poverty in the twenty-first century economy. Changing Poverty, Changing Policies documents how economic, social, demographic, and public policy changes since the early 1970s have altered who is poor and where antipoverty initiatives have kept pace or fallen behind. Part I shows that little progress has been made in reducing poverty, except among the elderly, in the last three decades. The chapters examine how changing labor market opportunities for less-educated workers have increased their risk of poverty (Rebecca Blank), and how family structure changes (Maria Cancian and Deborah Reed) and immigration have affected poverty (Steven Raphael and Eugene Smolensky). Part II assesses the ways childhood poverty influences adult outcomes. Markus Jäntti finds that poor American children are more likely to be poor adults than are children in many other industrialized countries. Part III focuses on current antipoverty policies and possible alternatives. Jane Waldfogel demonstrates that policies in other countries—such as sick leave, subsidized child care, and schedule flexibility—help low-wage parents better balance work and family responsibilities. Part IV considers how rethinking and redefining poverty might take antipoverty policies in new directions. Mary Jo Bane assesses the politics of poverty since the 1996 welfare reform act. Robert Haveman argues that income-based poverty measures should be expanded, as they have been in Europe, to include social exclusion and multiple dimensions of material hardships. Changing Poverty, Changing Policies shows that thoughtful policy reforms can reduce poverty and promote opportunities for poor workers and their families. The authors’ focus on pragmatic measures that have real possibilities of being implemented in the United States not only provides vital knowledge about what works but real hope for change.

Child Poverty And Inequality

Author : Duncan Lindsey
ISBN : 0199719373
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56. 48 MB
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One of the United States great promises is that all children will be given the opportunity to work to achieve a comfortable standard of living. That promise has faded profoundly for children who grow up in poverty, particularly black and Hispanic children, and many of the deepening fault lines in the social order are traceable to this disparity. In recent years the promise has also begun to fade for children of the middle class. Education and hard work, once steady paths to economic success, no longer lead as far as they once did. But that doesn't have to be the case, as Duncan Lindsey shows in this articulate, impassioned volume. We can provide true opportunity to all children, insuring them against a lifetime of inequality, and when we do, the walls dividing the country by race, ethnicity, and wealth will begin to crumble. Long a voice for combating child poverty, Lindsey takes a balanced approach that begins with a history of economic and family policy from the Great Depression and the development of Social Security and moves onward. He details the shocking extent of economic inequality in the U.S., pointing out that this wealthiest of countries also has the largest proportion of children living in poverty. Calling for reform, Lindsey proposes several viable universal income security policies for vulnerable children and families, strategies that have worked in other advanced democracies and also respect the importance of the market economy. They aim not just to reduce child poverty, but also to give all children meaningful economic opportunity. Just as Social Security alleviates the sting of poverty in old age, asset-building policies can insulate children from the cumulative effects of disadvantage and provide them with a strong foundation from which to soar. Politicians, pundits, and parents always say that children are the future, but as long as so many grow up poor or without opportunity, that slogan will sound hollow. Duncan Lindseys book should be read by anyone who wants to know how we can take real action to brighten the future for children and for society as a whole.

Caring For America

Author : Eileen Boris
ISBN : 9780199939053
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21. 82 MB
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In this sweeping narrative history from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the Great Recession of today, Caring for America rethinks both the history of the American welfare state from the perspective of care work and chronicles how home care workers eventually became one of the most vibrant forces in the American labor movement. Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein demonstrate the ways in which law and social policy made home care a low-waged job that was stigmatized as welfare and relegated to the bottom of the medical hierarchy. For decades, these front-line caregivers labored in the shadows of a welfare state that shaped the conditions of the occupation. Disparate, often chaotic programs for home care, which allowed needy, elderly, and disabled people to avoid institutionalization, historically paid poverty wages to the African American and immigrant women who constituted the majority of the labor force. Yet policymakers and welfare administrators linked discourses of dependence and independence-claiming that such jobs would end clients' and workers' "dependence" on the state and provide a ticket to economic independence. The history of home care illuminates the fractured evolution of the modern American welfare state since the New Deal and its race, gender, and class fissures. It reveals why there is no adequate long-term care in America. Caring for America is much more than a history of social policy, however; it is also about a powerful contemporary social movement. At the front and center of the narrative are the workers-poor women of color-who have challenged the racial, social, and economic stigmas embedded in the system. Caring for America traces the intertwined, sometimes conflicting search of care providers and receivers for dignity, self-determination, and security. It highlights the senior citizen and independent living movements; the civil rights organizing of women on welfare and domestic workers; the battles of public sector unions; and the unionization of health and service workers. It rethinks the strategies of the U.S. labor movement in terms of a growing care work economy. Finally, it makes a powerful argument that care is a basic right for all and that care work merits a living wage.

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