May 2, 2014
Why America’s Essentials Are Getting More Expensive While Its Toys Are Getting Cheap

The past decade in prices—and the story it tells about poverty and America.
Read more.[Image: Reuters]

Why America’s Essentials Are Getting More Expensive While Its Toys Are Getting Cheap

The past decade in prices—and the story it tells about poverty and America.

Read more.[Image: Reuters]

May 1, 2014
Paul Ryan Can Fight for His Budget or Fight Poverty—but Not Both

Even if the Republican is sincere in his outreach to the poor, his spending plan would hurt the neediest Americans by cutting the programs on which they rely.
Read more. [Image: Yuri Gripas/Reuters]

Paul Ryan Can Fight for His Budget or Fight Poverty—but Not Both

Even if the Republican is sincere in his outreach to the poor, his spending plan would hurt the neediest Americans by cutting the programs on which they rely.

Read more. [Image: Yuri Gripas/Reuters]

April 16, 2014
What the Left and Right Both Get Wrong About the Moynihan Report

The 1965 document is a touchstone in the debate over black culture and the War on Poverty. The author’s call for full employment and a welfare state, however, is mostly forgotten.
Read more. [Image: Library of Congress]

What the Left and Right Both Get Wrong About the Moynihan Report

The 1965 document is a touchstone in the debate over black culture and the War on Poverty. The author’s call for full employment and a welfare state, however, is mostly forgotten.

Read more. [Image: Library of Congress]

April 11, 2014
Reproductive Math in the Slums

Ten kids, a baby, and a plywood shack in Brazil.
Read more. [Image: Olga Khazan]

Reproductive Math in the Slums

Ten kids, a baby, and a plywood shack in Brazil.

Read more. [Image: Olga Khazan]

March 31, 2014
"The notion that black America’s long bloody journey was accomplished through frequent alliance with the United States is an assailant’s-eye view of history. It takes no note of the fact that in 1860, most of this country’s exports were derived from the forced labor of the people it was “allied” with. It takes no note of this country electing senators who, on the Senate floor, openly advocated domestic terrorism. It takes no note of what it means for a country to tolerate the majority of the people living in a state like Mississippi being denied the right to vote. It takes no note of what it means to exclude black people from the housing programs, from the GI Bills, that built the American middle class. Effectively it takes no serious note of African-American history, and thus no serious note of American history."

Ta-Nehisi Coates, on why black culture and the culture of poverty are not same thing.

March 24, 2014
The U.S. Cities Where the Poor Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else

(Source: thisiscitylab)

January 29, 2014
What Comes After the Greatest Anti-Poverty Campaign in History?

The world’s next development agenda must include rich countries—not just poor ones.
Read more. [Image: Carlos Jasso/Reuters]

What Comes After the Greatest Anti-Poverty Campaign in History?

The world’s next development agenda must include rich countries—not just poor ones.

Read more. [Image: Carlos Jasso/Reuters]

January 29, 2014
How Much Difference Can Obama Really Make on the Economy?

After five years of bitter partisan combat, President Obama warned Congress Tuesday that he will move forward on his economic agenda with or without their help, threatening to make an end run around legislative gridlock through a series of new executive actions designed to lay the groundwork for liberals’ newly declared war on income inequality. 
Although he didn’t mention them by name in last night’s State of the Union address, one of the president’s more ambitious ideas to address economic instability is a plan to create “Promise Zones” in low-income communities, where the government would target federal investment to reduce poverty in select neighborhoods.
Obama actually introduced the initiative in last year’s State of the Union address, but earlier this month, he finally got around to selecting the first five zones—in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The plan, he said, is to expand the program to 20 neighborhoods by the end of his second term. “Your country will help you remake your community on behalf of your kids,” he told a White House audience on January 9. “Not with a handout, but as partners with them every step of the way.”
Read more. [Image: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

How Much Difference Can Obama Really Make on the Economy?

After five years of bitter partisan combat, President Obama warned Congress Tuesday that he will move forward on his economic agenda with or without their help, threatening to make an end run around legislative gridlock through a series of new executive actions designed to lay the groundwork for liberals’ newly declared war on income inequality. 

Although he didn’t mention them by name in last night’s State of the Union address, one of the president’s more ambitious ideas to address economic instability is a plan to create “Promise Zones” in low-income communities, where the government would target federal investment to reduce poverty in select neighborhoods.

Obama actually introduced the initiative in last year’s State of the Union address, but earlier this month, he finally got around to selecting the first five zones—in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The plan, he said, is to expand the program to 20 neighborhoods by the end of his second term. “Your country will help you remake your community on behalf of your kids,” he told a White House audience on January 9. “Not with a handout, but as partners with them every step of the way.”

Read more. [Image: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

January 16, 2014
The Danger of Telling Poor Kids That College Is the Key to Social Mobility

Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power.
Read more. [Image: Matt Rourke/AP Images]

The Danger of Telling Poor Kids That College Is the Key to Social Mobility

Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power.

Read more. [Image: Matt Rourke/AP Images]

January 15, 2014
Can Uncle Sam Sell Marriage to Americans?

Republicans have rediscovered the problem of poverty, and the party’s stars in Congress and the press have an idea for combating it: More marriages. 

"The truth is, the greatest tool to lift children and families from poverty is one that decreases the probability of child poverty by 82 percent," Sen. Marco Rubio said in a speech last week. “But it isn’t a government spending program. It’s called marriage.” 

In The Wall Street Journal, former George W. Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer concurred. “‘Marriage inequality’ should be at the center of any discussion of why some Americans prosper and others don’t,” he wrote, before suggesting the government would better off pushing matrimony than bulking up the safety net.

It is true that Americans who get married and stay married are unlikely to end up poor. As Derek Thompson noted last week, just 6.2 percent of wedded couples live below the official poverty line, compared to 31 percent of single mothers. Spouses share the costs of raising children and keeping a home, so it’s easier for them stay financially afloat.  
But does that make marriage a great anti-poverty tool, on its own?
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Can Uncle Sam Sell Marriage to Americans?

Republicans have rediscovered the problem of poverty, and the party’s stars in Congress and the press have an idea for combating it: More marriages. 

"The truth is, the greatest tool to lift children and families from poverty is one that decreases the probability of child poverty by 82 percent," Sen. Marco Rubio said in a speech last week. “But it isn’t a government spending program. It’s called marriage.” 

In The Wall Street Journalformer George W. Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer concurred. “‘Marriage inequality’ should be at the center of any discussion of why some Americans prosper and others don’t,” he wrote, before suggesting the government would better off pushing matrimony than bulking up the safety net.

It is true that Americans who get married and stay married are unlikely to end up poor. As Derek Thompson noted last week, just 6.2 percent of wedded couples live below the official poverty line, compared to 31 percent of single mothers. Spouses share the costs of raising children and keeping a home, so it’s easier for them stay financially afloat.  

But does that make marriage a great anti-poverty tool, on its own?

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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