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Assets and the Poor

Assets and the Poor Author Michael Sherraden
ISBN-10 9781315288352
Release 2016-09-16
Pages 344
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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

Can the Poor Save Author Michael Sherraden
ISBN-10 9781351530224
Release 2017-09-08
Pages 385
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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.



Asset Building and Low income Families

Asset Building and Low income Families Author Michael Wayne Sherraden
ISBN-10 0877667543
Release 2008
Pages 284
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Low-income families have scant savings to cushion a job loss or illness, and can find economic mobility impossible without funds to invest in education, homes, or businesses. And though a lack of resources leaves such families vulnerable, income-support programs are often closed to those with a bit of savings or even a car. Considering welfare-to-work reforms, the increasingly advanced skill demands of the American workforce, and our stretched Social Security system, such an approach is inadequate to lift families out of poverty. Asset-based policie, allowing or even helping low-income families build wealt, are an increasingly popular strategy to facilitate financial stability. Asset Building and Low-Income Families draws together top experts to assess this growing body of research and suggests ways to translate academic findings into policy that works.



Financial Education and Capability

Financial Education and Capability Author Julie Birkenmaier
ISBN-10 9780199755950
Release 2013-02-21
Pages 353
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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.



Assets for the Poor

Assets for the Poor Author Thomas M. Shapiro
ISBN-10 9781610444958
Release 2001-05-17
Pages 404
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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



The Assets Perspective

The Assets Perspective Author R. Cramer
ISBN-10 9781137384881
Release 2014-03-06
Pages 299
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The economy's struggles to overcome the lingering effects of the Great Recession presented unique but essential questions.The book considers a full range of data which considers how this recent experience has impacted households, providing a thorough and contemporary treatment of how the assets perspective has prompted changes within social policy.



A Poverty of Imagination

A Poverty of Imagination Author David Stoesz
ISBN-10 0299169545
Release 2000
Pages 203
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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

Women and Poverty in 21st Century America Author Paula vW. Dáil
ISBN-10 9780786488148
Release 2017-08-18
Pages 273
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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

Social Policy and Social Justice Author Michael Reisch
ISBN-10 9781483320755
Release 2013-02-21
Pages 544
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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

Changing Poverty  Changing Policies Author Maria Cancian
ISBN-10 9781610445986
Release 2009-08-27
Pages 440
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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.



Building Assets Building Credit

Building Assets  Building Credit Author Nicolas P. Retsinas
ISBN-10 0815797842
Release 2006-05-25
Pages 395
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Poor people spend their money living day to day. How can they accumulate wealth? In the United States, homeownership is often the answer. Homes not only provide shelter but also are assets, and thus a means to create equity. Mortgage credit becomes a crucial factor. More Americans than ever now have some access to credit. However. thanks in large part to the growth of global capital markets and greater use of "credit scores," not all homeowners have benefited equally from the opened spigots. Different terms and conditions mean that some applicants are overpaying for mortgage credit, while some are getting in over their heads. And the door is left wide open for predatory lenders. In this important new volume, accomplished analysts examine the situation, illustrate its ramifications, and recommend steps to improve it. Today, low-income Americans have more access to credit than ever before. The challenge is to increase the chances that homeownership becomes the new pathway to asset-building that everyone hopes it will be.



Caring for America

Caring for America Author Eileen Boris
ISBN-10 9780199939053
Release 2012-04-11
Pages 320
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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.



Welfare Reform and Beyond

Welfare Reform and Beyond Author Isabel V. Sawhill
ISBN-10 0815798822
Release 2004-05-26
Pages 228
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The Brookings Institution's Welfare Reform & Beyond Initiative was created to inform the critical policy debates surrounding the upcoming congressional reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and a number of related programs that were created or dramatically altered by the 1996 landmark welfare reform legislation. The goal of the project has been to take the large volume of existing and forthcoming research studies and shape them into a more coherent and policy-oriented whole. This capstone collection gathers twenty brief essays (published between January 2001 and February 2002) that focus on assessing the record of welfare reform, specific issues likely to be debated before the TANF reauthorization, and a broader set of policy options for low-income families. It is a reader-friendly volume that will provide policymakers, the press, and the interested public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed as Congress considers the future of the nation's antipoverty policies. The collection covers the following topics and features a new introduction from the editors: - An Overview of Effects to Date - Welfare Reform Reauthorization: An Overview of Problems and Issues - A Tax Proposal for Working Families with Children - Welfare Reform and Poverty - Reducing Non-Marital Births - Which Welfare Reforms are Best for Children? - Welfare and the Economy - What Can Be Done to Reduce Teen Pregnancy and Out-of-Wedlock Births? - Changing Welfare Offices - State Programs - Welfare Reform and Employment - Fragile Families, Welfare Reform, and Marriage - Health Insurance, Welfare, and Work - Helping the Hard-to-Employ - Sanctions and Welfare Reform - Child Care and Welfare Reform - Job Retention and Advancement in Welfare Reform - Housing and Welfare Reform - Non-Citizens - Block Grant Structure - Food Stamps - Work Support System - Possible Welfare Reform in the Cities



Poverty and Discrimination

Poverty and Discrimination Author Kevin Lang
ISBN-10 140083919X
Release 2011-02-11
Pages 424
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Many ideas about poverty and discrimination are nothing more than politically driven assertions unsupported by evidence. And even politically neutral studies that do try to assess evidence are often simply unreliable. In Poverty and Discrimination, economist Kevin Lang cuts through the vast literature on poverty and discrimination to determine what we actually know and how we know it. Using rigorous statistical analysis and economic thinking to judge what the best research is and which theories match the evidence, this book clears the ground for students, social scientists, and policymakers who want to understand--and help reduce--poverty and discrimination. It evaluates how well antipoverty and antidiscrimination policies and programs have worked--and whether they have sometimes actually made the problems worse. And it provides new insights about the causes of, and possible solutions to, poverty and discrimination. The book begins by asking, "Who is poor?" and by giving a brief history of poverty and poverty policy in the United States in the twentieth century, including the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Among the topics covered are the changing definition of poverty, the relation between economic growth and poverty, and the effects of labor markets, education, family composition, and concentrated poverty. The book then evaluates the evidence on racial discrimination in areas such as education, employment, and criminal justice, as well as sex discrimination in the labor market, and assesses the effectiveness of antidiscrimination policies. Throughout, the book is grounded in the conviction that we must have much better empirical knowledge of poverty and discrimination if we hope to reduce them.



Asset Building and the Escape from Poverty A New Welfare Policy Debate

Asset Building and the Escape from Poverty A New Welfare Policy Debate Author OECD
ISBN-10 9789264104747
Release 2003-11-17
Pages 45
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This book establishes the context for a fruitful debate on the merits and demerits of asset building for the poor by setting out the basic ideas involved in asset-building programmes and proposals.



Raising Government Children

Raising Government Children Author Catherine E. Rymph
ISBN-10 9781469635651
Release 2017-10-10
Pages 270
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In the 1930s, buoyed by the potential of the New Deal, child welfare reformers hoped to formalize and modernize their methods, partly through professional casework but more importantly through the loving care of temporary, substitute families. Today, however, the foster care system is widely criticized for failing the children and families it is intended to help. How did a vision of dignified services become virtually synonymous with the breakup of poor families and a disparaged form of "welfare" that stigmatizes the women who provide it, the children who receive it, and their families? Tracing the evolution of the modern American foster care system from its inception in the 1930s through the 1970s, Catherine Rymph argues that deeply gendered, domestic ideals, implicit assumptions about the relative value of poor children, and the complex public/private nature of American welfare provision fueled the cultural resistance to funding maternal and parental care. What emerged was a system of public social provision that was actually subsidized by foster families themselves, most of whom were concentrated toward the socioeconomic lower half, much like the children they served. Analyzing the ideas, debates, and policies surrounding foster care and foster parents' relationship to public welfare, Rymph reveals the framework for the building of the foster care system and draws out its implications for today's child support networks.



Inclusion in the American Dream

Inclusion in the American Dream Author Michael Sherraden
ISBN-10 0195347099
Release 2005-07-21
Pages 432
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Inclusion in the American Dream brings together leading scholars and policy experts on the topic of asset building, particularly as this relates to public policy. The typical American household accumulates most of its assets in home equity and retirement accounts, both of which are subsidized through the tax system. But the poor, for the most part, do not participate in these asset accumulation policies. The challenge is to expand the asset-based policy structure so that everyone is included.