Child Care Expenses Push Many Families Into Poverty

Source: Beth Mattingly, Christopher T. Wimer, University of New Hampshire, Carsey School of Public Policy, National Fact Sheet no. 36, Spring 2017

From the summary:
How often are low-income families pushed into poverty by their child care expenses? In this fact sheet, we use the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) to assess the extent to which child care expenses are pushing families with young children into poverty.

Nearly one-third (30.4 percent) of families with young children are poor. To fall under the SPM poverty line means that a family’s income would be less than $26,000 a year on average, with variations by family composition and geographic location. Among poor families with young children, 12.3 percent incur child care expenses according to our analyses of the SPM. For families earning this little income, child care expense can be a burden. Of those who pay for child care, nearly one in ten (9.4 percent) are poor (Figure 1). Roughly one third of these poor families are pushed into poverty by child care expenses. This represents an estimated 207,000 families.

Among families with young children who pay for child care, those with three or more children, those headed by a single parent, those with black or Hispanic household heads, and those headed by someone with less than a high school degree or by someone who does not work full time are most often pushed into poverty by child care expenses. Notably, these are also the families that tend to have the highest rates of poverty.

Key Findings:
• One third of poor families who pay for child care for their young children are pushed into poverty by their child care expenses.
• Families most often pushed into poverty by child care expenses include households with three or more children, those headed by a single parent, those with a black or Hispanic head of household, and those headed by someone with less than a high school degree or by someone who does not work full time.
Press release

Work please but poverty, no thanks: how can we avoid the rise in the working poor?

Source: The Smiths famously sang in 1984, “I was looking for a job and then I found a job, heaven knows I’m miserable now”. The rise of the working poor calls into question the adage that work is the best way out of poverty. With radical changes on the labour market, the types of jobs available and new threats such as robotics, old sureties can no longer be counted upon. What can society do faced with a rise in the share of in-work poor?…

Hospitals turn to job cuts amid budgetary woes

Source: Paige Minemyer, Fierce Healthcare, May 1, 2017

Squeezed budgets and regulatory uncertainty are pushing a number of hospitals across the country to cut back on staff.

One of the largest reductions in staff is taking place at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which last week announced plans to offer buyouts to 1,600 employees. The reason for the trouble: flat reimbursement and rising operating costs.

And it’s a problem felt across the country, STAT reports. Financial woes have already led Catholic Health Initiatives to slash 900 positions through layoffs and buyouts, STAT reports, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Care Center to cut 1,000 jobs.

In recent weeks layoffs have been announced at organizations in New York City, California, Minnesota and Rhode Island:
• Organizational restructuring” at NYC Health + Hospitals could lead to the loss of more than 600 jobs across the system’s 11 acute care facilities, according to a report from the New York Post.
• Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis will cut 130 positions, or 2% of its full time staff, according to the STAT article.
• Riverside Community Hospital in California will layoff 42 employees amid a $400 million expansion, the Press-Enterprise reports. In addition to the job cuts, Riverside will close its cardiac rehab center and its ambulatory services unit.
• Care New England Health System, the second largest health system in Rhode Island, which recently announced a merger with Partners HealthCare, revealed that it will begin a “wide array” of layoffs at its flagship hospital, Women and Infants Hospital, reports the the Providence Journal. Though leaders at the facility would not confirm how many layoffs were planned, they said that both clinical and non-clinical positions would be affected…..

The State Effect: Theorizing Immigration Politics in Arizona

Source: Emine Fidan Elcioglu, Social Problems, Vol. 64 no. 2, May 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
How do perceptions of the state shape social movements’ strategies? Drawing on 16 months of participant observation and 70 interviews with activists in Arizona, this article illustrates how the politics of immigration plays out at the grassroots level as a struggle between expanding and restricting the state. Pro-immigrant activists in this study contended that the problem of undocumented migration resulted from the state’s unchecked coercive power. Experiencing this strong-state effect, pro-immigrant activists’ tactics focused on limiting the state’s reach and reinforcing society’s capacity to resist the state. Meanwhile, immigration restrictionist activists attributed the problem of undocumented immigration to the state’s feebleness as a policing entity. In response to this weak-state effect, restrictionist tactics tried to expand the state’s scope and build society’s ability to aid the state. The article concludes by discussing how the strong/weak-state effect framework helps illuminate the field of social relations in which an activist group is embedded and provides an avenue for exploring the relationship between state practices and social movements.

GASB: Implementation Guidance Update—2017

Source: Governmental Accounting Standards Series, Implementation Guide No. 2017-1, No. 363, April 2017

From the Good Jobs First press release:
… GASB’s 2017 Implementation Guide, released late last Friday, makes it clear that some forms of tax increment financing (TIF) are what GASB defines as “tax abatements” and therefore must be disclosed under GASB’s Statement No. 77.

The logic of the guidance also seems to cover tax diversions and tax rebates common in other Ohio incentive programs. …

….Good Jobs First noted that the guidance will unfortunately not apply to the first round of Statement 77 disclosures now unfolding, because it does not take effect until reporting years starting after June 15, 2017. However, GASB (at Paragraph 6) encourages earlier adoption of the guidance. And because a majority of governments are on fiscal years starting July 1, the guidance means that most of the disclosures issued in 2018 will be covered by this clarification. ….

The Path to a Fair and Inclusive Society: Policies that Address Rising Inequality

Source: Justin Steil, Stephen Menendian, Samir Gambhir, University of California, Berkeley – Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Policy Brief, 2017

From the summary:
A major policy brief from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society offers a proven roadmap to end extreme inequality in the United States. The brief, entitled “The Path to a Fair and Inclusive Society: Policies that Address Rising Inequality,” names six basic solutions to tackle what may be the greatest problem of the 21st Century.

These solutions include:
-increasing the minimum wage
-expanding the Earned Income Tax
-building assets for working families
-investing in early childhood education
-making tax code more progressive
-ending racial segregation