The Brookings Institution and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School have released the latest Future of Children volume “The Next Generation of Antipoverty Policies.” The articles in this volume focus on several specific policies, covering a spectrum of short- and long-term strategies, that have the best chance of reducing poverty in a cost-effective way.
From the abstract:
This paper finds that about one in four workers, ages 18 to 61, earned less than $7.73 an hour in 2003. Low-wage workers who reside in low-income families with children are substantially less educated than the average worker, are concentrated in industries with low wages, and have limited prospects for wage growth. Many policies aimed at low-wage workers are not well-targeted at workers in low-income families with children, in part because only one in four low-wage workers reside in such families. Nevertheless, policies targeted at low-wage workers may have broad benefits, including improving the lot of low-income families with children.
This brief examines two sets of public policies – wage subsidies and work requirements- that hold promise for helping young men increase their employment and earnings and which could alleviate many social problems, including crime, unemployment, nonmartial births, and poverty.
Source: Joint Economic Committee, press release, August 28, 2007
Follow up to August 28, 2007 posting Census Bureau Reports Household Income Rises, Poverty Rate Declines, see today’s press release: “Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Vice Chair of the JEC, today reacted to the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of its 2006 report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States. Although median household income rose slightly in 2006, after adjusting for inflation, the report showed that all but the richest of American households have seen their incomes decline since 2000. The Census Bureau also revealed that while the national poverty rate declined by 0.3% in 2006, the number of people in poverty living in poverty has risen by 4.9 million since 2000, an increase in the poverty rate of one percentage point. Additionally, the number of children under 18 in poverty has skyrocketed under the Bush Administration, rising 10.7 percent in the last 6 years.”
The JEC also released three fact sheets taking an in depth look at the findings in the Census Report:
• The Number of Americans without Health Insurance Rose Again in 2006
• Household Income Up Slightly in 2006, but Down Since 2000
• Nearly One in Eight Americans Living in Poverty
The United States’ current system of low-income housing assistance is biased against homeownership. This paper documents the bias and suggests reforms to eliminate it. The new policies would allow more low-income families to become homeowners by providing similar subsidies for renters and owners under the two largest programs for low-income housing, Section 8 and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The reforms would not require additional spending, would improve the cost-effectiveness of the system of low-income housing assistance, and would avoid the two biggest mistakes in past attempts to subsidize homeownership: subsidizing the construction of new units and requiring intended beneficiaries to buy from selected sellers.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, CB07-120, August 28, 2007
From the news release:
Real median household income in the United States climbed between 2005 and 2006, reaching $48,200, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the second consecutive year that income has risen. Meanwhile, the nation’s official poverty rate declined for the first time this decade, from 12.6 percent in 2005 to 12.3 percent in 2006. There were 36.5 million people in poverty in 2006, not statistically different from 2005. The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 44.8 million (15.3 percent) in 2005 to 47 million (15.8 percent) in 2006. These findings are contained in the Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006 report. The data were compiled from information collected in the 2007 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). Much more summary material in this news release.
Related from the Census Bureau:
• Numerous Documents and Tables Can Be Accessed Here
• Income, Earnings and Poverty in the United States: 2006
Other related items:
• Number And Percentage Of Americans Who Are Uninsured Climbs Again: Poverty Edges Down But Remains Higher, And Median Income For Working-Age Households Remains Lower, Than When Recession Hit Bottom In 2001
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 28, 2007
• More Americans, Including More Children, Now Lack Health Insurance
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 28, 2007
• U.S. Uninsured Rate Climbs Again
Source: Daniel C. Vock, Stateline.org, August 29, 2007
• Number of Uninsured U.S. Residents Increases by 2.2M to 47M in 2006
Source: Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, August 29, 2007
Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2007
From the press release:
National trends in child well-being taken together have improved slightly since 2000, according to a report released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The 18th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book indicators show:
● Four areas of improvement: child death rate, teen birth rate, high school dropout rate, teens not in school and not working;
● Two areas of slight improvement: infant mortality rate, teen death rate; and
● Four areas have worsened: low-birthweight babies, children living in families where no parent has fulltime year-round employment, children in poverty, and children in single-parent families.
These national trends are not on par with the well-being improvements that were seen at the end of the 1990s, with economic indicators taking a downturn in 2005. The report also examines America’s child welfare system and challenges the country to make lifelong family connections for children and youth in foster care a national priority.
Thirty-seven million Americans live below the official poverty line. Millions more struggle each month to pay for basic necessities, or run out of savings when they lose their jobs or face health emergencies. Poverty imposes enormous costs on society. The lost potential of children raised in poor households, the lower productivity and earnings of poor adults, the poor health, increased crime, and broken neighborhoods all hurt our nation. Persistent childhood poverty is estimated to cost our nation $500 billion each year, or about four percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. In a world of increasing global competition, we cannot afford to squander these human resources.
The Center for American Progress last year convened a diverse group of national experts and leaders to examine the causes and consequences of poverty in America and make recommendations for national action. In this report, our Task Force on Poverty calls for a national goal of cutting poverty in half in the next 10 years and proposes a strategy to reach the goal.
Source: Michael B. Katz, Dissent, Vol. 54 no. 3, Summer 2007
The summer of 2007 marks the fortieth anniversary of America’s worst season of urban disorder. The most famous riots happened in Newark and Detroit. But “nearly 150 cities reported disorders in Negro—and in some instances Puerto Rican—neighborhoods,” reported the 1968 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Today, the most intriguing question is not why the riots occurred but why they have not recurred. With the exception of Liberty City, Miami, in 1980, and South-central Los Angeles in 1992, American cities have not burned since the early 1980s. Even the botched response to Hurricane Katrina did not provoke civil violence.
As Congress seeks to fund the expansion of government-provided health care for children by increasing taxes on tobacco and possibly alcohol, a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) notes these taxes disproportionately impact the poor. The report notes that governments at all levels are raising revenues in a number of regressive ways, particularly through a lottery and excise taxes on products such as alcohol and tobacco and essential services such as utilities and gas.