Can the Poor Save

Author: Mark Schreiner
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 0202363112
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610444957
Format: PDF
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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

A Poverty of Imagination

Author: David Stoesz
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299169541
Format: PDF
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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.

Rethinking Poverty

Author: James P. Bailey
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 0268076235
Format: PDF, ePub
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In Rethinking Poverty, James P. Bailey argues that most contemporary policies aimed at reducing poverty in the United States are flawed because they focus solely on insufficient income. Bailey argues that traditional policies such as minimum wage laws, food stamps, housing subsidies, earned income tax credits, and other forms of cash and non-cash income supports need to be complemented by efforts that enable the poor to save and accumulate assets. Drawing on Michael Sherraden’s work on asset building and scholarship by Melvin Oliver, Thomas Shapiro, and Dalton Conley on asset discrimination, Bailey presents us with a novel and promising way forward to combat persistent and morally unacceptable poverty in the United States and around the world. Rethinking Poverty makes use of a significant body of Catholic social teachings in its argument for an asset development strategy to reduce poverty. These Catholic teachings include, among others, principles of human dignity, the social nature of the person, the common good, and the preferential option for the poor. These principles and the related social analyses have not yet been brought to bear on the idea of asset-building for the poor by those working within the Catholic social justice tradition. This book redresses this shortcoming, and further, claims that a Catholic moral argument for asset-building for the poor can be complemented and enriched by Martha Nussbaum’s “capabilities approach.” This book will affect current debates and practical ways to reduce poverty, as well as the future direction of Catholic social teaching.

Asset Building Policies and Innovations in Asia

Author: Michael Sherraden
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317577795
Format: PDF, ePub
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Asia has long been a testing ground for efforts to augment financial and social security by developing assets that may support individuals and households and contribute to long-term social development. Rapid growth in the number and breadth of asset-based social policies has prompted Asian scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to share lessons from current efforts and chart future directions. This book offers a unique collection of macro- and micro-level analyses on asset-based social development and compares and contrasts national social policies across the Asia Pacific region. Many asset-building policies and programmes have been undertaken in Asia, and innovative proposals continue to emerge. The contributions in this book present and assess this broad, often nuanced, and evolving landscape, and offer an insightful analysis of the evolution of asset-building policies, innovative programmes in rural populations, asset-based interventions to facilitate the development and well-being of children, as well as case studies on new, ground-breaking asset-building projects. Asset-Building Policies and Innovation in Asia will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Asian social policy, social welfare, social development and social work.

Rethinking Poverty

Author: James P. Bailey
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 0268076235
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In Rethinking Poverty, James P. Bailey argues that most contemporary policies aimed at reducing poverty in the United States are flawed because they focus solely on insufficient income. Bailey argues that traditional policies such as minimum wage laws, food stamps, housing subsidies, earned income tax credits, and other forms of cash and non-cash income supports need to be complemented by efforts that enable the poor to save and accumulate assets. Drawing on Michael Sherraden’s work on asset building and scholarship by Melvin Oliver, Thomas Shapiro, and Dalton Conley on asset discrimination, Bailey presents us with a novel and promising way forward to combat persistent and morally unacceptable poverty in the United States and around the world. Rethinking Poverty makes use of a significant body of Catholic social teachings in its argument for an asset development strategy to reduce poverty. These Catholic teachings include, among others, principles of human dignity, the social nature of the person, the common good, and the preferential option for the poor. These principles and the related social analyses have not yet been brought to bear on the idea of asset-building for the poor by those working within the Catholic social justice tradition. This book redresses this shortcoming, and further, claims that a Catholic moral argument for asset-building for the poor can be complemented and enriched by Martha Nussbaum’s “capabilities approach.” This book will affect current debates and practical ways to reduce poverty, as well as the future direction of Catholic social teaching.

Changing Poverty Changing Policies

Author: Maria Cancian
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610445988
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

One Nation Underprivileged

Author: Mark Robert Rank
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198026181
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Despite its enormous wealth, the United States leads the industrialized world in poverty. One Nation, Underprivileged unravels this disturbing paradox by offering a unique and radically different understanding of American poverty. It debunks many of our most common myths about the poor, while at the same time provides a powerful new framework for addressing this enormous social and economic problem. Mark Robert Rank vividly shows that the fundamental causes of poverty are to be found in our economic structure and political policy failures, rather than individual shortcomings or attitudes. He establishes for the first time that a significant percentage of Americans will experience poverty during their adult lifetimes, and firmly demonstrates that poverty is an issue of vital national concern. Ultimately, Rank provides us with a new paradigm for understanding poverty, and outlines an innovative set of strategies that will reduce American poverty. One Nation, Underprivileged represents a profound starting point for rekindling a national focus upon America's most vexing social and economic problem.