John Edwards, Marion Crain, and Arne L. Kalleberg (editors). 2007. Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream. New York: New Press. ISBN: 978-1-59558-176-1 (cloth).
Is poverty a fact of life? Can the United States, the wealthiest nation in the world, do nothing to combat the rising numbers of Americans living in poverty—37 million according to government statistics—or the 50 million Americans living in “near poverty”? The editors of this book, who are affiliated with the University of North Carolina’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, and some of the country’s foremost thinkers say otherwise.
Ending Poverty in America brings together several of America’s most distinguished academics alongside celebrated journalists, neighborhood organizers, and business leaders. Notably, the voices heard here are both liberal and conservative. Together they offer cogent explanations of why poverty in the United States is steadily increasing and propose concrete steps that can be taken to start turning the tide in terms of job creation, education and schools, homeownership, racial division, supporting families, savings, and counteracting the vanishing of the middle class. In his eloquent conclusion, former senator John Edwards presents a bold strategy to eliminate
poverty in America in the next thirty years.
Thought-provoking, insightful, and full of forward-thinking ideas, this book lays out a much-needed path toward ending poverty—a template for a renewed public debate around one of the great moral issues of our time.
Introduction / by Marion Crain and Arne L. Kalleberg
I. CONFRONTING POVERTY AND DECLINING OPPORTUNITY
1. Connecting the dots / by David K. Shipler
2. Economic mobility in the United States: how much is there and why does it matter? / by Jared Bernstein
3. The vanishing middle class / by Elizabeth Warren
II. THE FORCES UNDERMINING THE AMERICAN DREAM
4. The great doubling: the challenge of the new global labor market / by Richard B. Freeman
5. The risky outlook for middle-class America / by Jacob S. Hacker
6. Single mothers, fragile families / by Sara McLanahan
7. A new agenda for America’s ghetto poor / by William Julius Wilson
III. SPURRING BETTER JOBS AND CREATING HIGHER INCOMES
8. Up and out: when the working poor are poor no more / by Katherine S. Newman
The earned income tax credit / by John Karl Scholz
9. Making work pay / by Beth Shulman
10. Education and training for less affluent Americans in the new economy / by Harry J. Holzer
Jobs for life / by David Spickard
IV. SHARING THE PROSPERITY THROUGH ASSET BUILDING
11. Reducing wealth disparities through asset ownership / by Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro
Banking the poor: overcoming the financial services mismatch / by Michael S. Barr
12. Assets for all: toward universal, progressive, lifelong accounts / by Michael Sherraden
Making saving easier: the automatic 401(k) and automatic individual retirement account (IRA) / by Peter Orszag
13. An affordable homeownership strategy that promotes savings rather than risk / by Michael A. Stegman
Making homeownership a reality by believing in working-class families / by Martin Eakes
14. The role of the entrepreneur in combating poverty / by Secretary Jack F. Kemp
V. STRENGTHENING THE FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
15. Why we should be concerned about young, less educated, black men / by Ronald B. Mincy and Hillard Pouncy
16. A hopeful future: the pathway to helping teens avoid pregnancy and too-soon parenthood / by Carol Mendez Cassell
17. Public schools: building capacity for hope and opportunity / by Dennis K. Orthner
Getting parents and community into the school reform act / by Hugh B. Price
18. Top down meets bottom up: local job creation in rural America / by Anita Brown-Graham
Strengthening the rural community / by Ruston Seaman and Michael Ferber
19. Fighting poverty with equitable development / by Angela Glover Blackwell
Conclusion: Ending poverty in America / by Senator John Edwards
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