Anti-poverty policies: a symposium

Anti-poverty policies: a symposium

Working towards win-win poverty reduction and prevention

This is a symposium dealing with public policy toward lessening poverty in the United States and in the world. The articles in this symposium recognise the importance of five policy fields in reducing poverty.

Chapters and conclusions:

  • Introduction - economic growth and inequality. It asserts that in order to discuss anti-poverty policy, one needs to know whether the situation is getting better or worse, and why. The answers depend on whether we are talking about (1) money or goods like health education and material possessions, (2) the U.S. measure of $5,000 per person per year or the UN measure $365, (3) countries or individuals, (4) a long or short-term perspective, (5) the well-being of poor people or the gap between the poor and the rich, (6) poor, medium, or rich countries, and (7) per capita income, percent who are poor, or more complicated indexes
  • Chapter 3 - examines economic policy by simulating effects of welfare reforms on dependency, work, and poverty. Paper finds that there is considerable variability in the simulated level of TANF caseloads, but that the employment-related characteristics of the caseload are more stable. It finds that, regardless of whether the TANF plan is aggressive or moderate in its incentives and requirements, the percentage of single mothers on TANF in private jobs for at least 30 hours per week is consistently below 10 percent. It also finds that levels of extreme poverty among single parents are higher under the aggressive plan than the moderate plan, and under the assumption of forward-looking behavior than the assumption of myopia
  • Chapter 4 - education policy and integrated governance as a reform strategy in schools. This study examines how the new system of integrated governance improves the conditions for teaching and learning. Furthermore, this study identifies several challenges that the new leadership needs to address. Finally, it discusses new leaderships constraints and the policy implications of their direction and action
  • Chapter 5 - social policy: affirmative action Asserts that racial and ethnic minorities continue to experience substantial discrimination in employment. However, this discrimination is often subtle and unconscious. Because discriminatory practices are so intertwined with apparenth-neutral employment practices, affirmative action remains an important means of combating them. Properly designed, affirmative action can benefit employers and non-protected employees as well as the minorities directly covered
  • Chapter 6 - political policy: The Sandanista revolution and democratisation. The purpose of this article will be to explore the question of the development of democracy in Nicaragua with emphasis on the period from 1979 to the present. It will be the primary contention of the paper that a profound democratisation of Nicaragua began with the rise of the FSLN to power in 1979. It will also assert that while democratisation has not been definitely reversed during the conservative rule of Chamorro and Alemán it has been weakened. The articles primary conclusions will run directly against those who argue that Nicaraguan process of democratization began only with the assumption of power of the UNO coalition in April 1990
  • Chapter 7 - Legal policy: models of legal services in Brazil and the U.S.A. CPR represent distinct answers to specific problems of Brazilian and American societies. Both respond to different demands and intellectual debates, to specific traditions of justice, citizenship and ethics, and to their own political context. Nevertheless, although their characteristics make the comparison of the Instituto Apoio Jurídico Popular and the Center for Public Representation difficult, doing so can provide many useful insights for a future analysis of legal services concerned with social demands
  • Conclusion. A five-part program is suggested for poverty reduction and prevention. First, in random order is the need to find jobs for displaced workers. This may involve: (1) commissioning employment agencies to do placement work with payment only after the workers are on the job or a few months, (2) wage-subsidy vouchers that enable employers to hire beginning employees and provide on-the-job training, (3) training vouchers especially to deal with new technologies, and (4) economic growth, especially via new technologies, education, competition, and fair trade. Second is the need for improved education of low-income people. This may mean: (1) federal financing of merit pay for inner-city teachers, (2)integrated schools by developing middle class and subsidised condominium communities near downtown employment, (3) contracting out and vouchers for attending secular schools, and (4) housing vouchers to enable low-income people to move up one concentric circle so their children can attend better schools. Third, merit treatment by having outreach programs for low-income students and potential employees to receive training that will enable them to pass high admissions and employment standards. Fourth, on-site registration and holiday voting to facilitate low-income people participating in elections. Fifth, drug medicalisation to reduce drug-related crimes by providing for phase-out prescriptions for drugs to addicts in order to eliminate the incentive of drug dealers to create new addicts. Doing so will lessen the victimisation of low-income people to addicts (who rob for drug money) and to exploitative drug dealers


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