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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Social Policy Reader (and listener)

I know, it is hard to stay motivated to keep up with serious social policy analysis in the current political environment. So here is a mix of current great reading and podcasts that will mostly take you to another place. Read more

Nudging Social Policy

Imagine you can reduce obesity, homelessness, smoking, child neglect, or other social challenges or health risks without spending new public money or coercing people. This would be a kind of public policy nirvana.[i] Read more

Social Policy Reader

This week: Human Trafficking, Criminal Justice Fines and the Poor, A Universal Child Benefit, MediCaring Communities, and Settling Refugees in communities.

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The Social Policy Reader

Here is your weekly prompt of social policy books and articles that will open your mind (click on links for sources)

The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens

Daniel Hatcher describes the triangle of federal-state-agency collaborations that take money and exploit vulnerable populations. The analysis is polemic and eye-opening. Readers interested in child welfare, long term care, TANF programs, juvenile justice, and Medicaid will learn a great deal about the conversion of mission in these programs to revenue streams for non-profit and for-profit organizations. Hatcher pulls back the veil on an important set of financial and organizational changes occurring in human services. Read more

Postscript: Clinton Poverty Proposal

No sooner than I post my critique of our presidential candidates’ failure to talk about poverty, Hillary Clinton publishes an Op-Ed in The New York Times that addresses poverty explicitly and outlines the broad strokes of her plan. My Plan for Helping America’s Poor

Secretary Clinton’s essay emphasizes elements of her core economic plan: economic growth, jobs (especially infrastructure and manufacturing), and increases in the minimum wage. Her programmatic proposals include Low Income Housing Tax Credits for affordable housing, increased investment in low-income communities, expanded access to affordable child care, more funding for Headstart, and access to universal preschool.

Secretary Clinton’s essay cites Mark Rank’s research on the lifetime risks of experiencing poverty: “Nearly 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience a year in poverty at some point.” Professor Rank’s poverty risk calculator can be found at American Misfortune.

Public Policy Malpractice?

The New York Times editorial this week, Missouri: The Shoot Me State, laments that the new Missouri gun legislation “has drawn no great national attention, but it certainly provides further evidence that gun safety cannot be left to state lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby.”

Should legislators and policymakers be held accountable for adverse consequences of their policy decisions when there is good evidence that harmful outcomes will result? What if legislators make wanton decisions that ignore policy evidence and have the effect of causing loss of life?

In other walks of professional life we hold leadership accountable for such decisions. Automobile executives face civil and criminal penalties if they show disregard for evidence of safety problems amongst consumers. Airline executives face enormous accountability for the safety of their companies. Read more