Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream

John Edwards, Editor, Marion Crain, Editor, Arne L. Kalleberg, Editor
John Edwards, Editor, Marion Crain, Editor, Arne L. Kalleberg, Editor New Press $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59558-176-1
Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
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At a time when U.S. income inequality has reached levels not seen since 1928, Senator (and presidential candidate) Edwards and company turn their attention to that near-forgotten project, the War on Poverty, declared by FDR, revived by LBJ and lately eclipsed by Wars on Drugs and Terror. In this engrossing collection of rigorously researched articles, more than two dozen contributors examine the state of poverty, hammering home two War on Poverty standards: the rich are getting richer while the 37 million living in poverty get nothing, while a third argument bolsters those standbys: the middle class is getting poorer. Elizabeth Warren's troubling article shows how, in the 2000s, two-income families are far more vulnerable to economic crises than their single-income counterparts, and in fact have less disposable real income (by about $1,500) than single-income families did in the 1970s. Contributors, including Edwards himself, propose some sensible policy solutions, and frequently without raising taxes: raising the minimum wage, creating a Financial Product Safety Commission (to end usurious consumer credit practices), developing programs to increase asset ownership (e.g., homes) and offering tax advantages for employers who provide education, child care and a living wage. Responsible and intelligent, this dispatch makes an urgent case for redeployment in the battle for America's impoverished.
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