Poverties, Not Poverty Solutions, Not Solution WISCAP Poverty

Poverties, Not Poverty Solutions, Not Solution WISCAP Poverty Conference 2015 Overall Presentation Outline Poverties Current Context of Poverties Causes of Poverties Solutions

Some Roadmap Poverty Points: 2014 318.9 million: Total US Population 46.7 Million: In Poverty 75.1 million: 150% of Poverty and Below *Poverty Income Family of 3: $20,900 in 2015; $19,790 in 2014 Many Possible Definitions Official Poverty

Supplemental Poverty Measure Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Columbia Alternative Heritage Foundation: Things Most Poor Have $1.25 Per Day $2.00 Per Day Polar Perceptions of the Poor One view The 47% who dont produce

Not like me, e.g. irresponsible, immoral, criminal, not care, dont want to work, want to be on the dole But there deserving poor: widows, orphans, persons with disabilities, older adults, children, injured (while working) The Other View 47% helped somewhat by social programs Just like me but ___ Disadvantaged through the operations of the social and economic systems Poverties

Some First Distinctions Degree Duration Concentration Poverties 20.8 million: Income Less than 70% of poverty 9.9 million: Long Term in Poverty (36 months continuous) 24.8 million: Ongoing Poverty (12 months continuous)

13.5 million: Entered Poverty 12.6 million: Left Poverty 5.7 months: Median Time In Poverty 23 million in Concentrated Poverty Areas More Distinctions: Hard Data Age Stage of Life Sex

Race Household Living Arrangement Educational Level Work Status Region State Metro/Rural Concentration Intergenerational

Physical Health Mental Health More Distinctions: Soft Data Aspiration Level Persistence/Determination/Perseverance Social Support Network e.g.: Family School

Mentors Neighborhood Institutions A Little More on Race & Isolation Consistent Racial Disparities Pattern Income, wealth, prison, drop out, single parent Why? Inferiority

Culture Discrimination Other Societal Factors Isolation: physical, political, governmental, economic The Context of Poverty Demography, Jobs, Income and Wealth US Capitalism/Mixed Economy Person

Property Compete Win/Loseongoing destruction Globalization Structure: Multinationals Financialization: Money Rules and Sets Up the Rules Technology The Context (contd.)

Culture American Dream Work is the (?) Good and Rewarded Consumption: Things You Should Have Politics Republican Democratic Ideology

Liberal Conservative Correlates and Causes Easily Confused Confusion of Addressing the Immediate Situation and Prevention (Possible) Causes of Poverty Societal Cultural/Subcultural

Social and Economic Structures Mini-Environments Personal Responsibility Persistence Luck SolutionsNot A

Solution Why Do Something to Reduce Poverty: The Value Rationale The Economic: Human Capital Development, economic growth The Social Order: Riot and Protest or Tranquility The Moral/Ideological: The Right Thing to do But What About Harm

Those who oppose any action argue: Successful actors outperform unsuccessful one without violating their rights. Subsidies for those at the bottom with payments from the top will blunt economic activities of the top and decrease incentives at the lower end. Additional taxes will be required so that pools of wealth are destroyed and initiatives to create wealth and grow the economy are dulled. Inequality is not a dominative factor in society; rather what is critical is being treated fairly in accordance with procedurally fair, neutral rules.

Those who oppose any action argue: (Contd) The is ever present governmental overextension and over involvement in life. Where will distribution stop? Government will rearrange economic outcomes. There is no standard to judge what good distribution is. Why should the discussion be only about the least advantaged and what they need? Inequalities should be addressed through charity rather than through social interventions that pose threats to the economy.

Those seeking interventions argue: Lack of action to provide opportunity and decrease inequality will undermine the economy. Enhancing the skills of all will promote economic growth and avoid the wasting of human capital. More equal opportunity incentivizes people. Failure to act will fray or destroy the basic social order. Extreme inequality will lead to the loss of governmental legitimacy. Equality is critical to the functioning of a democracy.

Its the right thing to do. Some General Goals Increase the number of individuals can financially take care of themselves, i.e. have enough income for themselves and their families to place them above the poverty level and hopefully move toward middle class. Ameliorate the conditions and status of poverty for some Americas Current

Solutions Total Annual US Federal Social Welfare Expenditures: $2 Trillion, $370 Billion Private Charity: $335.17 billion Social Expenditures: $2 Trillion, $500 Billion No Means Test: 1 trillion, $700 Billion Social Security: Survivors, Disability, SSI (2016) $997 billion Medicare $583 Billion Veterans $104 Billion

Mean Tested: $750 Billion Tax Expenditures: $1 trillion, $400 Billion Charity: $335 Billion $41.451 billion, slightly more than 10% for human services Total US budget About $3.43 Trillion Where Does the Money Go

Income (cash) primarily for the elderly Health the other major cost Overall focused on the elder population Not focused on the poor Not focused on the very poor Not so much $ to young and middle age Not so much $ to employment and education Primary Recipients* 53% of benefits go to the elderly 65 and older

20% of benefits go to non-elderly disabled 18% of benefits go to non-elderly working households 9% goes to non-working, non-elderly households *Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Tax Expenditures Number of tax expenditures, 200. Income not taxed for some reason. Approximately $1,375,000,000 ($1.37 trillion) in 2013. Slightly over 50% of tax expenditures benefit those in the highest income quintile, About 39% of benefits accrue to those in the top 10%

of income. Those in the lowest 20% of income get approximately 8% of tax expenditure benefits. At Least 67 Proposed: New or Expanded Solutions Some Examples Solutions: Pre Natal and Early

Childhood Free and extensive pre-natal health care and maternal nutrition Increased early childhood nutrition Ongoing medical exams and treatment Universal (free) early, quality childhood education Solutions: Pre-Teen and Teen Improve Public Schools; Voucher and Charter Establishment Increase School Attendance Increase Parental Involvement in schools

Improve personal behavior Take Increased responsibility for personal behaviors and for ones family and children Have great aspirations Delay immediate gratification to achieve longer term goals Increase persistence and determination Increased investment in public schools or establishment of voucher or charter schools Increase availability of extracurricular activities Increase summer (and year-round) youth employment and internships Reduce teen pregnancy Increase abstinence

Provide additional family planning services and/or promote abstinence Offer birth control to reduce teen pregnancy Provide free long-acting reversible contraceptives to teens and low income women Solutions: Late Teens/Early Adulthood Dont Marry Early Dont Have Children Until Married Universal Free Technical College Universal free or minimal cost college

Solutions: Adult Households Wages Increase the minimum wage Increase/expand EITC Implement a living wage Reduce executive compensation Extend unemployment benefits Increase work requirements for means tested programs, e.g. food share and public housing Increase job skills through funding of job skills programs

Provide micro loans to support of having their own businesses Work Place Improvements Paid family leave Paid sick leave Stronger labor laws Increase Unionization Solutions: Adult Households (contd. Taxes

Lower all tax rates Raise tax rates on those with higher incomes Increase Child Allowance Increase Child Care tax credit Federal Programs Increase federal spending on means tested programs, e.g. food share, rent subsidies housing assistance programs Decrease federal spending on means tested programs such as food share and rent assistance Provide free health care for all Change/eliminate Obama care

Solutions: Adult Households (contd.) Changes in the criminal justice system Eliminate cash required bail Decriminalize marijuana Establish special drug courts Decrease/eliminate mandatory/three strikes sentencing Increase training for those who are incarcerated Provide increased support after release

Some Others Advance of men (JD Vance: marriage crisis is as much about the inadequacies of American men as it is about family values or economic incentives. Increase two parent households Remove all marriage penalties Increased child support amounts and improved collection Solutions: Reduce racial discrimination Integrate neighborhoods

Integrate schools Provide special assistance to minority groups, especially Black, Hispanic, and Native American Pay reparations to minority groups, especially Black and Native Americans Enforce affirmative action requirements Create more venues for interracial dialog Solutions: Potpourri Provide Increased quality public transportation

Turn poverty programs over to the states or strengthen federal role in program delivery and requirements Decrease spending on social program Eliminate regulations that present obstacles to business startups or expansions Develop assets Create Savings Accounts Family Children Provide Micro loans to help individuals start their business

Increase the number of governmental infra-structure projects Assumptions About Effective Solutions Strategies, Not Individual Actions Complex, yet targeted Long Term Support Continued American Economic Growth Fit with American Dream Promote Individual Initiative and Responsibility

Recognize the Best You Can Do is Improve the Odds (Personal, Structural, Ideological) Based on the Best Information; Not Deny any Reality 46 Million Divided Into Households Number (Millions) 9,310 families 31,530

Percent 70% 3.3 Couples (11,400 37%) 4.6 in female headed (15,885 51%) 1.0 in male headed (3, 500 12%) 13,181 Unrelated Individuals 13,181 608 Unrelated

subfamilies 608 29% 1% Some Target Poverties Populations Adult Households Family Households

Single Person Households Persons 14 to 25 years of age: An important and difficult subset Elderly and Severely Disabled Target Population Subsets Deep, Continuous, Concentrated Near 100%, Episodic, Dispersed Family Households:

Financial and Moral Elements Structural Mini Social Environment Individual Family Households: Structural Cash

EITC Minimum Wage/Living Wage Transitional Job/Guaranteed Employment Guaranteed Income/Negative Income Tax Access to Reasonable Interest Short Term Loans Equalization of School Aids Free Technical College (New GI Bill) Child Support Maintain Efforts at the National Level

Family Households: Mini Social Environment Literacy training for adults Visiting Nurses Long Term Mentors Books for homes Broad cultural exposure Collaborative community network

Family Households: Personal Read to children Constantly promote the future and aspirations Provide incentives if child does better; impose sanctions for inappropriate behavior Participate in school activities Some Special Messages Parents

Manage your personal and family resources. Spend time with your kids. Love them. Encourage them. Discipline them. We need to do all of these things, not just discipline. Help them to believe in themselves and a positive future. Young People Go to school and learn. You may not be assured of success if you do this, but you can be very sure that if you do not, you will not be successful. Treat all others with respect Teachers Dont give up on any child. (I know that this request requires major, herculean efforts on your part. But students can and will learn if they are encouraged and supported.) Community Service Professionals and Leaders

Be positive and hopeful. Continue to offer options, encouragement and opportunities. Persons 14 to 25 years of age: Economic, Moral, and Social Order Contraception: Permanent Reversible Payment for grades and attendance Free two years of college with living expenses National Service for all (?)

The Separated & Isolated: Discrimination Over and above what is needed by families and young people 15 to 24 Opposition to race only remedies (?) Long term investment Long term building of networks Elderly and Severely Disabled Households: Moral Argument Provide Income Supplements

The moral argument Summary 1. Poverty is complex; we are really dealing with poverties. 2. Both poverties, it causes and any potential solutions must be analyzed in the context of the current general demographic, economic, political and cultural context in America. 3. Solutions to poverty must focus on poverties, not on poverty. There is no single silver bullet approach that will be effective. Strategies are needed. 4. The solutions to poverty must address both social and individual factors. Changes in social policy and individual behavior are both required to have any major effect.

5. Any solutions and benefits will require resources. 6. Any significant solutions will take time, the quick and dirty will not work. 7. The value of potential results will need to shown to be great enough to justify the cost. A Few Words on Power Ideological Economic Political Physical force

I Didnt Say It Would Be Easy Contact Information: George Gerharz; (414) 303-7450; [email protected]

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