Creating An Opportunity Society

Author: Ron Haskins
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815703938
Size: 57.61 MB
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Americans believe economic opportunity is as fundamental a right as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. More concerned about a level playing field for all, they worry less about the growing income and wealth disparity in our country. Creating an Opportunity Society examines economic opportunity in the United States and explores how to create more of it, particularly for those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill propose a concrete agenda for increasing opportunity that is cost effective, consistent with American values, and focuses on improving the lives of the young and the disadvantaged. They emphasize individual responsibility as an indispensable basis for successful policies and programs. The authors recommend a three-pronged approach to create more opportunity in America: • Increase education for children and youth at the preschool, K–12, and postsecondary levels • Encourage and support work among adults • Reduce the number of out-of-wedlock births while increasing the share of children reared by their married parents With concern for the federal deficit in mind, Haskins and Sawhill argue for reallocating existing resources, especially from the affluent elderly to disadvantaged children and their families. The authors are optimistic that a judicious use of the nation's resources can level the playing field and produce more opportunity for all. Creating an Opportunity Society offers the most complete summary available of the facts and the factors that contribute to economic opportunity. It looks at the poor, the middle class, and the rich, providing deep background data on how each group has fared in recent decades. Unfortunately, only the rich have made substantial progress, making this book a timely guide forward for anyone interested in what we can do as a society to improve the prospects for our less-advantaged families and fellow citizens.

Generation Unbound

Author: Isabel V. Sawhill
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815725590
Size: 21.63 MB
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Over half of all births to young adults in the United States now occur outside of marriage, and many are unplanned. The result is increased poverty and inequality for children. The left argues for more social support for unmarried parents; the right argues for a return to traditional marriage. In Generation Unbound, Isabel V. Sawhill offers a third approach: change "drifters" into "planners." In a well-written and accessible survey of the impact of family structure on child well-being, Sawhill contrasts "planners," who are delaying parenthood until after they marry, with "drifters," who are having unplanned children early and outside of marriage. These two distinct patterns are contributing to an emerging class divide and threatening social mobility in the United States. Sawhill draws on insights from the new field of behavioral economics, showing that it is possible, by changing the default, to move from a culture that accepts a high number of unplanned pregnancies to a culture in which adults only have children when they are ready to be a parent.

Show Me The Evidence

Author: Ron Haskins
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815725701
Size: 18.59 MB
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The first comprehensive history of the Obama administration's evidence-based initiatives. From its earliest days, the Obama administration planned and enacted several initiatives to fund social programs based on rigorous evidence of success. Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis tell the story of six—spanning preschool and K-12 education, teen pregnancy, employment and training, health, and community-based programs. Readers will appreciate the fast-moving descriptions of the politics and policy debates that shaped these federal programs and the analysis of whether they will truly reshape federal social policy and greatly improve its impacts on the nation's social problems. Based on interviews with 134 individuals (including advocates, officials at the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council, Congressional staff, and officials in the federal agencies administering the initiatives) as well as Congressional and administration documents and news accounts, the authors examine each of the six initiatives in separate chapters. The story of each initiative includes a review of the social problem the initiative addresses; the genesis and enactment of the legislation that authorized the initiative; and the development of the procedures used by the administration to set the evidence standard and evaluation requirements—including the requirements for grant applications and awarding of grants.

Expanding Work Programs For Poor Men

Author: Lawrence M. Mead
Publisher: AEI Press
ISBN: 0844743992
Size: 47.94 MB
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Welfare reform, which required that poor mothers work in return for assistance, was a watershed in the struggle against poverty for American families. As work levels rose dramatically among low-income women, the welfare rolls were cut in half and many families rose out of poverty. But men's employment is also crucial to uplifting families, and programs designed to encourage work among poor men are often poorly funded and little understood by policymakers. Expanding Work Programs for Poor Men makes the case that poor fathers, like poor mothers, need 'both help and hassle.' That is, poor men need more help from the government, but they must also be expected-and required-to help themselves. Drawing on welfare reform as a successful precedent, Lawrence M. Mead explores the psychology of male nonwork and evaluates the successes and failures of existing government programs for poor men, including child support and conditions of parole. These programs have succeeded in increasing work levels among poor men by requiring that they provide income to support their families or maintain a job to avoid returning to prison. Although both programs rely on legal enforcement, they are most effective when enforcement is coupled with incentives. Mead suggests that child support and parole conditions offer a useful model for future men's work programs, which should be mandatory and enforced, but combined with rewards for steady work, such as higher wage subsidies for low-income workers.

Beneath The Neon

Author: Matthew O'Brien
Publisher: Huntington Press Inc
ISBN: 0929712390
Size: 62.39 MB
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Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas chronicles O’Brien’s adventures in subterranean Las Vegas. He follows the footsteps of a psycho killer. He braces against a raging flood. He parties with naked crackheads. He learns how to make meth, that art is most beautiful where it’s least expected, that in many ways, he prefers underground Las Vegas to aboveground Las Vegas, and that there are no pots of gold under the neon rainbow.

The Stakeholder Society

Author: Bruce Ackerman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300147678
Size: 45.52 MB
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A quarter century of trickle-down economics has failed. Economic inequality in the United States has dramatically increased. Many, alas, seem resigned to this growing chasm between rich and poor. But what would happen, ask Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott, if America were to make good on its promise of equal opportunity by granting every qualifying young adult a citizen's stake of eighty thousand dollars? Ackerman and Alstott argue that every American citizen has the right to share in the wealth accumulated by preceding generations. The distribution of wealth is currently so skewed that the stakeholding fund could be financed by an annual tax of two percent on the property owned by the richest forty percent of Americans. Ackerman and Alstott analyze their initiative from moral, political, economic, legal, and human perspectives. By summoning the political will to initiate stakeholding, they argue, we can achieve a society that is more democratic, productive, and free. Their simple but realistic plan would enhance each young adult's real ability to shape his or her own future. It is, in short, an idea that should be taken seriously by anyone concerned with citizenship, welfare dependency, or social justice in America today.

Reinventing America S Schools

Author: David Osborne
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1632869934
Size: 78.22 MB
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From David Osborne, the author of Reinventing Government--a biting analysis of the failure of America's public schools and a comprehensive plan for revitalizing American education. In Reinventing America's Schools, David Osborne, one of the world's foremost experts on public sector reform, offers a comprehensive analysis of the charter school movements and presents a theory that will do for American schools what his New York Times bestseller Reinventing Government did for public governance in 1992. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the city got an unexpected opportunity to recreate their school system from scratch. The state's Recovery School District (RSD), created to turn around failing schools, gradually transformed all of its New Orleans schools into charter schools, and the results are shaking the very foundations of American education. Test scores, school performance scores, graduation and dropout rates, ACT scores, college-going rates, and independent studies all tell the same story: the city's RSD schools have tripled their effectiveness in eight years. Now other cities are following suit, with state governments reinventing failing schools in Newark, Camden, Memphis, Denver, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Oakland. In this book, Osborne uses compelling stories from cities like New Orleans and lays out the history and possible future of public education. Ultimately, he uses his extensive research to argue that in today's world, we should treat every public school like a charter school and grant them autonomy, accountability, diversity of school designs, and parental choice.

Building An Opportunity Society

Author: Lewis D. Solomon
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351530496
Size: 35.90 MB
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Twenty-first-century US policymakers face a great challenge: How can federal government help more people achieve the American dream? Specifically, how can we provide greater opportunities for less-prosperous individuals, enabling them to succeed through hard work, on their merits, and take increased responsibility for their lives? Lewis D. Solomon sees this as the challenge of our time. He seeks to thread the fine public policy needle between social democratic efforts to perfect the world and those who negatively view public sector programs. Based on the premise that capitalism is not inherently unjust and defective, and American capitalism's structural features do not inexorability thwart opportunity, Building an Opportunity Society offers the possibility of more limited, carefully structured, cost-effective, empirically verified federal policies and programs. Solomon first provides the background and context of many existing domestic challenges and problems that the current and proposed federal policies and programs seek to address. He then analyses the federal safety net that keeps Americans from poverty and helps reduce income inequality. Finally, he presents a lifecycle analysis of current federal policies and programs, preventive and remedial, designed as part of the Entitlement State, but if restructured could facilitate the building of an Opportunity Society. Solomon challenges policymakers to take a fresh look at how best to achieve society's goals for all citizens.

Dream Hoarders

Author: Richard V. Reeves
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815735499
Size: 27.63 MB
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Dream Hoarders sparked a national conversation on the dangerous separation between the upper middle class and everyone else. Now in paperback and newly updated for the age of Trump, Brookings Institution senior fellow Richard Reeves is continuing to challenge the class system in America. In America, everyone knows that the top 1 percent are the villains. The rest of us, the 99 percent—we are the good guys. Not so, argues Reeves. The real class divide is not between the upper class and the upper middle class: it is between the upper middle class and everyone else. The separation of the upper middle class from everyone else is both economic and social, and the practice of “opportunity hoarding”—gaining exclusive access to scarce resources—is especially prevalent among parents who want to perpetuate privilege to the benefit of their children. While many families believe this is just good parenting, it is actually hurting others by reducing their chances of securing these opportunities. There is a glass floor created for each affluent child helped by his or her wealthy, stable family. That glass floor is a glass ceiling for another child. Throughout Dream Hoarders, Reeves explores the creation and perpetuation of opportunity hoarding, and what should be done to stop it, including controversial solutions such as ending legacy admissions to school. He offers specific steps toward reducing inequality and asks the upper middle class to pay for it. Convinced of their merit, members of the upper middle class believes they are entitled to those tax breaks and hoarded opportunities. After all, they aren’t the 1 percent. The national obsession with the super rich allows the upper middle class to convince themselves that they are just like the rest of America. In Dream Hoarders, Reeves argues that in many ways, they are worse, and that changes in policy and social conscience are the only way to fix the broken system.

Investing In Children

Author: Ariel Kalil
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 0815722036
Size: 19.35 MB
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Investing in Children: Work, Education, and Social Policy in Two Rich Countries presents new research by leading scholars in Australia and the United States on economic factors that influence children's development and the respective social policies that the two nations have designed to boost human capital development. The volume is organized around three major issues: parental employment, early childhood education and child care, and postsecondary education. All three issues are intimately linked with human capital development. Since both Australia and the United States have created extensive policies to address these three issues, there is potential for each to learn from the other's experiences and policies. This volume helps fulfill that potential. The authors demonstrate that in both nations, the effects of low family income and income inequality emerge early in life and persist. However, policies that increase parental employment, augment family income, and promote quality preschool and postsecondary education can boost children's development and at least partially offset the negative developmental effects of family economic disadvantage.