Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream

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9781595581761: Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream
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John Edwards puts a seminal issue back on the map, presenting blueprints for ending poverty in America.

"This is one of the great moral issues of our time. The day after Katrina hit, new government statistics showed that 37 million Americans live in poverty, up for the fourth year in a row."—Senator John Edwards

Is poverty a fact of life? Can the wealthiest nation in the world do nothing to combat the steadily rising numbers of Americans living in poverty—or the 50 million Americans living in "near poverty"? Senator John Edwards and some of the country's most prominent scholars, businesspeople, and community activists say otherwise.

Published in conjunction with one of the country's leading anti-poverty centers, Ending Poverty in America brings together some of America's most respected social scientists, including William Julius Wilson, Katherine S. Newman, and Richard B. Freeman, alongside journalists, neighborhood organizers, and business leaders. The voices heard here are both liberal and conservative, and tackle hot-button issues such as job creation, schools, housing, and family-friendly social policy.

The contributors explain why poverty is growing and outline concrete steps that can be taken now to start turning the tide. In a political landscape seemingly bereft of daring and forward-thinking ideas, this new book lays out a path toward eliminating poverty in America—a template for a renewed public debate for an issue of intense urgency.

Contributors include: Jared Bernstein, Anita Brown-Graham, Carol Mendez Cassell, Richard Freeman, Angela Glover-Blackwell, Jacob Hacker, Harry Holzer, Jack Kemp, Glenn Loury, Ron Mincy, Katherine S. Newman, Melvin Oliver, Dennis Orthner, David Shipler, Beth Shulman, Michael Stegman, Elizabeth Warren, William Julius Wilson.

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About the Author:

John Edwards is the former director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. He practiced law for twenty years before serving as a senator from 1998-2004 and running for vice president in 2004. He holds an Alumni Distinguished Professorship at UNC. Marion Crain, the director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, is the Paul Eaton Professor of Law at UNC. Arne L. Kalleberg is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology and the Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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