Poverty and Public Policy

Trump wants to cut the safety net. It kept 47 million people out of poverty last year.

The US Census Bureau dropped its annual load of statistics on American poverty and income, and the data shows Americans weren’t much better off in 2018 than they were a year earlier. On the upside: 2.3 million more people snagged full-time jobs and the official poverty rate fell half a percentage point. On the downside: […]

The Generation of Grandparents Who Keep Their Grandchildren Afloat

My husband and I have been pretty good at saving money over the years, which means that we have enough of a cushion to start passing along some of it to our children and grandchildren while we’re alive, rather than leaving it behind as their inheritance. If we live another 20 years, give or take, […]

The Political Roots of Falling Wage Growth

It’s now official: workers around the world are falling behind. The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) latest Global Wage Report finds that, excluding China, real (inflation-adjusted) wages grew at an annual rate of just 1.1% in 2017, down from 1.8% in 2016. That is the slowest pace since 2008. In the advanced G20 economies, average real wages grew […]

What labor market changes have generated inequality and wage suppression?

What this report finds: Labor markets in capitalist economies are fundamentally tilted against individual workers’ ability to bargain effectively with employers. Policy does not have to be rigged for employers to give them particular clout in labor markets; instead, the very nature of these labor markets gives them clout. In the past, when economic growth was broadly shared […]

Policy Brief: TANF Reaching Few Poor Families

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, created by the 1996 welfare law, is designed to provide a temporary safety net to poor families — primarily those with no other means to meet basic needs — but its reach has shrunk considerably over time.[1] In 2017, for every 100 families in poverty, only 23 […]