April 27, 2007
Center for American Progress Report: Strategy to cut poverty in half
The Center for American Progress just released a report prepared by Mark Greenberg, Indivar Dutta-Gupta, and Elisa Minoff entitled From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half (April 2007). The report's conclusions are based in part on an Urban Institute calculation of the anti-poverty effects of the CAP's suggested changes, available here.
The members of the Task Force on Poverty set out four basic principals for their recommendations/report:
1. Promote Decent Work.
2. Provide Opportunity for All.
3. Ensure Economic Security.
4. Help People Build Wealth.
They then set out specific recommendations, most of which are based upon expanding existing systems of delivering resources to the poor. It is an ambitious proposal, albeit based largely on existing preferences such as maintaining the importance of work for the poor to deserve support or support for opportunity of children but less attention on second opportunities for those who didn't do as well at that point in their life but want another chance at the good life. Not lost on the report writers is the fact that perhaps, with the changing political reality, the suggestions might have some possibility of being acted upon.
A special thank you for Deborah Cantrell for forwarding the report. =)
- E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
April 25, 2007
Poverty and Poverty Law Blogs
A number of existing blogs focus on issues similar (or identical) to the issues in this blog and likely also of interest to Poverty law profs/students/etc... I will compile them as I encounter them, but here are some that may be of interest:
- Robert Reich's Blog (also more info on Reich with links to his publications and things like is appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is here).
- Public Defender Blog Guide
- Poverty Policy and Law
- Poverty News Blog
- Poverty and Growth Blog (The World Bank)
- Dani Rodrik's Blog (less obviously a poverty blog, but certainly an economic development blog, and as a Rodrik fan, I thought it worth including).
- E.R. email@example.com
April 24, 2007
UPDATE: Letters in response to DeParle's article, including my own letter, have been published by the NYTimes Sunday Magazine in the May 6 publication, and are available here. click here.
My poverty research this summer is focusing on remittances... normally I will not post on such a personally interesting but perhaps not broadly interesting topic (when I care a lot about something it is hard to me not to question whether others do care as much), but once again Jason DeParle came out with a very good article, this time on remittances. "A Good Provider is One Who Leaves" is the cover story of the April 22, 2007 N.Y. Times Sunday Magazine. Remittances (the sending of money home by immigrants) have recieved a great deal of attention in recent years, particularly in the economic development community, not so much in the legal community.
A number of international organizations have recently released remittance reports (a small sample focusing on Latin America -- DeParle focused on the Philippines -- is below):
- World Bank & International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Close to Home: The Development Impact of Remittances in Latin America (2007).
- Inter-American Development Bank, Sending Money Home: Leveraging the Development Impact of Remittances (most recently 2007).
- PEW Hispanic Center & Multilateral Investment Fund, Remittance Senders and Recievers: Tracking the Transnational Channels (2003).
Since this is a topic I am working on there is of course much more that could be added (one quick thing, if you are interested in remittances, Manuel Orozco's work deserves special attention), but for now DeParle's article provided an excuse to blog about remittances. - E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
April 19, 2007
Troubling, but entertaining guidebook for educators: "A Framework for Understanding Poverty"
As reported in the Washington Post, a guidebook being given to teachers across the country on understanding poverty itself does not demonstrate much understanding of poverty and is filled with troublesome generalizations. The book has strong sales, is in its 4th edition, is #637 in Amazon book sales (see here), and is written by Ruby K. Payne, the founder of a linked consulting business, Aha! Process, that offers, for a fee, its training services, to schools across the counties. The business is driven by its tie-in to the book, and given what is in the book, I hope the public would at least be concerned if this is how their district was spending limited resources.
I first encountered "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" a month ago when I returned to where I am from and saw that my dad's wife, a teacher, was reading the book. Since poverty matters are not on her normal reading list, I asked about the book and learned that her principal had given out copies to every teacher and had also discussed the book at a teacher in-service day. So I skimmed the book, and I admit that I laughed a lot as a read it! A lot! It is great that educators are being asked by their principals to think about poverty (for my dad and his wife that live on the Navajo Nation, an area with widespread unemployment/underemployment, the teachers are probably pretty aware to begin with), but to use a book with such rampant -- and I acknowledge funny, in a sad sort of way -- stereotypes, unsupported by evidence or research, is problematic. Some things I just could not imagine were actually published... To give just one example, to the right you have the author's presentation of the family structure of a poor woman (tied to 3 husbands and a live-in female lover), which of course she contrasts with a more traditional family structure of a better off family. To quote the Washington Post story, "The Texas-based author says in her book "A Framework for Understanding
Poverty": Parents in poverty typically discipline children by beating
or verbally chastising them; poor mothers may turn to sex for money and
favors; poor students laugh when they get in trouble at school; and
low-income parents tend to "beat around the bush" during parent-teacher
conferences, instead of getting to the point." If you are still interested in getting training materials based on the book, contact Aha! or simply Google "A Framework for Understanding Poverty," though a trip to the library for another book seems more worthwhile, unless you are into this for the entertainment value.
- E.R. email@example.com
April 11, 2007
Poverty Law Cases - Updates on significant poverty cases being considered
Given the range of legal topics covered by "poverty law," following noteworthy fed/state cases can be hard. The Shriver Center's emailed "Poverty Law News" can be subscribed to on their website and among other things it provides "case developments of interest to poor people's advocates."
Findlaw also has an indexed guide to cases on the U.S. Supreme Court docket (indexing is currently for the 2006 term but prior terms to 2000 are also available), with case categories such as worker's comp, labor, education, government benefits, etc...
Finally (and I apologize for always using the same paper), the New York Time's Supreme Court page brings together the paper's coverage of U.S. Supreme Court cases and under "notable cases" there are downloadable audio files from oral arguments on the cases the editors identify as being of general interest. Two current examples: Pay Discrimination and school district Affirmative Action.
April 7, 2007
Presidential Candidate John Edwards published edited collection: Ending Poverty in America
This week "Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream," edited by John Edwards, Marion Crane, and Arne L. Kalleberg showed up on bookstores across the country. The editors gathered together essays by such people as Jack Kemp, Elizabeth Warren, Jacob Hacker, William Julius Wilson, and John Edwards.
- Amazon Link
- Table of Contents (many of the readings seem worth checking out and possibly would make good class assignments).
More relevant info... John Edwards was the founding director of the UNC School of Law's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. For more info, see:
- Video of John Edwards talking about poverty at Berkeley
- Edwards campaign's page on poverty related to book
Note: I don't mean to be endorsing a candidate... the book does seem worthy of attention regardless of your thoughts pro/con on the Edwards bid for President.
- E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
April 3, 2007
A PowerPoint of Katrina 18 months later with very good photos and overview according to education, health, etc. is available online thanks to Bill Quigley at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law.
Note, I was a Loyno LR&W fellow prior to getting my current job and in fact was working there before and after Katrina, but it is worth noting, despite this possible bias, that a number of Loyno profs have directed their scholarship to the challenges and issues involved in and revealed by Katrina and Katrina's aftermath (only a sampling):
Maria Isabel Medina, Confronting the Rights Deficit at Home: Is the Nation Prepared in the Aftermath of Katrina? Confronting the Myth of Efficiency, 43 Cal. W. L. Rev. 9 (2006).
Mitchell F. Custo, The Katrina Fund: Repairing Breaches in Gulf Coast Insurance Levees, 43 Harv. J. on Legis. 329 (2006).
Robert R.M. Verchick, Risk, Fairness, and the Geography of Disaster. Draft. SSRN.
Additional material: Thurgood Marshall Law Review Symposium on Katrina (2006), Douglas A. Kysar, Did NEPA Drown New Orleans? The Levees, The Blame Game, and the Hazards of Hindsight, 56 Duke L.J. 179 (2006).
April 1, 2007
N.Y. Times Headline - Justices to Hear Case on Wages Of Home Aides
The Court has agreed to hear the case of a woman challenging Dept. of Labor regulations that exclude home care attendants from coverage of federal minimum wage and overtime laws. Story here. Will update once the briefs are on findlaw.
Poverty Law Material and Course Info Available Online
The University of Toronto has a somewhat dated, but still helpful, list of poverty related course outlines and readings from different schools and with different sets of readings, available here.
Georgetown has complied a very helpful research guide to poverty law that covers both general topics and specific poverty areas with suggested books and links to administrative agencies and data sources (additionally the guide includes links to similar guides created by other university libraries). Available here. The University of Maryland's guide links to some very useful reports.