March 29, 2008
Northwestern Symposium "Ten Years After Welfare Reform: Making Work Pay" Apr. 4, 2008
Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy
Second Annual Symposium
Friday, April 4, 2008
Northwestern University School of Law
375 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL
We are excited to announce our Spring 2008 symposium, "Ten Years After Welfare Reform: Making Work Pay", which will take place Friday, April 4, at Northwestern University School of Law.
While much of welfare reform in the 1990s focused on moving people off of the welfare rolls and into work, many of those who have entered the work force are still struggling to survive. These individuals are often working multiple jobs, yet are still unable to support their families. The symposium explores the many components, beyond just finding a job, that are necessary in order for individuals to truly become self-sufficient.
One of the issues we will explore is the work supports needed by low-wage workers in order to rise out of poverty, including health insurance, child-care, and stable housing as well as how to improve awareness of and access to these critical programs.
We will also explore ways to enhance the income of low-wage workers through mechanisms like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, living wage laws, and government funded savings programs. Additionally, our authors will suggest how low-wage workers can avoid high cost financial services and the “credit addiction.”
Finally, we will explore the history of the welfare reform movement, by examining its political and legal origins and by evaluating current and alternative methods of reform.
Thus, in order to encourage people to enter the work force and become independent, society must provide support in order to truly make work pay.
Schedule of the Day’s Events
8:30-9:00 a.m. Light Breakfast Reception
9:00-9:20 a.m. Welcome & Introduction
9:20-10:20 a.m Improving Income Supports
• Richard K. Caputo, Ph.D., Director, Doctoral Program at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University (New York)
• Dory Rand, Supervising Attorney, Community Investment Unit, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
• Audra Wilson, Northwestern University School of Law
• Michael van Zalingen, Lead Attorney, Neighborhood Housing Services
10:20-10:30 a.m. Break
10:30-11:30 a.m. Improving Work Supports
•John Bouman, President, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
•Greg J. Duncan, Professor, Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
•Liz Schott, Senior Fellow, Welfare Reform and Income Support Division, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
11:30-12:00 p.m. Tour of Law School and Bluhm Legal Clinic
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00-1:30 p.m. Keynote Address
•Julie Nice, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
1:30-3:00 p.m. The History and Future of Welfare Reform
•Peter B. Edelman, Professor, Georgetown Law
•Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
•Felicia Kornbluh, Assistant Professor, History, Duke University
3:00-3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Registration and Contact Information
For questions or to register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate which sessions you will be attending and if you will attend the lunch session. Registration by March 31st would be appreciated.
3.5 CLE Credits are available. $175 for the entire event ($50 per credit). This will be collected the day of at the registration table and is payable by cash, check, or credit card.
March 26, 2008
Conference: Debtor World, Univ. of Illinois, May 2-3, 2008
The University of Illinois College of Law, with the American Bankruptcy Institute, is hosting "A Debtor World: Interdisciplinary Academic Symposium on Debt," May 2-3, 2008. From the conference website:
Perhaps the most common American experience today is debt. While debt can enable individuals and companies to do useful things they would otherwise be unable to do, excessive debt can cause serious financial problems for individuals, businesses and society at large. Debt is pervasive in the U.S. today. According to the latest figures from the Federal Reserve, there is almost $30,000 outstanding in consumer credit and home mortgages for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Even on an inflation-adjusted basis, that represents a thirteen-fold increase since 1946 when the figure was only $2,200. There are 900 million credit cards in circulation in the United States. Debt growth has not been restricted to consumers. Business debt is nine times as large as it was in 1946. Put simply, Americans have committed their future cash flows at an unprecedented rate.
More on Foreclosures and Bailouts (from NYTimes, CAP, and Urban Inst.)
The importance of homeowners seeking help in time to avoid foreclosure is covered in: John Leland, "Swift Steps Help Avert Foreclosure in Baltimore," N.Y. Times, Mar. 26, 2008.
The Center for American Progress' Housing Page includes a number of editorials and facts/figures that contrast the Wall Street Bailout with the treatment of homeowners (David D. Abromowitz, "Selective Bailouts"); provide an overview of the situation; and most significantly includes Abromowitz's report, "Addressing Foreclosures: A Great American Dream Neighborhood Stabilization Plan," CAP Jan. 31, 2008.
The Urban Institute also just published: Edward M. Gramlich, Subprime Mortgages: America's Latest Boom and Bust (you have to buy it, here is the amazon.com link, but the first chapter is online and can give you a taste of the book).
March 24, 2008
National Equal Justice Library Symposium at Georgetown March 25, 2008
On Tuesday, March 25, from 1:30-6pm, Georgetown University Law Center is hosting a “Symposium and Celebration of the National Equal Justice Library’s
Arrival at Georgetown Law and the Library’s Acceptance of the Papers of Gary
Bellow.” The National Equal Justice
Library has moved around some, but it is great that
March 19, 2008
Some not so interesting papers of mine (on Remittances and Obligations of Privilege)
Please excuse the self-promoting post regarding two of my articles...
One of my articles just got published in its final version: Ezra Rosser, Obligations of Privilege, 32 N.Y.U. REV. L. & SOC. CHANGE 1 (2007). The abstract is below:
Little attention is paid to the nature of the high incomes of the rich or to the legal and norm-based obligations the rich owe society. This popular and scholarly inattention reflects the general acceptance of the idea that the rich have earned their high incomes and owe society little. After considering income equations revealing society’s role in high incomes and identifying the existing obligations of the rich, the article urges a strengthening of the obligations of the rich and rejects the argument that the legal community ought not consider the moral demands associated with high incomes.
- Here is a related news article that I just saw today: John Thornhill, "How Super-Rich Can Avoid Lynching," FT.com, Financial Times, Feb. 22, 2008 (Thanks to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog post on this story from yesterday).
I also just posted to SSRN a draft of an article on a topic getting a lot of NYTimes coverage this year: Ezra Rosser, Remittances, Forthcoming 41 CONN. L. REV. __ (2008). Abstract below:
Remittances, the sending of money from immigrants back to their home countries, are the newest anti-poverty, development activity of the poor to be applauded by international institutions and economists. Exceeding foreign aid and private investment to many developing countries, remittances are being hailed as a new, untapped resource with powerful poverty alleviation and potentially development attributes. After presenting the poverty, developmental, and economic characteristics of this new transnational connection between immigrants and their loved ones, as well as the dangerous effects of excessive remittance regulation, this paper argues that remittances should be understood as an anti-poverty tool, but not as a route to development.
- Most recent N.Y. Times related coverage: Jason DeParle, "World Banker and His Cash Return Home," New York Times, March 17, 2008.
March 18, 2008
Harvard announces Zero Tuition for Public Interest Students in their 3L year
HLS announced that it "plans to waive tuition for third-year students who pledge to spend five years working either for nonprofit organizations or the government" from NY Times coverage, the story is here and the HLS press release is here. Though such a program may have little role practically compared with a strong LRAP/LIPP program, it does help build student pre-commitment to public-interest careers.
Financial Meltdown Editorials
The big news of the last few days, the continuing financial meltdown of Wall Street, tied partly to subprime loans and partly to poor regulation/poor choices and risky behavior, has generated a number of interesting editorials. Here is a selection (photo for Bear market--perhaps too cute):
- E.J. Dionne Jr., "The Street on Welfare," Washington Post March 18, 2008.
- Robert J. Samuelson, "How This Crisis is Different," Washington Post March 18, 2008.
- Alex Tabarrok, "Home Sweet Investment," New York Times March 18, 2008 (a more positive take on where the housing market is headed and the fundamentals of housing)
- Editorial, "Who Will Come to the Rescue?" New York Times March 18, 2008 (good overview).
- And of course a favorite: Paul Krugman, "The B Word," New York Times March 17, 2008 (definitely worth reading on the coming bailout, ending ominously, "things are falling apart as you read this").
March 17, 2008
Seeking others interested in AALS Open Source Idea
For law professors:
The AALS just sent out a request for Open Source proposals for the next annual meeting. See Below. I am writing to see if others are interested in joining me in putting together a proposal focusing on (tentatively): "legal implications of the new gilded age." I am interested in working on such a proposal and if you are as well, please get in touch with me.
March 14, 2008
Symposium Issues related to Poverty Law
A number of law review symposium issues have recently come out that focus on poverty related topics:
Iowa Journal of Gender, Race & Justice Vol. 11: One Act, Ten Years, and Thousands of Families: Welfare Reform in Contemporary America (TOC only, articles through Lexis or Westlaw). Features:
- Vivian Hamilton, Will Marriage Promotion Work?
- Yoanna Moisides, I Just Need Help. . . TANF, The Deficit Reduction Act, and the New “Work-Eligible Individual”
- Joel Berg, Welfare Reform: The Promise Unfulfilled
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, Symposium on Poverty, Migration, and Trafficking in Persons, 14 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 441-572 (2007). All Material on Lexis or Westlaw. Features:
- Shah, Svati P. Distinguishing poverty and trafficking: lessons from field research in . 14 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 441
- Lee, Ivy. An appeal of a T visa denial. 14 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 455
- Hsu, Kevin Shawn. Note. Masters and servants in America: the ineffectiveness of current United States anti-trafficking policy in protecting victims of trafficking for the purposes of domestic servitude. 14 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 489
- Fouda, Lauren. Note. Compulsory voluntary repatriation: why temporary protection for Sudanese asylum-seekers in amounts to refoulement. 14 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 511
- Li, Bethany. Note. From bilingual education to OELALEAALEPS: how the No Child Act has undermined English language learners' access to a meaningful education. 14 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 539
Valparaiso: Law, Poverty and Economic Inequality Conference Schedule
Valparaiso University School of Law is hosting "Law, Poverty and Economic Inequality," a two day conference April 3-4, 2008, and has not posted the schedule as well as a press release (you'll see if you check it out that I am one of the participants but don't let that dissuade you from coming, there are many much better scholars also speaking). Penelope Andrews deserves a lot of credit for her organization of this.
The New York Times recently covered slum tourism: Eric Weiner, "Slum Visits: Tourism or Voyeurism" NYTimes, March 9, 2008. Thanks to Frank Pasquale and Concurring Opinions for highlighting this story.
March 11, 2008
Pope's Lent Message focuses on Almsgiving and aiding those in need
Arguably this could be good for a poverty course (particularly at a Catholic school) and I thought it interesting (though I am not Catholic) ... The Pope's 2008 Message for Lent focuses on "the practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific way to assist those in need." Pope Benedict writes:
"In the Gospel, Jesus explicitly admonishes the one who possesses and uses earthly riches only for self. In the face of the multitudes, who, lacking everything, suffer hunger, the words of Saint John acquire the tone of a ringing rebuke: “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?” (1 Jn 3,17). In those countries whose population is majority Christian, the call to share is even more urgent, since their responsibility toward the many who suffer poverty and abandonment is even greater. To come to their aid is a duty of justice even prior to being an act of charity."
March 10, 2008
Very Good Reporting on Condo Conversions with Human Costs and Mechanisms
The Washington Post is doing a special series entitled "Forced Out: The Cost of D.C.'s Condo Boom" that is worth reading and could be a good addition to a housing/property and of course poverty law class. The stories so far:
- Debbie Cenziper & Sarah Cohen, "Landlords Profit from Decay," Washington Post, Mar. 9, 2008.
- Debbie Cenziper & Sarah Cohen, "In One Heated Dispute, Someone Set a Fire," Washington Post, Mar. 10, 2008.
- Another tomorrow... Available through the series' main site.
There is also audio slideshow entitled "The Wrong Side of Renewal" and an interactive map with details on how many tenants were forced out and the complaints made in the process of developers making way for condo conversions (the cost savings to developers that comes with vacancy is presented in a Post diagram).
March 8, 2008
New York Times Magazine March 9, 2008 on Charitable Giving
The cover story of the New York Times Sunday Magazine for March 9, 2008 is entitled "Giving It Away," and most of the Magazine's articles are on philanthropy. Additionally there is a slide show on Social Entreprenuers.
If you don't have a subscription, it might be worth picking up the Sunday paper -- but I am not trying to sell the newspaper.
Loyola New Orleans Symposium on Criminal Indigent Defense April 4, 2008
Loyola University New Orleans School of Law is hosting a symposium on Criminal Indigent Defense on April 4, 2008. For more info, click here.
The Legal Profession and the Unmet Needs of the Immigrant Poor - Georgetown J. of Legal Ethics
The Georgetown J. of Legal Ethics recently published an article by Judge Robert A. Katzmann entitled "The Legal Profession and the Unmet Needs of the Immigrant Poor." SSRN does not seem to have the article but the Georgetown website has table of contents for the issue and ways to purchase the article and related articles through their site. Additionally, the text of a Judge Katzmann's speech to the NYC Bar with the same title is available here. And of course there is Westlaw and Lexis access to the article: 21 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 3 (2008).
March 5, 2008
Interesting Papers being Presented
The Legal Scholarship Blog does a daily report of papers being presented at law schools across the country and two recent presentations might be of interest.
First, Jacob Hacker presents on March 6th at his own university (Yale) a draft chapter entitled "The Politics of Risk Privatization in U.S. Social Policy" that continues on the work he did in prior books such as The Great Risk Shift: The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Health Care, and Retirement--And How You Can Fight Back (2006).
Legal thinkers seem increasingly drawn to the ideal of endowment taxation as a model for designing an actual tax system. On the surface, endowment taxation is appealing - taxing the highly endowed more fully without respect to their chosen allocation of wage work and leisure. This paper argues that endowment taxation is problematic for liberal egalitarians because it fails to fulfill the equality norm that motivates their approach. The debate about endowment taxation has taken an unfortunate turn by focusing on beachcombers, a paradigm that implicitly rejects the central project of liberal egalitarian political theory - how to allocate the benefits and burdens of social cooperation. This article shifts the paradigm to volunteers, homemakers, and low-wage workers, who significantly contribute to the social product, and allow us to consider what individuals in a community owe each other and what the sovereign owes all individuals.
The article starts by revealing the hidden norms in the standard lump-sum taxation model that underlies the endowment tax ideal. It analyzes the bias in favor of market over non-market work, and examines the meaning of "leisure" that is often used in the tax policy literature to encompass below-market work, non-market work, and pure recreation. Then, it challenges the use of endowment as an "ideal" against which other tax systems may be evaluated by explaining how it presents theoretical as well as practical problems of definition that undermine it. Turning more specifically to the work of John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin, the article argues that the proponents of endowment taxation have misunderstood the nature of liberty and equality essential to the liberal egalitarian project, and explains why an endowment tax is inconsistent with the liberal understanding of those principles, particularly the principle of equal opportunity. It then queries why the debate about equality in taxation has focused on human endowment rather than financial endowment, which is a much clearer source of inequality. The final part of the paper considers the welfarist case for endowment taxation and finds it lacking in ways not previously identified.
March 4, 2008
Marion Crain changing schools but Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity staying at UNC
As reported by Brian Leiter, Prof. Marion Crain is moving from UNC to Wash U/St. Louis, but according to Prof. Crain, the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity is staying at UNC and the school will be picking a new Director to replace her.
March 1, 2008
Stigma and School Free Lunch Programs
The N.Y. Times has a new article on the stigma associated with free lunch programs that are structured in ways that make recipients identifiable relative to other students; this problem echoes the problems of food stamps pre-EBT cards and such similarity does suggest a solution. The article is: Carol Pogash, "Free Lunch Isn't Cool, So Some Students Go Hungry," NYTimes (Mar. 1, 2008).