October 30, 2008
Call For Newsletter Submissions from Poverty Law Professors
If you are on the poverty law professor listserv, you have already seen this, but if not...
In the interest of sharing what we are doing individually and in the hopes that doing so will inspire connections that might not otherwise happen, I am putting together a Poverty Law Newsletter in advance of the AALS conference. If you could email me with what you have been up to in the following categories (feel free to suggest other categories as well), I will put together such a newsletter. Categories:
- Upcoming Conferences
- Books and Book Updates
- Articles and Other Publications
- Speeches and Presentations
- Legislative and Regulatory Activities
- Personal Notes
For inclusion in the newsletter, please email me by Nov. 5th (extended deadline) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 29, 2008
Thoughts on Moments of Change
This is a non-partisan blog, but that having been said, I think that come Wednesday the poverty law community might be in a situation somewhat analogous to the change in administration period between Bush Sr. and Clinton. A wonderful article from that period captures this very well. The article: Fran Ansley, Standing Rusty and Rolling Empty: Law, Poverty, and America's Eroding Industrial Base, 81 Geo. L.J. 1757 (1993). Below are some excerpts that resonate strongly today (or at least perhaps by Wednesday):
"This is an important moment for anti-poverty advocates. There are economic changes at work that threaten to exacerbate and entrench disparities that are already a disturbingly salient feature of American society. . . . The advent of a new administration in Washington, while holding out the hope of a welcome end to much that was brutal and wrong-headed in our recent national economic policy, is hardly the end of the story. . . . A strategy that used the power of the executive to give traditionally unrepresented groups an effective voice would greatly increase the executive's available options. The nation's new leadership currently faces a set of exceedingly difficult constraints imposed by global competition, the world-wide recession, and the crippling debt burden inherited from the Reagan-Bush years, all situated in an impoverished political landscape dominated overwhelmingly by corporate interests. The new administration does not have the tools to change that landscape alone if it wanted to, but a number of concrete steps that are within its power could help to unleash a popular energy and motion that could move toward real democratic change. The question is whether the Administration will have the courage and the vision to follow such a strategy."
For a decidedly partisan election related video that is great to send to friends, click here (this version attacks me but it can be customized).
October 28, 2008
New Blog and New Book: "Philanthrocapitalism"
Bob Giloth, the Director of the Family Economic Success Initiative at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has a new blog, www.bobgiloth.com, available here.
A recent post of interest for example calls attention to "Philanthrocapitalism," and the new book by Matthew Bishop & Michael Green, Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World (2008). See also, Michael Edwards, Just Another Emperor? The Myths and Realities of Philanthrocapitalism (2008), blogged about by Bob Giloth here.
-Thanks to Josh Nelson for the heads up! E.R. email@example.com
October 26, 2008
Conference Announcement: Urban Child Symposium at Univ. of Baltimore
The University of Baltimore School of Law's Center for Families, Children and the Courts' first Urban Child symposium, "Solving the Drop-Out Crisis: Getting the Other Half to Attend and Achieve," April 2, 2009.
From the website:
-Thanks to the Legal Scholarship Blog for the heads up. E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
October 23, 2008
ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty
Older book that I came across today: ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty's book, Lawyers Working to End Homelessness (2006). The table of contents is here, bios of contributors are here, and an overview is below:
October 21, 2008
NPR Coverage of redefining poverty and Poll results
National Public Radio's coverage of poverty has two things of note:
- The NPR/Kaiser/Kennedy School Poll Results on Poverty in America are here (2001).
- "Redefining poverty in the U.S." Oct. 17, 2008. Summary below:
- The U.S. definition of poverty is more than 40 years old, and critics think it's time for an overhaul. Mayors from all over the country met in L.A. to come up with a plan for resetting the poverty line. Rachel Dornhelm has more.
-Thanks to Stephanie Humphries for the heads up. E.R. email@example.com
October 19, 2008
Pro Bono is Anti-Social!
At least according to Judge Dennis Jacobs, Chief Judge of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. See blog posting on clinicians with not enough to do here.
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 2008
- Poverty Levels and Trends in Comparative Perspective, by Daniel R. Meyer and Geoffrey L. Wallace
- Economic Change and the Structure of Opportunity for Less-Skilled Workers, by Rebbeca M. Blank
- Family Structure, Childbearing, and Parental Employment: Implications for the Level and Trend in Poverty, by Maria Cancian and Deborah Reed
- Immigration and Poverty in the United States by Steven Raphael and Eugene
- Enduring Influences of Childhood Poverty, by Katherine Magnuson and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal
- Mobility in the United States in Comparative Perspective, by Markus Jantti
- Trends in Income Support, by John Karl Scholz, Robert Moffitt, and Benjamin Cowan
- The Role of Family Policies in Anti-Poverty Policy, by Jane Waldfogel
- Improving Educational Outcomes for Poor Children, by Brian A. Jacob and Jens Ludwig
- Workforce Development as an Antipoverty Strategy: What Do We Know? What Should We Do? by Harry J. Holzer
- Health Care for the Poor: For Whom, What Care, and Whose Responsibility? by Katherine Swartz
- Poverty Politics and Policy, Mary Jo Bane
- What Does It Mean to Be Poor in a Rich Society? by Robert Haveman [Also available on the IRP website are slides from the Robert J. Lampman Memorial Lecture entitled "What Does It Mean to be Poor in a Rich Society?" by Robert H. Haveman.]
-Thanks to Susan Bennett for the heads up. E.R. firstname.lastname@example.org
October 17, 2008
Poverty in America & Report on Credit Impact from Wall St to Main St-- Summary from Joint Economic Committee of Congress
The Joint Economic Committee of Congress puts out occasional, brief, fact sheets and reports. Two recent ones of note that present how Congress sees these issues are:
- Poverty in America (Aug. 26, 2008)
- From Wall Street to Main Street: Understanding How the Credit Crisis Affects You (Oct. 3, 2008)
- And from a year ago: The Subprime Lending Crisis: The Economic Impact on Wealth, Poverty Values, and Tax Revenues, and How We Got There (Oct. 25, 2007)
October 16, 2008
Cool graphic on the components of inflation
The New York Times has a somewhat dated multimedia graphic showing the components of the Consumer Price Index that is pretty interesting and good for in-class explanations.
October 15, 2008
Focus on Working Class
A quick report, Working Hard, Still Falling Short, was just released by the Working Poor Families Project. Relatedly, the upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine features the story, Matt Bai, "Working for the Working Class Vote," Oct. 15, 2008.
October 14, 2008
Congratulations to Paul Krugman
Given the number of times I have linked to one of Krugman's op-eds, it seems worth noting that Krugman just won a Nobel Prize in Economics!
=) E.R. email@example.com
October 13, 2008
Executive Compensation and the Financial Crisis
In the wake of the financial crisis, or rather in the midst of the current crisis, there are a number of resources from various outlets on executive pay. Below are some, but if you have others, let me know and I'll add them:
- MSNBC Slideshow, "These Guys Made How Much? Their companies went belly-up, but they walked away with a fortune."
- AFL-CIO 2008 Executive Paywatch.
- New York Times, Apr. 5, 2008, "Executive Pay: The Bottom Line for Those at the Top," very good multimedia/graphic link with info on a large number of CEOs.
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Hearing on "Executive Compensation II: CEO Pay and Mortgage Crisis," March 7, 2008, with transcripts, video, and testimony. A USA Today story on the hearing is here.
- Center for Corporate Policy's Executive Compensation webpage.
- Video of Lehman Brother's CEO's testimony before Congress. Rep. Henry Waxman asks Richard S. Fuld, Jr. the basic question of whether the CEO's compensation was "fair?" Fuld questions the numbers but does not really answer the question. GREAT video. Here is the New York Times story on the same hearing.
October 11, 2008
Op-Ed of Interest: "The Class War Before Palin"
David Brooks has an interesting op-ed, "The Class War Before Palin," New York Times, Oct. 10, 2008. The majority is about the anti-elite aspects of Republican Party rhetoric, exemplified by Sarah Palin, but ends by noting that the Republican Party has had policies that do not address the concerns of the working class.
My only concern with this sort of writing is that it arguably suffers from a bit too much of the mirror-looking sort of analysis that finds explanations in decisions that if the Republicans were winning than those same decisions would be seen as being brilliant; it made me think of The Right Nation, a book describing the rise of the right written by two British journalists. Maybe it isn't the anti-elite or the rhetoric of politicians that has made the Republican Party weak, it is the fact that even McCain's own commercial has to acknowledge that most Americans feel, correctly, that they are worse off than they were four years ago (and really 8 years ago). These law prof blogs are not supposed to be political, but I think that anti-elite, anti-intellectual rhetoric could work but for the current troubles of the country under a Republican administration.
October 8, 2008
Article of Interest: "Lifting the Floor: Sex, Class and Education"
October 6, 2008
Property article critiquing excessive reliance on law and economics
A recent property article by Eduardo M. Peñalver entitled "Land Virtues" has been posted to SSRN. The paper's focus is property law, but I think says a lot to those with a poverty/property focus. The abstract is below:
This article has two goals. First, I explore some of the descriptive and normative shortcomings of traditional law and economics discussions of the ownership and use of land. These market-centered approaches struggle in different ways with features of land that distinguish it from other "commodities." The complexity of land - its intrinsic complexity, but even more importantly the complex ways in which human beings interact with it - undermines the notion that owners will focus on a single value, such as wealth, in making decisions about their land. Adding to the equation land's "memory," by which I mean the combined impact of the durability of land uses and the finite quantity of land, calls into question the normative assessment that owners whose behavior is guided by a unitary measure like market value are using their land wisely, or at least more wisely than other modes of decision-making might hope to accomplish. The shortcomings of traditional law and economics theories of land use point toward the benefits of a pluralist theory of property based on the Aristotelian tradition of virtue ethics. Setting forth the broad outlines of such a theory as it applies to the law of land use is the second goal of this article. Virtue theory, I will argue, is capable of incorporating the valuable insights that have made economic analysis so appealing to land use theorists without distorting our moral vision or treating economic consequences as the only considerations that ought to matter.
Personally, I think the article is
great. My own critique is a tiny one -- I think of New Institutional
Economics as accomplishing more than what is acknowledged in the paper and
worthy of more exploration, but that is only because I have a particular NIE
interest. If you download it you will see that Peñalver
has a great section on how failure to correct for inability to pay in
traditional law and economics work ends up wrongly prioritizing the desires of
the wealthy versus the poor.
October 4, 2008
Interesting Article on Post-Katrina New Orleans and the Poor
Judith Browne-Dianis & Anita Sinha, Exiling the Poor: The Clash of Redevelopment and Fair-Housing in Post-Katrina New Orleans, 51 How. L.J. 481 (2008). Unfortunately, only available on Lexis & Westlaw.
Related articles that are available online:
- Judith Browne-Dianis, "Who Exiled New Orleans' Poor?" Washington Post, May 17, 2007.
- Anita Sinha & Jill Tauber, "The Post-Katrina War on Low-Income Housing: Dreams Turned into Rubble in New Orleans," Counterpunch, Mar. 26, 2008.
October 3, 2008
Article of Interest: The Vast Injustice Perpetuated by State and Local Tax Policy
Article of interest: Susan Pace Hamill, "The Vast Injustice Perpetuated by State and Local Tax Policy," 37 Hofstra L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2008), on SSRN. The abstract is below:
October 1, 2008
Critical Race Theory Conference at Iowa
The University of Iowa College of Law is hosting: CRT 20: Honoring Our Past, Charting Our Future. The conference schedule available here includes talks/speeches by many of the major players in Critical Race Theory, April 2-4, 2009. An email forward that I got indicates that drafts for abstracts for workshop papers are due by Dec. 15, 2008 and that draft papers are due by Jan. 30, 2009, but I have been unable to find this same info on the the conference website.