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February 27, 2009

News Coverage of Obama's Budget and Welfare

David Stout, "Drilling Down on the Budget: Welfare," New York Times, Feb. 26, 2009.
Washington Post, "2010 Budget Blueprint: Agency by Agency," Feb. 27, 2009.
Tom Hart, "ONE and the President's Budget," ONE campaign, Feb. 26, 2009.

Link to the entire blueprint here
in PDF. 

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 27, 2009 in News Coverage of Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2009

Good Mapping Source: Dataplace.org

For those looking for a great resource for understanding how cities change over time or who want to look at demographics such as poverty rates in different parts of a city, www.dataplace.org is GREAT!  I have only begun to explore their map feature, but by entering particular cities, you can get a good sense of the changes that have taken place between 1990 and 2000.  Dataplace also launched www.foreclosure-response.org that has a good mapping feature related to the current crisis. 

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 26, 2009 in Links and Web Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2009

Pathways Winter 2009 Issue: focus on healthcare

Winter_2009_cover_214px_274px The newest issue of Pathways, a publication of the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, is out and focuses on healthcare.  Most of the articles are about healthcare reform but there are also articles about EITC and consumer indebtedness.  The PDF is available here

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 24, 2009 in Books/Articles/Reports of Interest | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2009

Article of Interest: "Broadening the Right to Acquire Capital with the Earnings of Capital"

Robert Ashford has posted "Broadening the Right to Acquire Capital with the Earnings of Capital: The Missing Link to Sustainable Economic Recovery and Growth" to SSRN.  The abstract is below:

This article presents a proposal to broaden the right to acquire capital with the earnings of capital as a means of promoting sustainable economic recovery and growth. It would open the markets for real and financial capital acquisition more fully and competitively to poor and working people (1) to distribute more broadly the earnings of capital and (2) to profitably employ more capital and labor. 

The article notes that both the recession and the strategies advanced to promote economic recovery may be viewed as responses to the prospect of inadequate present and future earning capacity of both consumers and producers (1) to purchase what can physically be produced and (2) to repay existent and anticipated debt obligations undertaken to stimulate the economy. 

To increase the prospects of sufficient, sustainable earning capacity, the approach advanced in this article is to extend to all people the same protections and benefits presently provided by government that facilitate market transactions whereby capital is acquired with the earnings of capital primarily for people in proportion to their wealth. 

Although in theory, all people in a market economy are able to acquire capital with the earnings of capital, reliable empirical data reveal that as a practical matter, the major determinant of the ability of individuals to acquire capital with the earnings of capital is the existing distribution of capital ownership. 

The theory of "binary" economic growth (on which the proposal advanced in this article is based) holds that the market return on capital depends not only on the wage rate, the scarcity of capital, its marginal productivity, and the interest rate, but also depends on the distribution of capital acquisition with the earnings of capital. The prospect of a broader distribution of capital acquisition with the earnings of capital carries with it the prospect of more broadly distributed earning capacity in future years, which in turn will provide the market incentives to profitably employ more capital and labor in earlier years. The idea that the broader distribution of capital acquisition with the earnings of capital will promote growth is not found in any of the widely accepted theories and models of economic growth such as those proposed by Schumpeter, Solow, Roemer, and Lucas. 

By opening to all people the institutions of corporate finance, banking, insurance, government loans and guaranties, and monetary policy (the very institutions presently relied upon by the Federal Government to stimulate the economy) the practical ability to acquire capital with the earnings of capital can be more broadly extended to all people, and a more level and competitive economic playing field can be established, with the result that greatly enhanced prospects for greater and more broadly distributed earning capacity and growth can be reasonably expected and realized by all.

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 20, 2009 in Books/Articles/Reports of Interest | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

News Coverage of use of Food Banks

Story here: Julie Bosman, "Newly Poor Swell Lines at Food Banks Nationwide," New York Times, Feb. 19, 2009. 

Also for those teaching, the following story though not on poverty but on student grade expectations may be of interest. 

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 20, 2009 in News Coverage of Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 18, 2009

Call for Papers: Subprime Mortgages Database Project

Courtesy of SSRN:

CALL FOR PAPERS: INVESTIGATING LENDER PRACTICES IN THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE MARKET

Proposal Deadline: MARCH 31, 2009

The Valparaiso University School of Law and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) invite proposals for papers based on a unique set of data from the National Mortgage Data Repository (NMDR), a joint project between NCLC and the University of Connecticut. Authors whose projects are selected will be invited to present their work at a Spring 2010 symposium at Valparaiso.

More info here, including the full call for papers

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 18, 2009 in Conferences and Calls for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mortgage Plan and Welfare

Coverage of Obama's Mortgage Plan:

Additionally, an article on welfare for fun: Robert Rector & Katherine Bradley, "Stimulus Bill Abolishes Welfare Reform and Adds New Welfare Spending," Heritage Foundation WebMemo, Feb. 11, 2009. 

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 18, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 16, 2009

Call for Law and Society Roundtable Participants: Teaching Gender Inequality in Law Schools

CALL FOR ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS; CRN No. 9 (Gender and Legal Education)

LAW AND SOCIETY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING, May 28-31, 2009, Denver, CO

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSAL: FEBRUARY 25, 2009 

Roundtable: Teaching Gender Inequality in Law Schools

Conversations about gender and sexuality in core law school courses are often focused on equality—constitutional doctrines of formal equality meted out by high courts – rather than underlying causes, effects and forms of inequality.  Law students are rarely asked to consider if inequality itself is undesirable, and whether law has a role in perpetuating, creating, resisting or eliminating it. While these concepts are foundational in most sociology or anthropology programs, they are not central to the law school curriculum, especially in the first year.

While there is no doubt that court cases eliminating legal barriers to gender and sexual equality are important for all law students to learn, the conversation is impoverished if they are the only vehicle used to examine gender, sexuality and other intersecting forms of inequality in a typical course of law school study. Teachers of today’s generation of students also must grapple with the fact that gender inequality looks different to students than it did even fifteen years ago. The generation of women entering law school—the beneficiaries of equal opportunity to education under Title IX and employment under Title VII – are members of a community in which young women have excelled. Many of them do not perceive gendered inequality operating in their lives. This creates a displacement where students who are interested in women’s rights are more comfortable examining the inequality of women in exotic foreign locales (such as inequalities suffered by Muslim women, victims of sex trafficking or of mass sexual violence). At the same time, however, they are slow to recognize the structural nature of gendered inequalities that persist closer to home. They may be quick to dismiss their own anxieties as problems that can be overcome by making perfect individual choices. Students interested in eliminating the inequality of the LGBTQ community might perceive that inequality more starkly, but still often lack the vocabulary to discuss questions of law, power and sexuality outside of the bounds of formal equality.

In the climate of change created by recent critiques of legal education, roundtable participants will take up the question of how social scientists and law teachers can become allies in the creation of materials, techniques and strategies to teach law students about the gender, sexual, and intersectional inequalities in the U.S. legal system and culture. Possible topics might include: innovations in legal pedagogy; strategies for exploring gender and sexual inequality in core law school courses (e.g., contracts, torts, criminal law); whether the training of lawyers should include an apprenticeship of identity and purpose that has at its core a commitment to reducing inequality; teaching techniques for reinvigorating courses on discrimination with more nuanced and sophisticated understandings of how structural inequalities play out in the lives of lawyers and their clients; exploring the role of experiential and clinical education in both fighting inequality and teaching students about its nature; incorporating questions of how law enables corporations and consumer culture to create and perpetuate gender inequality into law school teaching; and addressing inequality created or sustained by culture and religion in U.S. domestic as well as international settings.

If you would like to join the roundtable, please email Daniela Kraiem, CRN No. 9 Organizer and Associate Director, Women and the Law Program, American University Washington College of Law at kraiem@wcl.american.edu with a brief paragraph describing your interest in participating in the roundtable by February 25, 2009. 

LSA roundtables are generally informal discussions, guided by the questions and themes raised by the panelists. Panelists should be prepared to offer 7-10 minutes of remarks, followed by discussion of roundtable themes.

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 16, 2009 in Conferences and Calls for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2009

Article of Interest: "Subprime Communities: Reverse Redlining, the Fair Housing Act and Emerging Issues in Litigation Regarding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis"

S_monopolyhouse A new and timely article of interest: Ray Brescia, Subprime Communities: Reverse Redlining, the Fair Housing Act and Emerging Issues in Litigation Regarding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis, 2 Albany Gov't L. Rev. 164 (2009).  The abstract is below:

As the nation struggles to find its bearings in the current financial crisis, and venerable pillars of Wall Street crumble, hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent to shore up the financial system and re-capitalize credit markets. While the eyes of Washington are directed towards Wall Street, there is much talk of the need to prop up Main Street as well, and nowhere is this more apparent than in communities and neighborhoods across the United States that have experienced the first wave of the financial crisis: home upon home of foreclosed properties, abandoned and neglected, their absent silence hard to ignore. Many of these communities are communities of color.

Municipalities across the United States are trying to develop effective responses to the fallout in their communities from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, funding housing counseling programs and foreclosure mediation, and regulating the maintenance of foreclosed and abandoned homes. Another type of intervention that may prove promising is the prosecution of affirmative civil actions, designed either to punish lenders who allegedly engaged in discriminatory subprime lending practices, or those failing to maintain their portfolio of foreclosed homes. A case of the first type has been filed in Baltimore; cases of the second type have been filed in Cleveland and Buffalo. This article is an attempt to review some of the emerging issues in discrimination law, as there is a growing body of lawsuits directed at "reverse redlining": the practice of targeting borrowers of color for loans on unfavorable terms, and an evolving jurisprudence on this issue that departs in some significant ways from more traditional approaches to discrimination in the market.

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

 

February 13, 2009 in Books/Articles/Reports of Interest | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Washington Post: "Out of Work and Challenged on Benefits, Too"

News article of interest: Peter Whoriskey, "Out of Work and Challenged on Benefits, Too," Washington Post, Feb. 12, 2009 (about employers blocking payouts to former employees). 

-Thanks to Francine Lipman for the heads up! E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 13, 2009 in News Coverage of Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 11, 2009

Free Audio Training: Housing is a Human Right: Human Rights Framing for Housing & Homeless Advocates

From the NATIONAL LAW CENTER ON HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY

 

Free Audio Training on Housing is a Human Right: Human Rights Framing for Housing & Homeless Advocates February 25, 2009 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET. Overview:

The human rights system provides an important framework for connecting civil rights issues with economic and social justice. As part of the movement to reframe the crisis in affordable and public housing as a violation of the right to housing, NLCHP is helping to coordinate regional Congressional field hearings in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and New York City. In this webinar, we will share basic information about the human rights framework and how to frame domestic issues of affordable housing and homelessness in human rights terms.  To register, click here.

Somewhat relatedly, Gapminder.org has created a flash presentation called "dollar street" that showcases the quality of housing at various income levels, moving up from a $1/day.  The presentation is interesting if not as promising in practice as the premise.

-Thanks again to Parag Khandhar and also to Rick Wilson!  E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 11, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 10, 2009

New Article: "Tenants: Innocent Victims of the Nation's Foreclosure Crisis"

A new article of interest (though unfortunately I could only find it available through Lexis or Westlaw): Vicki Been & Allegra Glashausser, Tenants: Innocent Victims of the Nation's Foreclosure Crisis, 2 Alb. Gov't L. Rev. 1 (2009).  The article is part of an issue dedicated to the crisis.  An earlier article with Vicki Been as one of the co-authors of interest and available through SSRN is: Jenny Schuetz, Vicki Been & Ingrid Gould Ellen, Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Mortgage Foreclosures (Working Paper July 11, 2008). 

-Thanks to Parag Khandhar for the heads up!  E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 10, 2009 in Books/Articles/Reports of Interest | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 9, 2009

Jason DeParle on Welfare

Jason DeParle has a new article that while not breaking new ground does quickly present the major debates in welfare policy: what should count, should it be tied to work, deserving/undeserving, etc... The article is: Jason DeParle, "The 'W' Word, Re-Engaged," New York Times, Feb. 7, 2009. 

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 9, 2009 in News Coverage of Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 8, 2009

Article of Interest: "Distributive Justice and Private Law"

Article of Interest:

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 8, 2009 in Books/Articles/Reports of Interest | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 6, 2009

Upcoming Conference: Property Ownership and Economic Stability

Saint Louis University School of Law Public Law Review is hosting "Property Ownership and Economic Stability: A Necessary Relationship?" on Feb. 27, 2009.  The schedule can be found here and the participants here.  The overview of the conference is below:

The recent instability in the nation's housing markets has demonstrated the complex relationship between property ownership and economic stability for lower-income families. Until recently, many experts argued that such families could not hope to achieve the "American dream" without owning their own homes. Increasingly, events from the past year are calling the assumptions underlying these assertions into question. This symposium brings together a group of leading scholars and practitioners to examine the relationship between property ownership and economic stability, both domestically and abroad. Among other issues, speakers will discuss barriers to creating affordable housing, property rights in the international context and changing definitions of property ownership in the United States.

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 6, 2009 in Conferences and Calls for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Upcoming Conference: The Evolving Definition of the Immigrant Worker

Lawreviewsymp The University of San Francisco's Law Review Symposium is "The Evolving Definition of the Immigrant Worker: The Intersection Between Employment, Labor, and Human Rights Law," Feb. 27, 2009.  The registration information is here and the participant bios can be found here. 

-Thanks to Legal Scholarship Blog for the heads up! E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 6, 2009 in Conferences and Calls for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 5, 2009

Social Entreprenuership and Obama

Of interest perhaps to students considering applying for social entreprenuership grants such as Echoing Green is a short paper on what Obama could do to support such activities: Michele Jolin, "Innovating the White House: How the next President of the United States can spur social entreprenuership," Stanford Social Innovation Review (Spring 2008). 

(Another article that seems interesting is "Romanticizing the Poor," by Aneel Karnani and critiquing "bottom-up" market solutions to poverty, but it requires a subscription to read.)

-Courtesy of Echoing Green. E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 5, 2009 in Global Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 3, 2009

Conference Announcement: "Getting It Right: The Government's Role in Housing and Economic Development"

Brooklyn Law School and the Brooklyn Law School Journal of Law and Policy are sponsoring "Getting it Right: The Government's Role in Housing and Economic Development" on Friday, March 27, 2009.  The program is here

-Courtesy of of the Legal Scholarship Blog. E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 3, 2009 in Conferences and Calls for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NY Times, "Welfare Aid Isn't Growing as Economy Drops Off"

Article of interest: Jason DeParle, "Welfare Aid Isn't Growing as Economy Drops Off," New York Times, Feb. 1, 2009 (associated graphic here).

-E.R. erosser@wcl.american.edu

February 3, 2009 in News Coverage of Poverty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack