12:01 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

One weird trick that's proven to help prevent violence in your neighborhood

Credit flickr/thomashawk

Virginia Commonwealth University's  Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development has a lot of research projects aimed at helping young people succeed.

One of those projects is a community surveillance system that tracks ambulance calls, emergency room visits, and other data to track levels of violence across neighborhoods in Richmond, Virginia.

In 2003, researchers from the Institute reported to local community members on a not-so-surprising correlation they'd discovered: Rates of violence were higher near convenience stores that sold "inexpensive, single-serve alcoholic beverages."

A paper published by Institute researchers last year described what happened next: 

Read more
7:42 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Paul Ryan signals change in tone on poverty. Skeptics raise collective eyebrow.

Credit commondreams.org

Paul Ryan is arguably the Republican Party's most amplified voice on poverty. He talks about it often in his role as chairman of the House Budget Committee and spoke famously on Vice Presidential campaign trail.

Read more
10:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Are we just one good story away from more effective social welfare policies?

To watch the video click below
Credit YouTube

What happens when you take high school students from a poor school and have them interact with high school students from a rich school? Well, if you're lucky, a little something called empathy develops. 

(Need a refresher on the difference between empathy and sympathy? Check out this animated video of a fox and a bear and an antelope. I guarantee it's way better than just looking up the definitions in a dictionary.)

Read more
1:31 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Is the idea that education drives inequality an excuse?

Lead in text: 
It's a little on the economist/wonky side, but this column puts together some compelling research that what is driving the wage gap and rising income inequality is not that enough people aren't educated and able to get good jobs. Instead, it might be that too many people are under-employed and that middle class jobs don't pay enough. And then there's this zinger. “There is good reason to resist the proposition that education and technology are solely responsible for growing inequality.It provides political leaders an excuse to cast the problem as beyond the reach of policy.”
Jared Bernstein is a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington and a former chief economist to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Ask a policy maker or most economists what's driving the long rise in wage inequality in the United States, and they'll almost certainly mention technology (along with globalization).
10:38 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Michigan families far below the poverty line as benefit levels drop

Credit Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

At the end of this week food stamp benefit levels are going to fall for the 1.75 million people in Michigan who use the program. A boost from federal stimulus money had bolstered the program, but will expire November 1. There are no plans to use state funds to make up the difference.

Just how much will the cuts amount to? As broken down by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) a family of four will see cuts equaling at least a couple of meals. 

Read more
10:33 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Up to 19,000 kids locked out of Head Start classes because of partial government shutdown

Lead in text: 
Head Start teachers are not federal employees, but Head Start is funded by the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services pays for thousands of Head Start programs around the country by awarding thousands of grants. Most of the programs that depend on these grants will be fine during the shutdown; their funding is already in place for the year. But in 23 programs across 11 states, the funding is not in place. It was supposed to come through on Oct. 1st, the day the government shut down. NPR's Audie Cornish talked to the director of one of those 23 programs to find out how families have been affected.
About 19,000 children are affected by the government shutdown. Head Start programs across the country are being forced to shut down as they lose funding from the federal government. Audie Cornish talks to Dora Jones, the director of Cheaha Regional Head Start in Talladega, Ala. Her program is closed Tuesday because of the shutdown.
9:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Clearing up misperceptions about welfare state-by-state

Lead in text: 
The insidious thing about myths and stereotypes is their persistence. Like a stain on the public discourse, sometimes no amount of research, data, insight, or concrete evidence to the contrary will change how some people think about living in poverty in the U.S. Sometimes even falling into poverty---an unexpected shift in personal circumstances---doesn't change how one thinks about the causes and consequences of not having enough to eat, inadequate shelter, under- or unemployment, and lack of education. Today's release of the 2012 poverty numbers seems like a good opportunity to review some myths about poverty. The Urban Institute has done just that. Have a look and tell us: what ideas do you have about Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) that aren't necessarily true? What facts surprise you?
Posted: September 11th, 2013 Unlike monthly jobs numbers, poverty numbers come out only once a year-and they'll be rolling out on Tuesday. That means this is the time to talk about the 46.2 million living in poverty. And you can't talk about poverty without talking about welfare, officially known as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
6:00 am
Wed May 22, 2013

How the sequester impacts Michigan's low-income families

Focus Hope's machinist training program will soon be on indefinte hold because of the sequester.
Credit Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

When airlines and travelers complained of long flight delays due to the sequester, Congress jumped into action and passed a quick resolution to end the delays. Meanwhile the millions of low-income families who lives are being impacted by the sequester continue to wait for Congress’ help.

The cuts keep rolling in

Read more
11:49 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Scoring lawmakers on how they handle poverty issues

Lead in text: 
Grover Norquist does it. The NRA does it. Now, the Shriver Center tracks how each member of Congress votes on poverty issues. Check out your representative by clicking the link below.
11:08 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Balancing the budget on the backs of... guess who?

President Barack Obama will be releasing his budget tomorrow. Already, organized labor and others who side with the President more often than not are upset with cuts he's willing to make (likely to be around $200 billion worth). 

The Republican leadership in congress isn't happy with the budget either. Most Republicans don't want to raise taxes in order to help raise revenue and decrease the deficit. 

Accusations the budget is getting balanced on the back of seniors, children and people in poverty can seem like tired political rhetoric. But, those are the people that disproportionately rely on government services.

So as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities points out in a handy chart, for the last few years it's true these groups have borne the brunt of the budget battle.