The Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University has begun publication of Pathways: A Magazine on Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy. The full contents are available here. The inaugural issue includes, among other interesting articles, brief but substantive statements by Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama on their proposed strategies for reducing poverty.
Particularly helpful is a piece by Rebecca Blank assessing the three candidates’ proposals. Blank is one of the country’s most careful and sensible analysts of poverty and social policy. Her conclusion:
“Obama, Edwards, and Clinton all have multifaceted and serious anti-poverty plans. Anyone concerned with poverty issues could happily vote for any of them. Edwards has made poverty a centerpiece issue for his campaign from the beginning; Clinton has the best early childhood proposals; Obama is the most thoughtful on jobs for disadvantaged youth and urban change and (for my money) the most creative in putting new policy ideas on the table, such as low-cost Internet service in poor neighborhoods.”
She also emphasizes that while each of the three favors multiple worthy policies,
“it is hard to tell how they would prioritize their current list of proposals. Presidents face limited resources and hard choices once they actually enter the White House and have to decide where to place their political chips.”
Read the full piece to see Blank’s own priority list.
“the most creative in putting new policy ideas on the table, such as low-cost Internet service in poor neighborhoods.”
This works if you assume the poor own a working computer and can afford an ISP.
Midnight Internet Cafes, anyone?
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And Kudos to Stanford for making the contents of the magazine available free online. They get points for walking the talk.
For Ken: Working computers are less and less expensive these days, and none of the poor neighborhoods in Minneapolis have free internet cafes and therefore access–outside of the libraries (where the computers are mobbed and usage is limited to one hour). Access to the internet is becoming more and more like having indoor plumbing and electricity and less like a novelty for the privileged.
I’ve always thought I good way is to take away welfare so you have to work so you don’t live in poverty. Just a thought.