3 comments in reply to "The Children Defense Fund’s new anti-poverty plan demands a close look"

  1. Smith says:

    I’m failing to see any meaningful programs to end child poverty. I see instead treating symptoms instead of causes, which ensures a continuation of two separate societies, one poor and increasingly reliant on government assistance, and one more in control of their destiny, where even the less well off are relatively prosperous by comparison.
    Specifically, EITC and wage subsidies draw particular scorn because they depress everyone’s wages and hurt employers who actually offer fair wages. $2.50 higher minimum wage eliminates EITC completely.
    Instead of providing government subsidies and credits for child care, why not provide child care? That’s how most modern developed countries address the problem. Importantly, it’s a universal benefit for everyone, so that the middle class has an interest in quality, and the poor have a basis for comparison. I understand there are problems with this model under the current public education regime, but the alternative is really private school for preschoolers.
    Regarding housing assistance and food subsidies, how does this lift people out of poverty? It doesn’t. It does keep them from starving or living on the street and in homeless shelters. Bravo, I’m all for feeding people and providing shelter. But I’m against spending $77 billion dollars a year with no plan to end the need for such assistance. Spend even more if that’s what it takes.
    Where is the money for more assistance to at risk children that the U.K. was cited as providing, increased counseling for families? Where is the program to create more jobs and training for the next generation who would otherwise be trapped in poverty? Where are the government programs to foster better housing conditions and affordable housing where it’s needed most? How can subsidies to child care make up the basic gaps children 1 to 4 years old, care from 3pm – 6pm for working parents, July and August when poor children fall most behind due to different environments?
    Throw money at the problem, at least temporarily, fine, but neglect fixing things at the same time and you play right into the hands of conservatives and social Darwinists. How many chances do you think you’ll get to implement an anti-poverty program this expensive. It’s like planning an invasion without enough troops or plan for occupation, or a stimulus plan that can’t be supplemented later due to political opposition.


  2. PeonInChief says:

    A couple of points:

    First the entire program could be paid for by eliminating the mortgage interest deduction. Second increasing the minimum wage would also increase the cost of housing (the second most important factor in a community’s rent levels is median income), so some means of reducing housing prices would have to be found in order to prevent the subsidy system from becoming a profit center for landlords of crappy housing.


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