Today’s Chin Music, Movement #1: Investing in Kids

March 5th, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I played a symphony of chin music today, in two movements.

First, here’s a talk I gave this AM on investing in kids for the Washington Post Summit on Children and Families.  And here are the slides.

Here’s one figure I stressed in the talk, showing some sort of good news: the safety net caught a lot of children in the recent Great Recession.

“We’re going to need to continue to support—not pull back—on the safety net that pretty much kept kids poverty rates from rising in the worst recession since the Great Depression.  As officially measured, child poverty went up four percentage points, 2007-10.  But as it should be measured, including the non-cash benefits and tax credits that ramped up to offset child poverty, it nudged up only very slightly–0.3 percentage points.”

Why is this just “some sort of good news?”  Because preventing kids poverty from rising, especially in a sharp downturn, is evidence of a strong safety net.  But they don’t just need a safety net; they need a springboard.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One comment in reply to "Today’s Chin Music, Movement #1: Investing in Kids"

  1. Fred Donaldson says:

    Are you sure this graph is the U.S.A.? Yes, it is.

    Unfortunately, we rank near the bottom of developed countries – more poor folks, as a percentage of the population. PBS has an excellent online report, and you can download a comparison graph from the section marked “3”, which shows our standing among the nations: