Child Poverty and Inequality: Securing a Better Future for America's Children: Securing a Better Future for America's Children

Child Poverty and Inequality: Securing a Better Future for America's Children: Securing a Better Future for America's Children

by Duncan Lindsey
     
 


One of the United States great promises is that all children will be given the opportunity to work to achieve a comfortable standard of living. That promise has faded profoundly for children who grow up in poverty, particularly black and Hispanic children, and many of the deepening fault lines in the social order are traceable to this disparity. In recent years… See more details below

Overview


One of the United States great promises is that all children will be given the opportunity to work to achieve a comfortable standard of living. That promise has faded profoundly for children who grow up in poverty, particularly black and Hispanic children, and many of the deepening fault lines in the social order are traceable to this disparity. In recent years the promise has also begun to fade for children of the middle class. Education and hard work, once steady paths to economic success, no longer lead as far as they once did. But that doesn't have to be the case, as Duncan Lindsey shows in this articulate, impassioned volume. We can provide true opportunity to all children, insuring them against a lifetime of inequality, and when we do, the walls dividing the country by race, ethnicity, and wealth will begin to crumble.
Long a voice for combating child poverty, Lindsey takes a balanced approach that begins with a history of economic and family policy from the Great Depression and the development of Social Security and moves onward. He details the shocking extent of economic inequality in the U.S., pointing out that this wealthiest of countries also has the largest proportion of children living in poverty. Calling for reform, Lindsey proposes several viable universal income security policies for vulnerable children and families, strategies that have worked in other advanced democracies and also respect the importance of the market economy. They aim not just to reduce child poverty, but also to give all children meaningful economic opportunity. Just as Social Security alleviates the sting of poverty in old age, asset-building policies can insulate children from thecumulative effects of disadvantage and provide them with a strong foundation from which to soar.
Politicians, pundits, and parents always say that children are the future, but as long as so many grow up poor or without opportunity, that slogan will sound hollow. Duncan Lindseys book should be read by anyone who wants to know how we can take real action to brighten the future for children and for society as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

Reviewer:Jeanne B Hewitt, PhD, RN (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Description:This well documented essay describes the effect of social policies that have been in existence since the Reagan administration that have widened the gap between rich and poor. Professor Lindsey offers solutions to alleviate poverty among children in the United States based largely on policies in Europe that have been shown to be effective.
Purpose:The purpose is to offer social policy solutions to alleviate poverty among U.S. children based on universal coverage. Professor Lindsey makes a compelling argument for the benefits that would be reaped by future generations of children and these solutions are highly worthy of our consideration.
Audience:This book seems to be written for policy makers and the general public. The author is highly respected in the field of social policy as it affects the economic status of children.
Features:Professor Lindsey writes compellingly about the social policies in the United States since the Reagan administration that have led to increasing economic disparities among children, which are largely based on parents' economic status. The prevalence of poverty among U.S. children is worse than 23 developed and developing nations. Professor Lindsey uses data to illustrate that U.S. children who are black or Hispanic, or raised by a single mother, fair much worse than white or Asian children, or those raised in two-parent households. Though the author addresses some aspects of gender inequity among adults, he does not discuss the lack of equal-pay-for-equal-work issue nor the fact that the Family Medical LeaveAct is severely flawed by comparison to leave policies in many other nations. Professor Lindsey also does not address the severe poverty among American Indian/Alaskan Native children. However, these limitations are more than offset by the thoroughness of this essay on not only problems, but also solutions and their potential impact on the future of our children. In particular, he proposes that childhood poverty would be alleviated by an equitable universal children's allowance, a child support program for all children raised in a single-parent home, and universally available, publicly subsidized child care. Versions of these policies are already being used successfully in Europe and elsewhere. A key feature of these social policies is the universal (rather than need-based) availability of these policies regardless of families' income.
Assessment:This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion of social policies that widen the gap between rich and poor children. It is an excellent chronicle of social policies in the U.S. since the Depression. Though Professor Lindsey does not hypothesize the effect of poverty on children's health, this essay should stimulate discussion of the long-term and far-reaching consequences of economic disparities among children in the U.S. — our future.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199719372
Publisher:
NetLibrary, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/12/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,137,395
File size:
2 MB

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