It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty / Edition 1

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Overview

As Americans experiment with dismantling the nation's welfare system, clichés and slogans proliferate, ranging from charges that the poor are simply lazy to claims that existing antipoverty programs have failed completely. In this impeccably researched book, Rebecca Blank provides the definitive antidote to the scapegoating, guesswork, and outright misinformation of today's welfare debates. Demonstrating that government aid has been far more effective than most people think, she also explains that even private support for the poor depends extensively on public funds. It takes a nation to fight a problem as pervasive and subtle as modern poverty, and this book argues that we should continue to implement a mix of private and public programs. Federal, state, and local assistance should go hand in hand with private efforts at community development and personal empowerment and change.

The first part of the book investigates the changing nature of poverty in America. Poverty is harder to combat now than in the past, both because of the changing demographics of who is poor as well as the major deterioration in earnings among less-skilled workers. The second part of the book delves into policies designed to reduce poverty, presenting evidence that many though not all programs have done exactly what they set out to do. The final chapters provide an excellent review of recent policy changes and make workable suggestions for how to improve public assistance programs to assure a safety net, while still encouraging poor adults to find employment and support their families.

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Editorial Reviews

The Weekly Standard - John J. Dilulio
Even those who disagree strongly with Blank's analysis should agree that It Takes a Nation takes a prize for honest, meticulous, and morally alert scholarship.
The Weekly Standard - John J. DiIulio
An important book on poverty bound to displease some liberals while challenging both libertarian and cultural conservatives to rethink, if not abandon, their respective anti-poverty positions. . . . Even those who disagree strongly with Blank's analysis should agree that It Takes a Nation takes a prize for honest, meticulous, and morally alert scholarship.
From the Publisher

Winner of the 1997 Richard A. Lester Prize for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations, Princeton University's Industrial Relations Section

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1998

"[Blank] examines the condition of America's poor and the policies used to help them. She argues plausibly that trade is only one of the factors pressing down on the wages of the unskilled."--The Economist

"Even those who disagree strongly with Blank's analysis should agree that It Takes a Nation takes a prize for honest, meticulous, and morally alert scholarship."--John J. Dilulio, Jr., The Weekly Standard

"An important book on poverty bound to displease some liberals while challenging both libertarian and cultural conservatives to rethink, if not abandon, their respective anti-poverty positions. . . . Even those who disagree strongly with Blank's analysis should agree that It Takes a Nation takes a prize for honest, meticulous, and morally alert scholarship."--John J. DiIulio, Jr., The Weekly Standard

The Economist
[Blank] examines the condition of America's poor and the policies used to help them. She argues plausibly that trade is only one of the factors pressing down on the wages of the unskilled.
The Weekly Standard
An important book on poverty bound to displease some liberals while challenging both libertarian and cultural conservatives to rethink, if not abandon, their respective anti-poverty positions. . . . Even those who disagree strongly with Blank's analysis should agree that It Takes a Nation takes a prize for honest, meticulous, and morally alert scholarship.
— John J. DiIulio, Jr.
The Weekly Standard
An important book on poverty bound to displease some liberals while challenging both libertarian and cultural conservatives to rethink, if not abandon, their respective anti-poverty positions. . . . Even those who disagree strongly with Blank's analysis should agree that It Takes a Nation takes a prize for honest, meticulous, and morally alert scholarship.
— John J. DiIulio, Jr.
The Economist

[Blank] examines the condition of America's poor and the policies used to help them. She argues plausibly that trade is only one of the factors pressing down on the wages of the unskilled.
The Weekly Standard

An important book on poverty bound to displease some liberals while challenging both libertarian and cultural conservatives to rethink, if not abandon, their respective anti-poverty positions. . . . Even those who disagree strongly with Blank's analysis should agree that It Takes a Nation takes a prize for honest, meticulous, and morally alert scholarship.
— John J. DiIulio, Jr.
Economist
[Blank] examines the condition of America's poor and the policies used to help them. She argues plausibly that trade is only one of the factors pressing down on the wages of the unskilled.
Choice
Blank has done a great service to all readers with an interest in poverty, its causes, and proposals for combating it...Written in a very readable style, the volume is accessible to general as well as specialized audiences.
Choice
Blank has done a great service to all readers with an interest in poverty, its causes, and proposals for combating it...Written in a very readable style, the volume is accessible to general as well as specialized audiences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691004013
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Edition description: UPDATED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents


List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 3
Ch. 1 The Changing Face of Poverty 13
Ch. 2 A Changing Economy 52
Ch. 3 Changing Policy: America's Efforts to Provide a Social Safety Net 83
Ch. 4 What Do Antipoverty Programs Do? 133
Ch. 5 Who Should Help the Poor? 191
Ch. 6 The Movement toward Targeted Programs 220
Ch. 7 Where Should We Go from Here? 252
Ch. 8 Conclusions 290
Notes 295
References 311
Index 329
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