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Safety Net

The Financial Crisis Facing U.S. Churches

David Briggs | Posted 11.06.2015 | Religion
David Briggs

The Catholic Church continues to grow with the population, with about a quarter of Americans identifying as Catholic. But a steady decline in Mass attendance means fewer are putting money in the collection plate on Sundays.

Survive? Thrive!

Chrissy Gruninger | Posted 10.20.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Chrissy Gruninger

My deepest wish is for you to learn that the secret to a happy, healthy and harmonious life is the continual journey towards the best possible version of yourself -- showing up in the world as the beautiful, purpose-driven individual you were meant to be.

Facts Don't Support TANF's "Work-First" Approach

LaDonna Pavetti | Posted 10.02.2015 | Politics
LaDonna Pavetti

In today's increasingly skill-focused economy, work-first approaches that limit TANF recipients' opportunities to increase their skills through education and training hurt their chances of finding jobs and lifting themselves out of poverty.

Doubling of Extreme Poverty Belies Welfare Reform Success Claims

LaDonna Pavetti | Posted 09.25.2015 | Politics
LaDonna Pavetti

As Congress seeks agreement on overhauling Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), lawmakers must address TANF's dismal failure to help the poorest Americans, many of whom are desperately trying to find work, living on just $2 a day.

How Big Is the Gig Economy?

Steven Hill | Posted 09.16.2015 | Business
Steven Hill

The gig economy is just one sub domain of what is happening more broadly to the workforce, including just-in-time scheduling and other disruptions to the labor markets, whether as a result of the gig economy, automation and robots, artificial intelligence and other factors.

Today Is Social Security's Birthday! Time to Blow Out the Candles?

Jonathan K. DeYoe | Posted 08.14.2015 | Politics
Jonathan K. DeYoe

Social Security turns 80 years old today. Will it live to see 100? I sure hope so, but according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund (OASI) reserves are currently on track to be depleted by 2037 unless Congress gets its divided act together.

Sanding Down the Rough Edges of Capitalism Is Not Enough

David Morris | Posted 08.06.2015 | Politics
David Morris

I recommend we stop using the term "contributions" to describe the campaign spending of oligarchs and start using the term they themselves often use: "investments". The very rich invest to change the rules in their favor.

America's Political Class Embraces Kali

Michael Brenner | Posted 07.06.2015 | Politics
Michael Brenner

The American institutional landscape is beginning to resemble the physical landscape a natural disaster. This one is man-made, though.

Shared Security: A New Deal for the New Century

Richard Kirsch | Posted 07.06.2015 | Politics
Richard Kirsch

If Social Security, the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and the 40-hour workweek laid the foundation for the middle class in the 20th century, what would be the equivalent for the 21st century? The odd couple of a billionaire entrepreneur and a labor leader have come up with what could be a breakthrough proposal for rebuilding the middle class.

Arthur Delaney

How Long Do People Stay On Public Benefits? | Arthur Delaney | Posted 05.29.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Most poor people who avail themselves of a U.S. government safety net program are off benefits within three years, according to a govern...

Giving up Homophobia for Lent: Queering the Christian "Way of Sorrows"

H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D. | Posted 04.26.2015 | Religion
H. Adam Ackley, Ph.D.

As Lent begins, some LGBTQIA students have been holding prayer vigils throughout southern California on conservative Christian campuses where they are either still enrolled as students or are alumni.

The Least Financially Secure Americans Are Barely Being Heard At The Ballot Box

The Huffington Post | Ariel Edwards-Levy | Posted 01.08.2015 | Politics

America's most economically vulnerable are also the least likely to vote, according to a new Pew Research report. The analysis divides Americans in...

Safety Net Funds: Why Traditional Advice Is Wrong | Posted 01.21.2015 | Money

To prevent your safety net from getting too big, we advise transferring the excess to another goal in order to bring it back down to the correct level every time it gets to be 20 percent bigger than it needs to be.

When "at First glance" Deserves a Second Look

Ellie Hollander | Posted 12.24.2014 | Impact
Ellie Hollander

This particular measure, which usually takes a back seat to the official poverty rate in the news and media reports, paints a far more realistic portrait of what seniors in America are really experiencing.

Boehner's Constitution Of Convenience

Duncan Hosie | Posted 10.26.2014 | Politics
Duncan Hosie

Ironically, Speaker Boehner resorted to the American justice system to sue President Obama, the very system he has worked relentlessly to underfund for indigents. Instead of suing Obama, he should start fixing the system he and his colleagues broke.

Ryan "Opportunity Grant" Proposal Would Likely Increase Poverty and Shrink Resources for Poverty Programs Over Time

Bob Greenstein | Posted 09.23.2014 | Politics
Bob Greenstein

While some other elements of the Ryan poverty plan deserve serious consideration, such as those relating to the Earned Income Tax Credit and criminal justice reform, his "Opportunity Grant" would likely increase poverty and hardship, and is therefore ill-advised.

Why the 1996 Welfare Law Is Not a Model for Other Safety Net Programs

LaDonna Pavetti | Posted 09.21.2014 | Politics
LaDonna Pavetti

A careful examination of the record, however, indicates that the 1996 law's results were mixed and that if the goal is to reduce poverty, especially among the most disadvantaged families and children, there are serious downsides to embracing the 1996 law as a model.

What I Realized When I Finally Decided To Sign Up For Food Stamps

Dennis Powers | Posted 07.14.2014 | Politics
Dennis Powers

These were not the dregs of society looking for a handout. These were working people, just like me, who just needed some help. This was a shocking reminder of what has become of the middle class.

Preview of New Ryan Budget: As Extreme as Last Year's, If Not More So

Joel Friedman | Posted 05.31.2014 | Politics
Joel Friedman

Basic budget arithmetic suggests that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's coming budget will be at least as extreme as his budget last year, and likely more so.

Emily Swanson

No Dignity In Low Wages, Poll Finds | Emily Swanson | Posted 03.11.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Paul Ryan says the government safety net may protect Americans from the vicissitudes of life, but that handouts leave people unfulfille...

Breaking Out of the Budget Straitjacket

Deborah Weinstein | Posted 05.06.2014 | Politics
Deborah Weinstein

The President's annual budget demonstrates whether our values are driving our national choices. Are we going to continue to give extra tax breaks worth billions to hot shots in the finance industry or re-direct tax help to decrease the poverty of more than 13 million workers?

Romania's Fraying Social Safety Net

John Feffer | Posted 04.27.2014 | Politics
John Feffer

One of the reasons why such a large portion of the Romanian population remains mired in poverty is the relative indifference of the government to the needs of the poor.

America's "We" Problem

Robert Reich | Posted 04.16.2014 | Politics
Robert Reich

America has a serious "We" problem -- as in "Why should we pay for them?" The question is popping up all over the place. It underlies the debate over extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed and providing food stamps to the poor.

Rubio Block-Grant Proposal Would Weaken Safety Net, Not Strengthen It

Sharon Parrott | Posted 03.11.2014 | Politics
Sharon Parrott

Senator Rubio proposes to end most federal safety net programs -- including unemployment insurance, SNAP (formerly food stamps), Medicaid, and housing assistance -- and replace them with one mega-block grant to states. This proposal has deep flaws.

War on Poverty: Large Positive Impact, But More Work Remains

Sharon Parrott | Posted 03.09.2014 | Politics
Sharon Parrott

Poverty in America is high compared to other wealthy nations largely because our safety net does less to lift people out of poverty than those of other Western nations. The poverty story over the last half-century in the United States is mixed for several reasons.