Poverty News Round Up

Some interesting reading about poverty from the past week. Have a story we missed? Let us know in the comments.

1. Financial stress is going up for the poor, even while it’s going down for everyone else. From Investor’s Business Daily:

“Americans are less financially stressed — except for the poor. The IBD/TIPP Financial Related Stress Index fell 1.3 points in June to 57.1, the lowest going back to the recession’s start in December 2007. It peaked at 74 in October 2008, just after the Lehman Bros. collapse sent markets and the economy into a tailspin. But among those making less than $30,000, the stress reading jumped 3.3 points to 64.3, an eight-month high.”

2. Teacher’s are first responders to poverty. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Learning and laundry, in fact, get done in several area schools, where teachers and staff also buy food, prom clothes, toilet paper, eyeglasses, and countless other items for children from families with meager means.

This is on top of the hundreds, even thousands, of dollars that teachers spend each year on basic classroom supplies.

In the Philadelphia area, teachers see themselves as first responders in the ongoing emergency of poverty. Many say that if they falter, they fail the children.”

3. Cash is more effective than other types of aid, reports Bloomberg’s Businessweek:

“It is comfortable for richer people to think they are richer because of the moral failings of the poor. And that justifies a paternalistic approach to poverty relief using vouchers and in-kind support. But the big reason poor people are poor is because they don’t have enough money, and it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that giving them money is a great way to reduce that problem—considerably more cost-effectively than paternalism.”

4. Economic changes are affecting family structure. The pew report on breadwinner moms continues to be in the news:

“the evidence suggests that while men tend to applaud their spouses when they help to bring home the bacon, husbands aren’t always as enthusiastic when women start bringing home the filet mignon. And it’s especially troubling that these old-fashioned social norms about gender identity appear to be adversely affecting family formation and stability.”

5. World poverty was cut in half between 1990 and 2010. Can it be eliminated by 2030? The Economist investigates.

“If extreme poverty could be halved in the past two decades, why should the other half not be got rid of in the next two? If 21% was possible in 2010, why not 1% in 2030?”

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