Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

No book comes into being through the sole efforts of the author and this book is no exception. I am grateful to Duquesne University, especially President Charles Dougherty and Provost Ralph Pearson, for the support and encouragement they have given me throughout this project. Duquesne University has provided significant financial support at ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

Economic inequality in the United States has reached its highest level since the beginning of the New Deal, leading a number of scholars and commentators to describe the first decade of the twenty-first century as a “new gilded age.”1 In such an age it is especially appropriate to rethink public policy approaches to poverty, policies that have focused ...

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Chapter One. Why Asset Building for the Poor?

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pp. 5-24

In the early 1930s, the psychologist Norman Maier conducted a series of experiments to develop deeper insight into the human reasoning process and, in particular, into the process of problem solving. One of these experiments was carried out in a large room which contained many objects such as poles, ringstands, clamps, pliers, extension cords, tables and...

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Chapter Two. Assets, the Poor,and Catholic Social Teaching

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pp. 25-60

The discussion in chapter one relied on psychosocial scientific arguments about the effectiveness of asset-based strategies. A moral basis for such policies was assumed but never fully developed. For some, this is how it should be, particularly in a pluralistic society such as the United States. Some would even argue that public policy ought to remain neutral ...

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Chapter Three. Assets and Human Capabilities

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pp. 61-84

The Church’s social teachings recognize that the dignity of the human person demands that all human beings have at least some minimum level of material well-being and that this minimum must include not only income, but savings and ownership. Some level of income and asset holdings enable persons to secure those goods that contribute to ...

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Chapter Four. Asset Discrimination

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pp. 85-102

From the very beginning, the Church’s social teachings have rejected the idea that optimal economic conditions will be obtained so long as the market is left to its own devices; economies are not governed by impersonal and unalterable laws but are, rather, human institutions which need to be subordinated to the good of all. This observation is clearly ...

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Chapter Five. Toward Inclusive Ownership

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pp. 103-126

The trajectory of social policy in Western democracies during the twentieth century was generally in the direction of greater political and social equality; women’s suffrage, civil rights, and increases in gender equality all gesture toward a more complete inclusion of society’s members. The inclusion of all persons in the benefits and rewards of economic ...

Appendix: A Primer on Modern Catholic Social Teaching

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pp. 127-131

Notes

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pp. 132-155

Bibliography

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pp. 156-166

Index

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pp. 167-189