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Moving Working Families Forward

Third Way Policies That Can Work

Robert Cherry, Robert Lerman, 0

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: NYU Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

Over the last decade, I had become increasingly cynical concerning public policies. As partisanship has grown, it has become difficult to find support for centrist policies. While they may be acceptable to some Democrats and some Republicans, these policies can never be a priority, since they do ...

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1. A Third Way Perspective

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pp. 1-22

Deep conflicts over public policy persist not simply between Republicans and Democrats but also within the Democratic Party. This book highlights these intra-Democratic differences. It points to a “Third Way” between the left-liberal wing of the Democratic Party and conservatives who dominate the Republican Party. These policies ...

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2. Employment Growth: Its Strengths and Limitations

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pp. 23-40

The Obama administration initially focused its efforts on limiting the economic contraction, and by the third quarter of 2009, production increased at an annual 3.5 percent rate. Production increases continued through 2010, with modest employment growth. A “rising tide lifts all boats,” so that all groups of workers are benefiting from the employment expansion. ...

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3. Evaluating Targeted Policies

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pp. 41-58

Society cannot rely solely on macroeconomic expansions to solve problems of underemployment of at-risk populations or to lift families out of near poverty. Some targeted policies are required. Subsequent chapters will present the targeted policies that we believe can be most effective in raising the material living standards of those who could be left behind. In this ...

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4. Combating Racial Earnings Disparities

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pp. 59-77

When President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1965 Civil Rights Act, he lamented that this would be the end of the Democratic Party in the South. Sure enough the Republicans developed their “Southern Strategy,” which led to their dominance not only there but also in many northern areas where they won over the so-called Reagan Democrats. At the epicenter of this ...

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5. Combating Gender Earnings Disparities

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pp. 78-95

Increasingly, public concern for gender employment inequities has been muted. The disproportionate job loss among men and black workers directed energies elsewhere. Initial expectations were that the Obama administration’s stimulus funds would focus exclusively on “rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our ...

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6. Refocusing Community College Programs

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pp. 96-115

Today almost half of all college-bound students start out in community colleges, which are the overwhelming destination for high school graduates whose parents lack a college degree. Historically, their primary mission was the transfer function: preparing students to move on to four-year colleges. In the last twenty years, however, there has been a movement toward ...

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7. Strengthening Partnerships

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pp. 116-132

As we have documented, family income is strongly correlated with the structure of the modern family. Over the last fifty years, the United States and other countries have experienced sharp increases in childbearing taking place outside marriage and in child rearing taking place outside a two-parent household. In the United States, the proportion of births to unmarried ...

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8. Revising Government Tax Policies

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pp. 133-152

The proposals in this book are dominated by attempts to fit workers more easily into existing labor markets by enhancing their skills, improving the accuracy of employer assessments of those skills, and providing government benefits that supplement wages. For left liberals, this approach is too narrow, too limited, and too likely to reproduce class, race, and gender ...

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9. Redirecting Immigration Policies

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pp. 153-170

Over the last few decades, despite overall economic growth, there has been growing income inequality, persistently high poverty rates, and wage increases for less educated workers that have not kept pace with inflation. This book has enumerated a number of labor and tax policy initiatives to combat these problems. We also believe, however, that part of the problem ...

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10. Recasting Housing Subsidies

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pp. 171-191

Being able to afford a safe, clean place to live has always been central to escaping poverty. President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous description of hardship in America was of one-third of a nation “ill-fed, ill-housed, and ill-clothed.” When a National Academy of Sciences panel came out with its definition of poverty, it viewed food, housing, and clothing as “essentials.”1 ...

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11. The Politics of Reform

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pp. 192-212

Having formulated policies that are based on sound assessments is one thing; to legislate them is another. In the November 2010 election, the outcome created a divided government. In one sense, it makes the recommended centrist policies more likely. This is what happened after the Republican victory in 1994. After the Gingrich-led Congress overreached, centrist ...


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pp. 213-240


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pp. 241-252

About the Authors

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pp. 253

E-ISBN-13: 9780814772997
E-ISBN-10: 0814772994
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814717189
Print-ISBN-10: 0814717187

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • United States -- Economic policy.
  • United States -- Social policy.
  • Working class families -- Government policy -- United States.
  • Working poor -- Government policy -- United States.
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